Athletics

Hendriks' advice for NBA, NHL players before bubble-less seasons

Athletics

To date, only MLB has started and completed a season mid-COVID-19 pandemic, outside of a ‘bubble’ environment.

With the NBA and NHL set to soon follow what baseball did this past summer, A’s closer Liam Hendriks has some advice for basketball and hockey players.

“It was more of the honor system we had,” Hendriks recently told NBC Sports California. “Hold each other accountable. That’s the biggest thing we found out.”

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Several baseball teams, including the A's, dealt with concerns over positive COVID-19 tests, in addition to the grueling logistics of make-up games.

“We had one issue that was a miscommunication, that should never have happened, but it did,” Hendriks said. “Our biggest thing now is making sure it doesn’t happen if we go into next year.”

Hendriks is a huge hockey fan, and believes that a culture of zero tolerance and respect for teammates is the only way to operate an upcoming season.

“If somebody goes out and does something stupid, do what Cleveland did [trading players],” Hendriks said. “Don’t be afraid to drop the hammer on somebody to make sure that everyone knows. Stop messing around. This is not just playing with our careers, but peoples lives.”

 
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The NHL and NBA were largely praised for completing their prior seasons the hub cities of Edmonton, Toronto, and Orlando. But they now must learn from the protocols and procedures baseball employed to execute a season without issues.

“The bubble obviously worked, but this is where we get serious with people coming in and out,” Hendriks said.