The Nets have a COVID-19 problem on their hands that continues to worsen.
Heading into Tuesday’s game against the Raptors, Brooklyn listed five players on the league’s health and safety protocols — Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge. DeAndre’ Bembry, Jevon Carter and James Johnson. The hits continued as the team added James Harden and Bruce Brown to the protocols a little more than an hour before tip-off.
In addition, some Nets assistant coaches and staffers were also placed in the protocols. Nash said “a couple of coaches, a couple of staff” are affected but the team did not identify them. Under the league’s COVID regulations, all would have had positive or inclusive tests for the virus.
Before Harden and Brown were added to the long list of Nets on protocols, Steve Nash called the situation “unfortunate” but added that the players are asymptomatic, but noted it will take some time before they can rejoin the eight active players. In addition to the seven affected by the NBA’s COVID regulations, Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris remain out.
“It’s unfortunate, for sure,” said Nash on the seven. “First, we concern ourselves with their health and safety. Fortunately for us, they’re asymptomatic but there will be a period of time required for them to test negative and have our full group together again.”
The Nets head coach also explained how there are some assistant coaches on health and safety protocols as well. Nash did not mention the names of the assistant coaches but noted how the situation as a whole is out of the Nets’ hands.
“First off, we’re not naive enough to not have concerns about more people contracting the virus, but that’s out of our hands,” said Nash on whether the virus can further spread within the roster. “We just got to see what the test results are. A couple of coaches on the staff as well, but overall, we can’t do a lot right now except for waiting till the results come in and control what’s in our hands.”
Once players enter the league’s health and safety protocols, they must quarantine for 10 days or return two negative PCR tests taken hours apart. Moreover, the Nets players will now face daily COVID-19 tests so more players could wind up in the protocols. The Nets play six times in the next 10 days leading up to the Christmas Day matchup with the Lakers in Los Angeles.