Although the coronavirus pandemic has threatened to stop regular season operations, the NBA has been one of the few major sports leagues around the world to carry on with the show with as much normalcy as possible. This is due to a more relaxed set of restrictions regarding vaccination for both players and fans, despite restrictions in stadium capacity.
And the league has come under fire in recent months for its more casual approach to the pandemic. This week, the league could find itself in hot water again after it announced some new rules. Vaccinated NBA players and coaches can now quarantine after just six days instead of 10 if COVID-19 testing data shows they're no longer at risk to be infectious. Although the league has publicly endorsed and encouraged vaccination, there are still plenty of players who aren't jabbed.
NBA Reduces Minimum Quarantine Time
The league is basing their decision on data that has shown that individuals who receive shots can clear the virus out of their system at a far more rapid rate than those who have not.
One-hundred-seventy-two players have entered into the league's health and safety protocols in the past two weeks, including a single-day season high of 24 on Sunday. And so, it remains to be seen if these new rules will have any sort of a positive impact on case numbers and infections.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this month that the NBA was intent on pushing through the current COVID-19 surge, stating confidence in their measures and the science.
"We've of course looked at all the options. But frankly, we're having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now," Silver said on NBA Today on ESPN. "This virus will not be eradicated. And we're going to have to learn to live with it."
The league has been made to postpone games as needed in the past, but not to cancel any of them. So for now, it looks like the show and the game must go on! We're sure the fans at home won't mind one bit.