Skip to content

NBA offers safety suggestions to players amid coronavirus threat

Issac Baldizon / National Basketball Association / Getty

The NBA is treating the growing coronavirus threat with care.

In the short term, the league recommends players use fist-bumps instead of high-fives with fans and avoid taking items such as pens, balls, and jerseys for autographs, according to a memo obtained by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.

If the coronavirus outbreak worsens, the pre-draft combine, international scouting events, and on-site workouts could become more limited or canceled altogether, Lowe and Wojnarowski report.

Players who contract the virus can expect to miss two weeks, one team medical official told Wojnarowski and Lowe.

"The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount," the NBA said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. "We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely."

Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum announced on social media over the weekend that he's temporarily stopped signing autographs after the first known case of COVID-19 in Oregon was confirmed Friday.

The National College Players Association has also expressed concerns for student-athletes, asking the NCAA to consider holding next month's NCAA Tournament games without an audience present.

The spread of the virus has resulted in multiple Italian soccer games being postponed and another taking place behind closed doors.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox