The NBA tightened its coronavirus protocols significantly, limiting players’ interactions with people outside their households and not involved in team activities.
The league also implemented trivial rules like prohibiting hugs, handshakes, and daps. Fist and elbow bumps only. And the NBA is serious about that.
After witnessing some opposing players disregarding new league rules against unnecessary contact on game nights, the NBA moves team security into the midcourt area to dissuade violations that include hugging and handshakes, according to a league memo.
For the week of Jan. 13-19, the NBA had 11 new positive cases of COVID-19 out of 502 players. On Wednesday night, the league postponed Friday’s game between the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks. It was the 17th regular-season game postponed this season.
But some people say it is ridiculous to have security enforce the COVID-19 rules. After all, NBA players are already playing 5-on-5 basketball and breathing heavily near each other without wearing masks. How much will these new rules really reduce spread?
Will security guards forcibly break up post-game conversations? Will players just hold their postgame greeting in back halls, where ventilation might not be as good as the middle of the court?
Though the security guards will presumably be masked, the NBA is now putting even more people into the area.