NBA: Three New Orleans Pelicans players test positive for coronavirus

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Jan 16, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) celebrates after scoring against the Utah Jazz with 0.2 seconds left in regulation at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Three New Orleans Pelicans players have tested positive for the coronavirus, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told reporters Tuesday.

Griffin, citing privacy laws, did not say which players tested positive, but he did say those players are in isolation. He added that the three tests took place when players returned to the facility last week.

“The league had a system in place that was designed to catch these cases. The system worked, and we’re going to deal with it the best we can moving forward,” Griffin said.

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“But from a basketball standpoint, I think you’re going to see COVID have an enormous impact on teams and even some of the teams that went into the bubble as a playoff seed. You’ve seen that Brooklyn has been really damaged by the COVID situation. So again, this is something where we’re all at the mercy of the same enemy.”

Last week, the NBA announced that 16 players had tested positive from the 22 teams set to play during the season restart in Orlando, Florida. Sources told ESPN the three Pelicans players were among those positive tests.

“We’ve had none since,” Griffin said. “We’re dealing with this as we go along.”

With regard to vulnerability to the coronavirus, Griffin, a cancer survivor, said he will join the team in Orlando but said the status of coach Alvin Gentry, who is 65, “is to be determined.”

Gentry, however, said Tuesday that he plans to be in Orlando.

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“My plan right now is to be with the team in Orlando, and I’m looking forward to it, really. I think as the season was put on hiatus, we were playing really good basketball. So hopefully we can get back to that. That’s why I’m not treating it, really, as a training camp; I would treat it more of picking up where we left off when the season went on hiatus,” he said.

The Pelicans sit 3½ games back of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. New Orleans’ season is set to restart July 30 against the Utah Jazz.

Source: ESPN

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