The one constant with some of the recent health and safety protocols going on around the league keeps circling back to the Washington Wizards.
Paging Adam Silver. Hello? Anyone there.
The Washington Wizards have left a bizarre trail through opponents they’ve faced dealing with COVID protocols or quarantine just days after they played, yet the league did nothing to stop it.
The Phoenix Suns played Washington on Monday night in D.C., and one can only hope that they didn’t catch the bug that is consistently following the Wizards’ opponents everywhere they go.
The Wizards have canceled today’s practice after two players enter health and safety protocols, team says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 12, 2021
Along with that came an update later in the day from the Washington Wizards team account, indicating that two players were held out on the injury report before their game against the Utah Jazz. This isn’t the only suspicious news out of Washington though, as Bradley Beal missed the game before Phoenix due to “health and safety protocols” only to be cleared
Injury/status report for Wednesday’s #WizJazz:
Rui Hachimura (health and safety protocols) and Moe Wagner (health and safety protocols) are QUESTIONABLE.
Russell Westbrook (left quad) remains OUT.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 12, 2021
Plus an update from Woj.
Jazz-Wizards game on Wednesday postponed, league says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2021
Tracing the Wizards’ recent opponents
Who are the most COVID-impacted teams in the league, you ask? Let’s start with the last five opponents the Washington Wizards have faced.
Dec. 29th & 31st vs. Chicago Bulls: Chandler Hutchison, Tomáš Satoranský, Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono were all last active for the Bulls’ Dec. 29 win over the Wizards. All four entered the league’s health and safety protocol before a Dec. 31 rematch in D.C.
Jan. 3rd @ Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant exposed to someone with COVID on January 4th, has to miss 4 games due to protocols.
Jan. 6th @ Philadelphia 76ers: Philadelphia had to play a game with 8 players (7 healthy) due to Seth Curry’s positive test and exposure to the rest of the team with many entering health and safety protocols.
Jan. 8th @ Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum tested positive for COVID, plus many others including Jaylen Brown entered the health and safety protocols and the Celtics have had multiple games postponed.
Jan. 9th vs. Miami Heat: One Heat player tests positive, plus the following players were unavailable due to league protocols: Bam Adebayo, Avery Bradley, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Moe Harkless, Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Nunn and KZ Okpala.
Jan. 11th vs. Phoenix Suns: Cross your fingers, Suns fans.
If it was just a game or two, this wouldn’t seem like much on the surface as issues like this were expected and even prepared for by the league, but when the constant remains the same after this many contents, at some point the league needs to step in.
I’m not calling for the season to be cancelled, but a short delay to get certain items (and teams) in order could be for the best in the long-run so this doesn’t snowball into a long-term issue that cripples their chances of finishing the season without cramming too many back-to-backs in the the dead of summer.
Let’s hope this disturbing trend is discontinued after the Suns faced the Wizards on Monday night. Only time will tell, but Suns fans have every right to be fuming if the Suns get caught up in this storm of incompetence by the NBA.