Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill appeared to take issue Tuesday with the NBA’s health and safety protocol to mitigate the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
After the Thunder’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, said he didn’t “understand” some of the rules that were put into place. He said it didn’t make sense to him that they could play side-by-side for 48 minutes but the league prohibited socializing with each other in the postgame. The league also bars teams from having non-team guests on the road, with no traveling outside the hotels either.
“I’m a grown man. I’m gonna do what I want to do. If I want to go see my family, I’m going to go see my family,” Hill said, via ESPN. “They can’t tell me I have to stay in a room 24/7. If it’s that serious, then maybe we shouldn’t be playing. But it’s life; no one’s going to be able to just cancel their whole life for this game.”
The NBA had to postpone several games over the last 10 days as teams have faced issues with the coronavirus. Players and coaches must also wear masks while on the bench.
“It’s what’s necessary, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this COVID thing,” Hill’s teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander told reporters. “If it means I have to wear a mask on the bench the whole time, it is what it is and I’m gonna do it. I want to get back to normal living, and whatever it takes to get back, I’m going to do it.”
The NBA announced Wednesday that there have been 16 new positive coronavirus cases since Jan. 6. There have been 497 players tested during that span.