Aware of the potential for virus-related problems that can arise from attending even small gatherings, the NBA issued guidance Saturday to tell players, coaches and other employees that they cannot go to a Super Bowl party outside of their own. homes. And if they watch the game with other people, they have to keep the guest list basically just for family members.
Teams spending Sunday on the road will not be allowed to leave their hotel to watch the Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, according to the memo obtained by The Associated Press. Under certain circumstances, it is allowed to watch the game in a preset private area with a small number of family members who have been screened, the NBA said.
There are five games on Super Sunday: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat at New York Knicks, Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics at Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings at LA Clippers. Everything will start between 1 pm and 3 pm ET, which means it would all end before the start between the Chiefs and the Buccaneers. Some of those visiting teams could fly to their next destination during the Super Bowl. Washington plays Chicago on Monday night, and the Wizards hope to arrive from Charlotte by halftime of the Bucs-Chiefs game.
“I love watching the game,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. “I love being a part, but this year is obviously different. It’s not like we’re having a Super Bowl party. I definitely like that atmosphere year after year, and a lot of times, if you’re on the road, you can have a lot of activity at team and enjoy the game together. But obviously this is different. ”
The Heat plan to be in the air for at least part of the game, flying home after their showdown with the Knicks. In recent years, while on tour, Miami has delayed flights or made other arrangements for a team meeting on Super Bowl day, but not this year.
The league had 27 players test positive in a two-week span of January, a period in which the NBA expected the numbers to rise after the Christmas and New Years meetings.
Those results, combined with other players who missed games because contact tracing showed they may have been exposed to a person positive for the virus, were the reason 21 games were postponed between January 10 and January 27. Since then, test results have been trending in the right direction, with only one new player testing positive in the results published by the league between January 20 and last Wednesday.
But the virus remains a major concern, as most recently demonstrated by the contact tracing situation that hit Kevin Durant of Brooklyn on Friday night. The Super Bowl plan is designed to avoid more potential contact tracing mistakes as a top priority.
Clubs are instructed not to host Super Bowl meetings in person at team facilities. Having people together for that long would violate the league’s stricter protocols that went into effect last month and will remain in effect at least until next week.
Super Bowl LV: How to watch Chiefs vs. Bucs by ESPN Deportes