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Teams told to remind players to wear masks while on NBA campus

LeBron NBA mask

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers arrives during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 21, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

We saw it happen nationally and it was unquestionably coming to the NBA campus in Orlando — mask fatigue.

It apparently is serious enough within the NBA restart campus at the Walt Disney World Resort that the league sent a memo to all teams reminding them of the need for their players and staff to wear masks within the bubble — and there can be punishment for those who don’t. From Marc Stein at the New York Times.

To date, no player inside the bubble has tested positive for the coronavirus (there was one false positive of a Kings’ player; results of testing for this past week are expected to be announced Monday). That can lead to a sense of complacency, a feeling of “if nobody has the disease why are we wearing masks?” The Lakers’ Dwight Howard has already been warned for not wearing his.

However, if the virus gets inside the bubble — and that absolutely can happen — then masks can help prevent the spread and contain an outbreak. The NBA wants to avoid what has been seen in other leagues, like the MLS or MLB, where the virus spread through and decimated a roster, throwing off restart plans for those leagues.

Masks help stop the spread of the disease. It’s that simple and it’s proven.

The NBA has been able to keep the virus at bay so far because players and staff have followed the protocols. There is natural fatigue with that, but the league has to try and keep the standards up.