With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA season hasn’t gone as smoothly as hoped. Numerous games have been postponed and several players have missed time because of either testing positive for the virus or being in contact with someone who did. Even still, the league is attempting to push forward with plans to hold an All-Star in Atlanta next month, despite several players coming out against it.
Friday night gave us the latest pandemic-related ordeal, as Kevin Durant was ultimately forced to exit the Nets’ game against the Raptors due to the league’s health and safety protocols. Durant was initially held out for the start of the game, then later took the court, before once against being removed after officials determined that Durant had been in contact with an individual who recently tested positive.
He took to social media after the game to express his frustration in a series of incensed tweets, criticizing the NBA directly for what he sees as an inconsistent application of the league’s contact-tracing measures. After the game, James Harden told reporters that he and he rest of the team were likewise frustrated by the situation.
“It’s frustrating. … I don’t understand.”
James Harden was upset with the contact tracing situation involving Kevin Durant during tonight’s game.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 6, 2021
The Nets ended up falling to the Raptors, 123-117, marking their fourth loss in the last 10 games after putting together a nice string of victories. Harden has a point about the toll the pandemic has taken on the league as a whole, with so many games postponed and so many players in and out of the lineup for teams across the league and the difficulty of maintaining any kind of consistency or momentum amid all of that turmoil.
Yet, it’s unclear what a reasonable solution might be to any of the myriad problems that have cropped up, given that the league has been reluctant to pause the season or revisit the idea of a Bubble scenario. For now, it appears it will be business as usual for the NBA during a time when the world is anything but normal.