As the NBA tightened coronavirus protocols to try to preserve a season teetering amid positive tests, thinning rosters and game postponements, the league made a dramatic change that most franchises had wanted all along: the closing off of rooms to non-team guests in road hotels.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association on Tuesday reached agreement on several more revisions to policy, including the league further limiting movement for players and staffs on road trips. The league is no longer allowing players and staff to leave hotels for non-team activities, and it is eliminating visitors to hotel rooms, which one GM had told ESPN had been “the Mack truck driving through all our protocols.”
Players were previously allowed to have up to two guests in hotel rooms, including those who were family members and long-standing personal friends
“No one wants to see more restrictions imposed. No one also wants to see the infection rate increase if there are steps we can take to mitigate the risk,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said. “Our experts have concluded that these new procedures will add to our arsenal of weapons against the virus. … It would be irresponsible and unacceptable to not employ new measures aimed at better promoting and protecting our players’ safety.”