COVID is ravaging the NBA right now.
The Brooklyn Nets have had a turbulent past week. It all began when F Paul Millsap entered health and safety protocols for COVID-19 on Monday (Dec. 13). The following days would see F Lamarcus Aldridge, F James Johnson, G DeAndre’ Bembry, G Jevon Carter, G/F Bruce Brown and All star PG James Harden also enter protocol in a team-wide outbreak.
Able to momentarily stave off any infection, Kevin Durant put on exceptional performances in back-to-back games to secure victories against the Raptors and 76ers with a depleted roster full of rookies and bench players. But, KD couldn’t dodge COVID for long, it appears.
On Saturday (Dec. 18), Kevin Durant entered health & safety protocols, after a COVID test came back either positive or inclusive. He would need to test negative two days in a row to return to the team.
But, that was not all the bad news for the Nets today. After re-instating Kyrie Irving to the roster yesterday, COVID continued to take its toll. Irving had missed the first 29 games of the season for his refusal to get vaccinated. The city of New York will not allow him to compete in home games without the vaccine, and the Nets organization sent him home instead of letting him play solely away games.
However, the team had a change of heart. Brooklyn announced yesterday that they will bring Kyrie back as a part-time player to suit up in away games, likely because injury and COVID have decimated their roster. But, less than 24 hours since this announcement, Irving was the 9th Nets player to enter health and safety protocol.
Since Irving is unvaccinated, he must test negative five days in a row to return to play, as opposed to two days for vaccinated players.
Although things look grim for the Nets at the moment, they will still be a scary team to welcome into any arena when Harden,Durant and Irving return from quarantine. The Nets currently hold the 1-seed in the Eastern conference.