NBA ends practices as more players catch coronavirus

Two Los Angeles Lakers players have tested positive for coronavirus, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.

The players have not identified themselves.

The news arrives on a day that saw multiple NBA teams announce positive tests for COVID-19.

Celtics G Marcus Smart tests positive

Shortly after the Lakers news broke, the Boston Celtics announced that one of their players tested positive for COVID-19. Marcus Smart followed up that announcement with a Twitter post confirming that it was him.

“I’m OK. I feel fine,” Smart said. “I don’t feel any of the symptoms. But I can’t stress enough practicing social distancing and really keeping yourself away from a large group of people. Just really washing your hands — and help protect yourself and help others by protecting yourself.”

76ers announce 3 cases

The Philadelphia 76ers announced earlier Thursday that multiple members of their organization including players, coaches and staff were tested, producing three positive results. The team did not designate who tested positive or what their roles with the team are.

The 76ers announced that the tests were administered under the advice of medical experts and the NBA.

Nuggets announce positive test too

The Denver Nuggets also announced that a member of their organization tested positive for COVID-19.

Like the 76ers, the Nuggets declined to identify what role that person has with the team.

NBA bans players, staff from facilities

With more positive tests surfacing, the NBA sent a memo to teams on Thursday directing them to shutter practice facilities, according to the Associated Press. Previously, players were allowed to work out at training facilities under a “one player, one coach, one basket” rule, according to the report.

Now the doors are closed, and players will be required to work out on their own at home or in a private facility. The memo also reinforced the use of social distancing protocols and discouraged players from leaving home for anything other than essential activities like buying groceries.

The Lakers joined a growing list of NBA teams either confirming or reported to have positive COVID-19 cases. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Lakers joined a growing list of NBA teams either confirming or reported to have positive COVID-19 cases.

NBA criticized for COVID-19 testing

The NBA has come under fire recently for using coronavirus tests as the general population struggles to gain access to testing amid the pandemic. Commissioner Adam Silver defended the league’s use of testing on Wednesday, telling ESPN that public health officials have advised testing in some cases.

Other coronavirus cases in NBA

The Lakers, 76ers and Nuggets are the latest teams to be stricken with the coronavirus. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive, prompting the league to immediately suspend its season last Wednesday. His teammate Donovan Mitchell later tested positive.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Earlier this week, the Brooklyn Nets announced that four players had tested positive. Kevin Durant later identified himself as one of those players. The other three players did not identify themselves.

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Wednesday that nobody in their organization tested positive.

Silver confirmed on Wednesday that eight NBA teams had undergone coronavirus testing.

Yahoo Sports