In the NBA and NHL this season, more than 30 games have been canceled due to corona tests. The NBA All-Star break is worrying – and not because of the show competitions in Atlanta.
The game of the best basketball professionals, the spectacular slam-dunk contest – the all-star week in the NBA is usually a good gauge of the enthusiasm of the fans.
With no viewers and a program condensed only to Sunday, a lot is different in Atlanta this year. And the success of the strongest basketball league in the world in the coming months does not depend on the radiance of its superstars at the show event, but to a large extent on the approximately 450 professionals who are not exclusively for the now watch TV organized event. Because they now have their first multi-day break in months – and can theoretically do whatever they want within the country.
In the midst of a pandemic, that’s a risk the league can’t really use. NBA boss Adam Silver will probably be more nervous for a few weeks than before. In Atlanta, the protection is as good as can be, comparable to the bubble at the end of the season in Orlando. The conditions are also safer than during the season, as players normally live at home. Basketball players on vacation, however, are responsible for themselves and are exposed to much more risk of infection in an unfamiliar environment.
And the experiences with vacations and family get-togethers have not been so good recently. “The protocols actually protect us well, it was difficult about them public holidays how Christmas or Thanksgiving, that was a period when there were more positive tests. Hopefully that won’t happen after the All-Star-Break, “said international Daniel Theis of the Boston Celtics of the German Press Agency.
The US news agency AP reported that many professionals are planning trips to Miami in the Florida sunshine. You will then travel to a state in which the mask discipline of the people in many areas, cautiously formulated, is expandable and you can also go out to eat in restaurants. However, players still need to be tested daily.
How big the risk of infection in the USA But even with all caution and common sense, the fact that the national player Maxi Kleber from the Dallas Mavericks who is known to be down-to-earth was absent for weeks is also proven by a look at the NHL. As in the NBA, there are already more than 30 canceled games this season – but not a single one of them affected a team from Canada.
Leon Draisaitl, Dominik Kahun (both Edmonton Oilers) and Tim Stützle (Ottawa Senators) have played all games as planned with their teams so far. 20 of the 24 teams from the USA, on the other hand, were affected by at least one rejection due to corona cases.
With six postponements with the greatest turbulence there was for the Minnesota Wild around Nico Sturm, who was sick himself and despite his goals is not yet in full power again. “It has not been proven, but the assumption is that this infection apparently exists between the teams on the ice,” he told the German press agency. “We played LA at home and had one or two. A few days later one of us had it. We played in Colorado and they had it after we had it.”
However, there are no accusations from Sturm. “It’s definitely not perfect, but I think it’s still better than not playing for a year and a half,” he said. “Perfect is not even possible. The NHL does everything on and off the ice so that we get the greatest possible protection.”
The comments from the NBA are similar. “We knew before the season that there would be a few cases and that we would have to be prepared for them,” said Theis. LeBron James said a few days ago: “We knew at the beginning of the season that there would be challenges. So you shouldn’t be surprised if there are any.”
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