There are very few non-basketball things players are required to do while inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World.
Showing up to get tested for COVID-19 — which is the only reason the bubble exists in the first place — is one of them.
That, however, slipped Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel’s mind this week, making him just the latest in the league to land in a one-day quarantine.
Nerlens Noel in quarantine after forgetting test
Noel forgot to take his coronavirus test this week, Thunder coach Billy Donovan announced on Tuesday. As a result, Noel missed their final scrimmage on Tuesday night and has to quarantine for a day before he can rejoin the team.
"Nerlens is extremely remorseful," Donovan said, via The Oklahoman. "There's times I've been in my room and been like, 'Oh my God, I forgot to test,' and I've gotta run down there and test.
“These days kind of run together so to speak and you're kind of doing the same thing every day. You've got your practices, you go into the meal room and sometimes it can slip your mind. If your test is not necessarily right around practice, it could be a little later in the day, you could forget."
Noel was averaging 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds mainly off the bench for the Thunder this season, his sixth in the league, when play was suspended in March. The 26-year-old is on a one-year, $2 million deal with Oklahoma City.
Noel is one of several players who have forgotten to get tested. Both Denver Nuggets star Paul Millsap and Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis forgot their respective tests last week, forcing them to each miss a scrimmage.
The Thunder will resume play on Saturday against the Utah Jazz with a 40-24 record, the fifth-best in the Western Conference. While the rest of the regular season will naturally draw most of the focus in the coming weeks, Donovan knows how important it is for his players to keep showing up to get tested.
“We’ve gotta all be responsible and make sure we’re getting that done,” Donovan said, via The Oklahoman.
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