Will Some NBA Coaches Be Prohibited From Their Own Bench?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Will some NBA coaches be prohibited from joining their teams on their own bench? According to a report from ESPN, the league wants team personnel to submit their personal medical histories before traveling to resume the season in Orlando, Florida. A panel of physicians would review the documentation to assess the risk factor for those who plan to join their teams at The Walt Disney World Resorts.
The reports could put the availability of the leagues older coaches, or personnel with at-risk immune systems in jeopardy. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, and New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry are all over the age of 65.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults 65 years and older are at higher risk for severe illness. Team’s playing without their head coach could be at a competitive disadvantage when the games return.
Reporting with @ZachLowe_NBA: NBA team personnel are expected to submit personal medical histories to a panel of physicians who would review their individual risk of serious illness due to any spread of COVID-19 in the league's Orlando bubble. https://t.co/C9aUuf6ttt
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2020
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver previously said some coaches may not be able to sit close to their teams. During an interview on TNT, Silver said prohibiting coaches was for their own safety.
“When it comes to actual play, we’re not going to want them that close to players in order to protect them,” Silver said.
However, the Commissioner admitted he may have jumped the gun when discussing the league’s health protocols.
Utah Jazz Coaching Staff
According to ESPN, after consulting with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Florida, the league couldn’t prevent coaches from joining their team based solely on their age.
Regardless of the league’s decision, the Jazz are unlikely to be affected by any age restrictions. None of the coaches on Snyder’s nine-man staff are over the age of 65. Snyder turns 54 in October.
— NBA Coaches Assoc. (@NBA_Coaches) October 30, 2019
However, any coach with an at-risk immune system could potentially find themselves barred from joining their teams. Furthermore, coaches who are at a higher risk of infecting others could be prohibited.
The CDC labels asthma, chronic kidney or lung disease, diabetes, liver disease, and several other common illnesses as risk factors.
Ultimately, the league may abstain from prohibiting coaches from joining their teams, regardless of age or health status. According to ESPN, the findings by the panel of physicians could serve as a recommendation, rather than an actual ban.
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