The battle over public access to the coronavirus test is causing the NBA to have to answer some tough questions.
After eight professional basketball teams have reportedly been screened for the coronavirus, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is defending the league's access to the test.
According to the Daily Mail, the Brooklyn Nets contracted with a private company to have the tests conducted.
“The fundamental issue, obviously is that there are insufficient tests,” Silver said while speaking to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Wednesday (March 18). “I’d only say, in the case of the NBA, we’ve been following the recommendations of public health officials.”
Silver also said the league was doing a public service by testing teams.
“My sense was, especially among young people in the United States, people were not taking these protocols all that seriously until the NBA did what it did.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, criticized the Nets after it was reported that four of the players including standout Kevin Durant, tested positive for the virus.
“Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick,” de Blasio tweeted.
The 2019-20, NBA season was suspended by Silver after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive in Oklahoma City before the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game tip-off.
His teammate shooting guard Donovan Mitchell later tested positive.
“The Utah Jazz did not ask to be tested,” said Silver. “The Oklahoma public health official there on the spot not only required that they be tested, but they weren’t allowed to leave their locker room for at least four hours after the game. They had to stay, masks on, until the health authorities had tested them. That was our first case.”
The NBA Commissioner continued to explain that the league followed public health officials and their personal doctors’ instructions before they agreed to test teams that had been exposed to the Utah Jazz.
Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images