NBA tells teams to reinforce need to wear masks; penalties range from fines to removal from bubble, per report


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The NBA’s bubble experiment inside Disney World has been a success so far. There have been zero positive COVID-19 tests since the initial arrival and quarantine period, and the first full day of seeding games has been off to an exciting start. However, they need to stay vigilant to make sure that remains the case.

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To that point, the league has reportedly contacted teams to tell them to reinforce the need to wear masks during their next meeting. They were also reminded that penalties for not wearing masks range from fines and suspensions to possible removal from the bubble, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein

It’s unclear what prompted the league to emphasize the necessity of masks, but there have been a few troubling incidents in recent days. 

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An unnamed Sacramento Kings player returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test and was only cleared to play after testing negative multiple times after the fact. Toronto Raptors forward Terence Davis, meanwhile, posted COVID-19 conspiracy theories on Instagram and has purposefully cut a hole in his mask in an apparent protest. And Jimmy Butler is being held out of the Miami Heat’s game for an unknown reason. The team claims it is a day off, but Jae Crowder was quoted as saying, “We want to talk to him as soon as he gets out of quarantine and whatever he’s in.”

Earlier in the process, Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard was reported for not wearing his mask, and of course, there was the strip club incident with Lou Williams while he was outside of the bubble. 

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While everyone seems to be safe and healthy right now, this virus has proven to be unpredictable and highly contagious. As Major League Baseball’s situation has shown, it doesn’t take much for things to spiral out of control. Wearing a mask seems like the least everyone can do to try and make sure that doesn’t happen, and hopefully, everyone will get the message when teams reiterate it in the coming days. 

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