Just under two hours before tipoff against the Phoenix Suns, Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. expressed concern about the reported coronavirus outbreak in Sacramento.
The Wizards played the Kings on Wednesday and later traveled to Arizona for their game against the 22-5 Suns. But once the Wizards left, there was an outbreak of positive tests in the Kings’ organization.
“It’s very concerning, honestly,” Unseld said before the Suns game. “We were aware of some positive cases (in the) early afternoon, I think that’s why they changed their shootaround schedule. But the league felt confident that the game should proceed. That’s all we can do is go on their recommendation.”
It is unknown how many players and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, as there remains concern about whether or not the team will be able to play the Grizzlies on Friday night.
The Wizards, for their part, were tested earlier Thursday and returned zero positives. Kyle Kuzma returned from COVID protocols for Wednesday’s game, as the Wizards had Kuzma and a team staffer test positive recently.
The team was tested twice a day in the midst of those positive tests, which produced zero further positives.
“Protocols are put in place, we’ve been testing for some time now with the cases that we’ve had,” Unseld said. “It’s not unusual, it’s not unique to our team. You look around the landscape of this league and this country, there’s been a dramatic uptick in cases, knock on wood, the severity of those cases and the rate of hospitalizations don’t appear to be as dramatic, but it’s still very real.”
Unseld said he and the rest of the team are mindful of who they’re around and will try to remain as cautious as they reasonably can during a time when every league in season is dealing with a host of positive tests.
“It’s very frustrating,” Unseld said. “I don’t know what the answer is, to be honest with you. I spent three months in the bubble. I get it. We have a job to do, we’re given this opportunity and this platform to do it. But at some point, there is a concern not only for your own personal safety, but the safety of your loved ones and friends and folks you have at home that you could potentially be, unbeknownst to you, bringing something to your house.”