May 2, 2020 / 8:51 PM / 23 days ago

Teams worried about coronavirus affecting older staff

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an NBA logo at an NBA exhibition in Beijing, China October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

The NBA will have to decide who is considered essential game staff should play resume amid the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN reported.

One of the concerns weighing on NBA teams is the age of people typically deemed essential to a team, such as a member of the coaching staff or a general manager, or whether they have a preexisting medical condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified people 65 or older or people of any age with an underlying medical condition as being more susceptible to COVID-19.

“Based on all the information that we have today, probably people over 60 with preexisting conditions can’t go, for sure, no matter what their titles are,” one unidentified general manager told ESPN. “Whether it’s a father of the star player or whether it’s the general manager of the team, they can’t go there.”

Currently, there are six NBA head coaches who are 60 and older, with three 65 and older: Alvin Gentry, New Orleans Pelicans, 65; Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets, 68; and Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs, 71.

Who will be determined essential will lead to tough choices and the potential for hurt feelings, but general managers told ESPN medical staff likely won’t be cut.

“The one area you don’t want to skimp on is the medical. The coaching part of it, you could probably get by with a head coach, that’s it,” one general manager said.

As of Saturday, nearly 1.1 million people in the United States had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, with 64,283 deaths.

—Field Level Media

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