Among the NBA’s short-term recommendations to teams in the wake of the coronavirus, players should utilize fist-bumps over high-fives with fans and avoid taking items such as pens, balls and jerseys to autograph, according to a memo to teams obtained by ESPN.
Among larger concerns being addressed in NBA front offices and the league office, the possibility that pre-draft combines, on-site workouts and international scouting events could become more limited in scope, or even cancelled, based on the possible escalation of the coronavirus.
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The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have been consulting with the CDC and infectious disease experts, including a renowned researcher at Columbia University, the memo said.
“The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly,” the league told teams in the memo.
The NBA issued a statement to the AP, saying that “The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount. We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely.”
The Corona Virus has officially hit Oregon. More specifically Lake Oswego…Make sure y’all washing y’all hands with soap for 20 or more seconds & covering ya mouths when you cough. I am officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice.
CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) February 29, 2020
The Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum tweeted over the weekend about the need to take precautions and that he was taking a break from signing autographs for now.
But the Celtics’ Kemba Walker said Monday that while he will be cautious, “I’m pretty sure I’m still going to sign some autographs, but maybe I’ll just walk around with my own marker.”
As the instances of cases in North America start to increase, there’s been no impact on the curbing of league travel or games. An NBA player who contracted the coronavirus would expect to miss two weeks, one team medical official told ESPN. NBA front offices are preparing for scouting events such as the global Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore., in April, and the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago in May, both events that host of hundreds of players, coaches, front office personnel and medical staff.