Philadelphia 76ers: How did the NBA allow this to happen?

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers (probably) won’t be playing anytime soon.

How did we get here? How did we get nine games into the 2020-21 NBA seasons and suddenly, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves patient zero of NBA’s first outbreak of the new year?

From what I gathered from the league’s COVID-protocol – and a solid assist from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne – players and staffers are supposed to be tested twice a day – presumably before they are allowed to take the court for shootarounds. Did Seth Curry take his test late? Were players somehow allowed to take the court – even ones who weren’t set to play due to ‘an ankle injury’ – sit down with assistant head coaches and superstar centers, and remain there well into the game before their test results came back?

Again, how was this allowed to happen?

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How did the NBA, in full knowledge of Seth Curry’s positive diagnosis, allow the Sixers to remain on the court for the remainder of the first half, let alone return to the court after the half. Did the players know that one of their own was sick? Is it worse if they did or didn’t?

And what about the Philadelphia 76ers? Why did they want to put their players back on the court when any one of them could have been exposed to Curry during the day? Do they have that little regard for the Brooklyn Nets, let alone their own players? Did Doc Rivers know? Did Steve Nash? Surely the news wasn’t magically broken mere moments after the game, as ESPN had a full-on article ready to go mere minutes after Woj’s initial tweet.

Surely that’s not a coincidence.

While no official statement has been made by the league or any of its well-sourced insiders, if the aforementioned COVID-protocol is to be believed, there’s no way the Sixers can play the Nuggets on Saturday. Michael Porter Jr. had to undergo a seven-day quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Will the entire Sixers traveling party have to undergo a similar fate, or will they instead have to “test negative twice at least 24 hours apart via PCR testing” to get back to the court as highlighted by the protocol?

No matter how you slice it, this is a bad, bad look for all parties involved.

Next. Back-to-back Joel Embiid is still a work in progress. dark

Look, I’m not naive. This was going to happen eventually, just like it did with the MLB, the NFL, and every league that hasn’t fully embraced a bubble. If it didn’t happen to the Philadelphia 76ers, it would have happened to someone else, and that could have inadvertently come back on the Philadelphia 76ers in one way or another. But either due to simple oversight or gross negligence, the NBA allowed a sick player to spend the better part of a half an hour on the bench next to his teammates and said teammates to finish out an inconsequential game for the sake of TNT tv ratings. While I’d like to think this wasn’t a case of conscious collateral damage for the sake of saving face, there are just too many red flags to say that with100 percent certainty.