The list of players currently dealing with the NBA’s health and safety protocols climbed toward 100 on Wednesday, as uncertainty continued to mount about the availability of some of the league’s biggest names for the Christmas quintupleheader.
Another two games were called off, pushing the total virus-related postponements so far this season to nine. And Dallas star Luka Doncic was added to the protocols list, a strong indicator that he may not be able to play when the Mavericks face Utah as part of the NBA’s five-game Christmas lineup.
“It’s unpredictable, right? You just don’t know,” Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony said. “What we’re dealing with, it’s bigger than basketball. It’s bigger than that.”
Wednesday’s Toronto at Chicago game was postponed, as was today’s Brooklyn at Portland game. The NBA said neither the Raptors nor the Nets have enough eligible players.
Through Wednesday evening, based on team injury reports or similar disclosures, there were 95 players from 22 teams dealing with a virus-related issue. It is important to note that players can enter and exit that list quickly in some cases, some teams do not release updated numbers except when mandated by league rule, and not everyone on the list has tested positive for COVID-19.