Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni speaks out on new NBA protocol for coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak in the United States, among other countries, has caused a severe cutback in media availability along with new protocols in the NBA along with many other major sports leagues in North America. Besides members of media disallowed entry in locker rooms pre- and post-game now, the NBA has also set a perimeter of up to eight feet between players, coaches, and reporters when the third group does have an opportunity to speak to the first two camps. It’s a new world for Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, still adjusting to the reality of the NBA ongoing operations while the U.S. scrambles to control the contagious virus.
D’Antoni spoke to the slightly separated media on Tuesday evening, answering questions including the possibility of fans barred from spectating in NBA arenas during games (via the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen).
Mike D’Antoni, on the podium, on the new NBA protocols: pic.twitter.com/I7mUxhdW8f
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) March 10, 2020
The NBA season’s slate of games without fans in attendance is beginning to turn into a reality for teams, players, and coaches, who may have to scale back for only “essential” personnel in the arenas in order to limit contact of germs and potentially the coronavirus from spreading between individuals.
The Rockets head coach laughed at a question about playing in front of no fans or very few, but what’s not funny is the situation in Italy, where D’Antoni played professionally for 13 years in Milan before turning to coaching.
The southern European nation has been locking down cities with millions of residents staying at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus and, in addition, saw sporting events like professional soccer continue without fans in attendance.
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