The San Antonio Spurs are dealing with a coronavirus outbreak among four players, the NBA said Tuesday, meaning the team will not play until the middle of next week at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms — whose city was picked to play host to the NBA All-Star Game and skills competitions on March 7 — raised major concerns about the notion of fans coming to the city for the events.
“People should not travel to Atlanta to party," she said.
The NBA on Tuesday postponed five more games: the next three for the Spurs — at Cleveland on Wednesday, at New York on Saturday and at Indiana on Monday — as well as the next two for the Charlotte Hornets while contact tracing is completed.
The Hornets were scheduled to play host to Chicago on Wednesday and Denver on Friday. Their games are halted because they were the last team to play the Spurs, losing to them on Sunday. The league is reviewing data to see if any Hornets may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, a process that takes time.
Charlotte’s next possible game is now Saturday at home against Golden State, in what would be Warriors guard Stephen Curry’s annual return to North Carolina, where he grew up. San Antonio’s next planned game is Feb. 24 at Oklahoma City, meaning the Spurs will have more than a week between contests — as Washington and Memphis did earlier this season when affected by the virus.
Charlotte coach James Borrego said “there's no indication that anybody" on the Hornets' roster is positive for COVID-19. But the Hornets finished their game with the Spurs with just eight available players, and Borrego confessed that he doesn't know what his roster will look like if Saturday's game goes on as scheduled.
“The league is doing everything they can to gather information and even more information," Borrego said. “They're going to watch us over this next week and make sure we're OK. I think that's really where it starts."