Pels’ Williamson voice confidence in NBA as league confirms positive tests
By Agence France-Presse
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson said Thursday he trusts the NBA to keep players safe when play resumes next month as the league announced 25 players have tested positive for coronavirus.
“I trust the NBA,” Williamson said in a video conference. “In the bubble, we’re going to be in a safe environment.
“It’s crazy, man,” the 19-year-old added with a shake of his head. “We’re actually about to go. It’s a lot to process for sure. But I am excited.”
The NBA shut down the 2019-20 season on March 11 after Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
The NBA plans to resume the season on July 30 with 22 teams conducting games without spectators in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Teams are set to travel to Orlando next Tuesday through Thursday to conduct training camps and scrimmages from July 9-29.
The league has ramped up COVID-19 testing in the last week preparation for the restart and the league and players’ union said Wednesday that 25 players have so far tested positive.
Those results are from 351 players tested since June 23. Of 344 players tested between June 24-29, nine were positive for coronavirus.
Tests of 884 team staff members from June 23-29 showed 10 coronavirus positives.
Any player, coach or team staff member testing positive must remain in self-isolation until meeting public health protocols and receiving clearance from a physician.
Seedings games, eight for each team, are set to begin July 30 with the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz facing the New Orleans Pelicans.
After those contests complete the season, and following any play-in games that might be needed, the NBA playoffs are set to begin August 17 with the NBA Finals set to begin on September 30.