What is Health and Safety Protocol in The NBA?

Ryder Ruppe, Staff Writer

Even if you are an NBA Superstar, COVID is still a huge problem in your life. Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the problems the league is having are not as major as they were in March 2020. Adam Silver, the league commissioner, has told ESPN that there are no plans to put the NBA on pause. If a player does contract COVID-19 they will enter “Health and Safety Protocol.” This has recently been shortened to where a player that has tested positive may return in as little as six days if they are asymptomatic and pass the required tests.

Every team in the NBA has suffered from their players being placed into Health and Safety Protocol, but to keep from having to postpone games team’s are now able to sign players out of free agency to a 10-day hardship deals. This has been a great thing for fans because many players are coming out of retirement or getting their second chance for these 10-day deals. A fan favorite player and previous MVP candidate, Isaiah Thomas, has gotten his second chance in the league with 10-day deals from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks. In the five games he has played since since his return, the 5’9″ point guard has averaged 8.6 points per game and 2 assists per game, a positive for the teams that need extra players and himself.

The players signed from these 10-day contracts aren’t just old players. Many players from the NBA’s G League have gotten their call-up during this time. Since the season began on October 19th, 2021 there have been 105 call-ups. This doesn’t even count the numerous two-way players that have their right’s owned by a NBA team already that are getting playing time in NBA games recently.

While it may not be very fun to watch a NBA game where the best two players are out, it is a great thing that the league can continue during these hard times. A big reason why teams are optimistic to complete all 82 games this season and why fans are allowed to attended these games in full capacity is because of the vaccine. 97% of all NBA players are vaccinated. It is good to see the league almost back to normal.