NEW ORLEANS, La. (WLOX) - The Pelicans are only three and a half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but before they can compete in the NBA's restart in Orlando, they have to face COVID-19 head on.
After a league-wide test last week, 16 players that have contracted the virus and three of them were Pelicans.
Executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, said they’ve had none since. Due to privacy laws, he could not disclose which players were positive, but did say they are in isolation and test daily. The players can return to the team once they’ve had two consecutive days of negative tests.
Alvin Gentry (65) is one of five head coaches in the NBA age 60 or older, who is more “at-risk” to contract the virus, but said he plans to be in Orlando when the season resumes.
“I’m not going to ask my players to do anything I wouldn’t do. If they have to go survive the quarantine, and we’re going to battle like we are, then I’m going to do the same thing,” Griffin said via Zoom conference call to local media Tuesday.
“From the standpoint of Alvin and our players, that’s to be determined. When we turn our roster in, we may or may not have to make replacements even once that roster’s turned in on the first. We’re at the mercy of the virus in that regard. But we have no reason to believe at this moment that anyone will not go. And we’ll just work from there.”
New Orleans (28-36) are among the group of eight teams scheduled to travel to Orlando on July 8th. The Pelicans will take on the Utah Jazz in the first game of the restart on July 30th.