Report: NBA tells players, coaches and staff to keep Super Bowl parties to a minimum amid pandemic

Chris Cwik
·2 min read

NBA players, coaches and staff can still watch the Super Bowl with some friends, but not without restrictions. The league reportedly will not allow staff to gather outside their homes to watch the Super Bowl, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

If staff is at home, the league has permitted them to watch the game with members of their household. Players, coaches and staff on the road are allowed to host up to four visitors at the team hotel, but every individual needs to undergo COVID-19 testing first.

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The league’s stance mostly follows Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommended guidelines for the big game. On Wednesday, Fauci warned against football fans hosting Super Bowl parties, saying fans should watch the game with members of their households. The NBA’s policy does stray from that if staff is on the road, though it’s possible staff could invite household family members to the team hotel. Those family members still may have to travel, however, which could pose a risk of COVID-19 exposure.

NBA still plans to hold All-Star Game

The NBA’s COVID-19 policy has come under fire after the league and NBPA agreed to host an All-Star Game this season. Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James both blasted the idea, with James calling it a “slap in the face.”

Fox and James don’t see the logic is players following strict COVID-19 protocols during most games, but then throwing that all away to travel to the All-Star Game in March. James also mentioned the short turnaround this offseason. James’ Lakers only had 71 days to rest after winning a championship. James planned to make up some of that rest over the All-Star break.

He may still get his chance to do that. The NBA will reportedly allow players to opt out of the All-Star Game this season. That hasn’t been the case in the past, where players can face a fine for not taking part in the event.

Fox and James have reason to worry about whether an All-Star Game is a good idea. The NBA has already postponed 23 games this season as a result of COVID-19 concerns.

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