Just when we were all getting back to concerts and happy hours and actually enjoying life again, Omicron pulled up and was like, “Let me get in on helping y’all spread some of this yuletide cheer.”
As a result, everything has gone to complete shit. And for those who believe otherwise, look no further than the wonderful world of sports for irrefutable evidence to the contrary.
Over in the NFL, aside from the fact that damn near everybody has COVID-19—including coaches and team personnel—games have been postponed too, because of course, they have. And over in the NHL, they’re so over this cranky-ass surge that they put their entire season on pause and are like, “We’ll deal with these bad-ass kids later.”
This brings us to the NBA, which thus far has suffered a fate similar to other professional sports leagues with rampant outbreaks, hardship exceptions, and its own slate of postponed games. But as ESPN reports, there also seems to be a civil war brewing, with teams accusing other teams of not following the league’s health and safety protocols and only looking out for their own best interests:
Other teams privately argue that not all teams have followed the protocols as strictly as others, or that not all teams test as often as others. Another GM said that if all teams were united heading into the Orlando bubble last year, the dynamics have now changed: Every team is out for themselves, trying to save their own seasons, fielding subpar ghost teams.
In its report, ESPN points to the Chicago Bulls as one team that’s ready to pull out its earrings and throw hands:
On a weekly league medical call on Dec. 14, one team health official said the Bulls expressed frustration that they had a number of asymptomatic player cases, with each required to be sidelined for 10 days. Given the urgency of their situation, the Bulls were testing everyone, but they asked, why wasn’t every other team doing the same?
The Bulls believed there were more asymptomatic players out there, and that the league, by not mandating daily testing, wasn’t doing enough to try and find them, a source said. To the Bulls, it felt unfair—that they were suffering from a competitive disadvantage.
To that end, there have also been team execs who are pushing for asymptomatic players to be eligible to play—which I personally feel is a terrible fucking idea because those players could then transmit the virus to others, who in turn could develop symptoms—but the NBA and NBAPA thus far are like, “YeahhhhhhNO.”
Expect the league to become even more strict (and uniform) in enforcing testing, social distancing, and other measures, because the last thing it needs is a civil war among franchises in the middle of a whole-ass global pandemic.