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COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Resurgence Hits Mavs, Sports World Again

By Dorothy J. Gentry
Sports Editor

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd poses for a portrait during the Dallas Mavericks media day, Monday, September 27, 2021, at American Airlines Center in Dallas. / Photo Credit: Jeffrey McWhorter / Special Contributor

COVID-19 – which never really went away – is back in full force with a new variant that is raging through families, cities, towns, states and unfortunately the locker rooms of professional sports franchises yet again.

Here at home, four Dallas Mavericks players and two assistant coaches have entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Maxi Kleber, Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock and Josh Green all missed Tuesday’s home game at American Airlines Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Also in the protocols are assistant coaches Darrell Armstrong and Jared Dudley.

The team, already dealing with injuries to star Luka Doncic (who has missed the last five games) and the absence of Kristaps Porzingis and Willie Cauley-Stein, made several emergency 10-day hardship contract signings just to have enough players to put on the court.

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Dallas has signed Charlie Brown of Delaware’s NBA G-League team, George King from the G-League’s Agua Caliente Clippers, and free agents Marquese Chriss and Theo Pinson.

Head Coach Jason Kidd lamented the decimation of his team but said the key is to remain positive and learn to deal with something that is not going away.

“We are trying to do the best we can to stay away from each other but also understand that we have a job to do, and that’s to go out there and find a way to win,” he said. “We must be positive. We have to accept this situation. It’s not going away.

We have to adapt.”

The NBA has been one of the hardest hit professional sports leagues by this latest Covid surge. As of Tuesday afternoon, through about eight days, more than 80 players had entered COVID health and safety protocols, prompting the league to postpone seven games over the past week as the Omicron variant sweeps throughout the world.

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However, even with the rising cases among players, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in an ESPN interview Tuesday said the league does not plan to suspend its season.

“We have of course looked at all the options, but frankly we are having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now,” he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

“As we look through these cases literally ripping through the country, let alone the rest of the world, I think we’re finding ourselves where we sort of knew we were going to get to over the past several months, and that is this virus will not be eradicated, and we’re going to have to learn to live with it. I think that’s what we’re experiencing in the league right now.”

The virus is also affecting other pro sports; the National Hockey League (NHL) announced Monday that it will begin a league-wide shutdown Wednesday as it sees an increase in positive COVID-19 results among its players. And the NFL has also struggled with rising cases in its leagues causing the rescheduling of several games.

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Dorothy Gentry is the sports editor for the Texas Metro News.


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