The Sixers tipped off against the Warriors as scheduled in San Francisco on Saturday evening, despite the San Francisco Department of Public Health advising that non-essential gatherings be canceled in the wake of growing concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The game started less than 24 hours after a memo from the NBA advised teams to prep for games without fans, to minimize potential health risks.
It appears Tobias Harris and Kyle O'Quinn are both taking note of the noise surrounding the virus on Saturday, and put it to use in their... pre-game handshake?
Yep, that's exactly what they did. Welcome to the age of the hand sanitizer handshake:
Tobias Harris and Kyle O'Quinn would like to remind you to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly pic.twitter.com/224SejR5wS— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) March 8, 2020
There are multiple levels to this handshake, so let's break them down.
For one, it's extremely situational because as fans streamed into the Chase Center in San Fran, this sign was posted on the arena's doors:
Sign at the entrance pic.twitter.com/Zsa07Oda1G— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) March 7, 2020
That's at least a little disconcerting.
Then, in the lead-up to Saturday's game, the Warriors issued a statement about star point guard Steph Curry, who was initially listed as out with an undisclosed illness. Because of the swirling coronavirus concerns, the team reassured everyone that Curry did not test positive for coronavirus, but rather just seasonal flu:
Stephen Curry status update: pic.twitter.com/FmqQm5xxl2— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 7, 2020
So the Sixers were entering an interesting situation on Saturday night, but the game would go on, which meant pre-game handshakes would endure.
This, while keeping in mind the NBA's reminder to players last week that avoiding high-fives and handshakes with fans would probably be a good idea.
It's an odd time to be an NBA player. Harris and O'Quinn are doing their best to keep things fun.
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