The NBA’s entire bubble restart plan is built on testing — upon arrival in Orlando, players are quarantined in their rooms until they pass two coronavirus tests 24 hours apart, then they will be tested daily. Commissioner Adam Silver was clear during the planning of the league’s restart that if the league were taking coronavirus tests away from hot spots and people who needed them, then there would be no restart. The league took its PR hit on that back in March when teams were tested while people wondering if they had COVID-19 struggled to get tests. It came off as preferential treatment.
Silver has nothing to fear on this front, tests appear widely available nationwide.
Getting the results for those tests, however, is a different story — nationally, labs are overwhelmed with the increase in testing.
The NBA is getting its test results back from a lab within a day (or two at most), while much of the nation is waiting a week or longer for those same results.
Is that the same ethical issue for the NBA as not taking tests away from people? NBC’s own Tom Haberstroh dove into the issue, noting the NBA has moved away from Quest Diagnostics as its testing partner in Florida and is now using BioReference Laboratories, sources told Haberstroh.