Despite the shutdown of the NBA, the Kings are in communication mode.
We learned that the team will support their employees, at least through March. Now, we have an update on what is next for the players.
Per the team’s official release:
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The health and safety of our fans, employees, players, partners and community has always been, and will always be, our top priority.
Due to the suspension of the NBA season and in accordance with instruction provided by the league, all team activities have been suspended through Monday, March 16. During this time, Kings players will remain in the Sacramento area and will not participate in group workouts or practices. Currently, no Kings players have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 and at the direction of the league, team medical staff, local public health officials and infectious disease specialists all players have been asked to stay home as much as possible through Monday.
We remain in constant communication with the league, and a wide range of local and national experts as together, we will continue to make informed decisions based on their research, data and input. The team will continue to work with the league on the next steps of this unprecedented and fluid situation. Additional updates will be provided by the league or the team as they become available.”
While the team lays out the mandate from the league, the most important line in the above statement from the team comes midway through the second paragraph:
“Currently, no Kings players have experienced symptoms of COVID-19.”
Like many teams in the league, the Kings have ties to the Utah Jazz, who now have two known cases of COVID-19 in Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
While Sacramento didn’t play against Utah over the last few weeks, they did play against the Washington Wizards on Mar. 3, four days after the Wizards faced the Jazz on Feb. 28.
The team is being asked to not participate in group workouts and practice is clearly off the table, but a source confirmed to NBC Sports California that players still have access to the practice facility, weight room and training staff for individual workouts. The players have been asked to stay home as much possible between now and Monday, as a precautionary measure.
There is no word on how the league protocol will change after Mar. 16, but at some point, teams will likely be allowed to resume practice sessions in some fashion as the league continues to make their way through the current global pandemic.