The NBA has enjoyed the fruits of its labor in the early days of the Orlando bubble, as there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus since the 22 teams arrived earlier this month. However, the league reportedly had a recent scare with a player from the Sacramento Kings.
According to Adrian Wojnarowksi and Marc J. Spears of ESPN, a Kings player returned an inconclusive coronavirus test on Wednesday and was forced to quarantine for two days while the team awaited additional test results.
Reporting with @MarcJSpears: The Sacramento Kings had a player test with an inconclusive result for Covid-19 on Wednesday, but successive negative test results Thursday and Friday are expected to allow for his availability against Spurs tonight. Player quarantined through today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 31, 2020
Organizations have feared inconclusive or “false positive” test results could play a role in the seeding games or playoffs, if a player is forced to sit out a game or more awaiting two negative test results in 48 hours in order to gain clearance for a return. https://t.co/hSGsX6GZfW— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 31, 2020
It’s incredibly on-brand for something like this to happen to the Kings just days before their regular season restart.
Not only have positive coronavirus tests limited the Kings’ roster through their mini training camp in Orlando, but they famously had their game against the New Orleans Pelicans canceled out of abundance of caution before the season was suspended. That’s just been their luck this season, I suppose.
Thankfully, everyone seems to be okay, and the Kings can focus all of their energy towards finally turning their luck around with a win against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. The New Orleans Pelicans dropped their restart opener to the Utah Jazz, so they have an opportunity to build an early lead and get closer to forcing a play-in tournament with the No. 8 seed on Friday.
The Kings aren’t at full-strength just yet — ironically because of a positive coronavirus test with one of their players — but they have enough talent on the roster to beat the Spurs, who are even more shorthanded than Sacramento is. The game will tip-off at 5 p.m. PT.