With the NBA looking for solutions to resume competitive activities during the new coronavirus pandemic, teams have been working on scenarios for potential games with only the essential people involved. Something that has been a concern for managers, above titles or responsibilities, is the advanced age of some coaches and their commissions.
According to a report by the American ESPN, which heard several franchise managers, one of them highlighted the advanced age of his trainer and some people on his committee. A general manager, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he would be uncomfortable having to put these people at risk if matches are resumed.
“I don’t want to put them in complicated situations,” said the leader. Older people are considered a pandemic risk group and have been a constant victim of covid-19. According to the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 65 are at greater risk of dying from the virus and should be better preserved.
Another general manager, who also did not identify himself, also expressed his concern about people with chronic diseases. “Based on the information we have to date, people over 60 with pre-existing conditions cannot go, for sure, no matter what their titles are,” he said. “Even if you are the father of a star or even if you are a general manager of a team, they cannot take any chances.”
The NBA currently has six coaches aged 60 and over. Are they: Dwane Casey (from the Detroit Pistons, aged 63), Mike D’Antoni (from the Houston Rockets, aged 68), Rick Carlisle (from the Dallas Mavericks, aged 60), Terry Stotts (from the Portland Trail Blazers, aged 62), Alvin Gentry (from New Orleans Pelicans, aged 65) and Gregg Popovich (from San Antonio Spurs, aged 71).
But the problem is not just the main commanders. Several other employees of the technical committee and so working behind the scenes of the teams are classified as a risk group. “I care about these people,” said the first official interviewed by the report. “This is an exhibition that I think we cannot handle.”
Although it still has no plans to return with the regular season, the NBA is already beginning to set new dates due to the stoppage of the 19-hole. The league was one of the first entities in the world to take action, and even for almost two months without games, it already has some plans, such as starting the next season in December and the postponement of some events related to Draft.