OKC Thunder among 8 rosters tested – Mayor Blasio criticizes testing strategy

OKC Thunder: Steven Adams #12 guards Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz during an opening night game (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Steven Adams #12 guards Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz during an opening night game (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Adam Silver confirmed the OKC Thunder plus seven teams tested for COVID-19 while New York’s Mayor queried why the wealthy are ahead of ill patients awaiting tests.

On Wednesday the OKC Thunder announced the COVID-19 test results all thankfully came back negative. Yet, news of another full team testing their players despite four positive results including former Thunder player Kevin Durant elicited quite a strong response from the Mayor of New York.

The tweet from Mayor Bill de Blasio caused quite a commotion. The Mayor criticized the Brooklyn Nets (and the wealthy in general) being able to test an entire NBA team (and staff) while critically ill patients await testing due to a lack of available tests.

There are reasonable arguments on both sides of this equation. Some teams confirmed the use of alternative sources (private labs?) instead of State resources. Specifically, the Nets and Thunder confirmed that was their route. As for the other teams that information wasn’t provided.

In an interview on Wednesday evening, NBA Commissioner addressed his comments regarding de Blasio’s tweet with a politically correct answer. Silver noted it was the Oklahoma State Department of Health who insisted on testing the Utah Jazz once Rudy Gobert‘s results came back with a positive result.

He further stated eight NBA teams have conducted full roster tests and individuals on teams who’ve shown symptoms.

Besides the Jazz, the first teams that confirmed testing their entire roster were the OKC Thunder, Raptors, Celtics, and Pistons all teams who played the Jazz (or in OKC’s case were exposed to them). The Nets weren’t one of the teams who recently faced the Jazz but presumably when a number of their players tested positive it prompted testing the entire team.

Since the positive result of Pistons forward, Christian Wood was made public Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted the 76ers tested their team on Monday. In addition, the Lakers were set to test their squad Wednesday following the four Nets positive tests since LA was the last team to play Brooklyn. Presumably, those are the eight teams Silver is referencing (again the Jazz, Thunder, Raptors, Pistons, Celtics, Nets, 76ers and Lakers).

Other teams might also be testing soon given exposure to the Pistons or Jazz. Under those circumstances, those teams could be:

Played Jazz in March:

Note: Raptors, Celtics, Pistons already tested.

  • March 4th: Knicks
  • March 2nd: Cavaliers

Played Pistons (since they played Jazz):

  • March 8th: Knicks
  • March 11th: 76ers (tested on Monday)

Now that four players have tested positive on the Brooklyn Nets there may be other teams besides the Lakers being added to the list. Here are the teams the Nets recently played:

Played Nets in March:

Note: Celtics already tested and Lakers advised Wednesday they’ll test team following disclosure of four positive results of Nets players.

  • March 4th: Grizzlies
  • March 6th: Spurs
  • March 8th: Bulls

The Knicks would’ve seemed like a logical team to test given they recently played both the Jazz and Pistons. However, the franchise announced they have not tested but are monitoring the players as per national health officials’ advice.

The Warriors wanted to test their roster but couldn’t due to the lack of available tests in California as per Anthony Slater’s tweet.

Warriors General Manager Bob Myers said the team is treating themselves like any other citizen or public company.

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However, there are some who believe the players getting tested due to their close proximity and physical contact makes their situation different. And,  the fact, seven players, from such a small sample tested positive warrants the testing.

Moreover, five of those players being asymptomatic helps to increase the younger generation’s understanding of how anyone can contract the virus and spread it to others.

Then again, that knowledge can’t spread widely enough or fast enough given hordes of University Students ignored Canadian health officials warnings to not celebrate St Patricks Day in Kingston, Ontario.

One student in the video from the above Global News article did say after the NBA suspended the season it gave him pause which is an indicator of the reach the league has.

Or the throng of College Students who headed to Florida for Spring Break. As per Sophie Lewis of CBS News:

"In a news conference Tuesday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all bars and nightclubs to close effective at 5:00 p.m. for 30 days. He also recommended that the state’s 12 public universities require distance learning for all students through the end of the semester."

Unfortunately, it’s the elder portion of the population and those with pre-existing illnesses who are in the most jeopardy if they contract COVID-19.

Hopefully, the younger segment of the population will fast track buy-in to the serious nature of the spread of the virus tending to come from people who are asymptomatic.

Have a safe and healthy day!

Next. NBA 2020 Mock Draft 1.0 – Options abound for Thunder. dark

For more information on the coronavirus please note the following sites:

Oklahoma State Department Help Center: 877-215-8336.  (Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays:  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Oklahoma State – dedicated coronavirus site: click this link
The World Health Organizationclick this link 
Centers for Disease Control and Preventionclick this link