The Los Angeles Lakers announced last Friday that two of their players tested positive for the coronavirus, and the players are in a 14-day self-quarantine. The team did not disclose the names of the players involved.
A complete battery test was given to the Lakers after NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets tested positive last Tuesday. The Lakers are the last team to play against the Nets before the season was suspended. The Nets won that game 104-102.
Three other members of the Nets were found positive with the virus, and another player, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics, also tested positive during the NBA tests over the past week.
That makes a total of 14 NBA players testing positive for COVID-19. The league is not surprised by the current count of infected players, considering the amount of travel and close contact the players have with each other. The Lakers released a statement that all Lakers players and staff members are observing self-quarantine.
According to CBS Sports, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expects that number to grow, as only 8 of 30 teams have undergone team-wide testing (including staff and coaches). Out of those 8 teams, seven teams came out with players testing positive. Only the defending champions, Toronto Raptors, came back with negative results for all team members.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass told reporters that the lack of available testing kits makes it impossible to conduct team-wide testing for the entire league at the moment. However, it is a critical factor to complete testing all the teams before discussions on restarting the games are entertained by the league management.
Commissioner Silver is "optimistic" that the season can be salvaged to some extent. It is also possible to reformat the end of the season to at least have a champion for the 2019-2020 season. Players want to play and compete. The fans are expecting them to get on the floor and finish the season at some point, but the situation is fluid and not under the league's control. At the moment, the priority of the league is to help curb the virus and hope for the best.