Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is one of four players of the National Basketball Association team to test positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Durant, the former league MVP, joined the team last summer to great fanfare and is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, publicly confirmed his diagnosis. The other three players have not been identified, but all four are isolated and are receiving medical care. Three of the four are currently asymptomatic.
“The organization is currently notifying anyone who has had known contact with the players, including recent opponents, and is working closely with state and health authorities on reporting,” the Nets said in a statement. “All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health, and maintain constant communication with team medical staff.”
Durant told The Athletic that is not exhibiting any symptoms and is observing the quarantine.
“We’re going to get through this,” he said.
The Nets’ players all getting tested, however, drew a sharp rebuke New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who said that Covid-19 tests that remain very hard to come by in the US should be reserved for more vulnerable members of society than young, healthy pro athletes.
“We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, and entire NBA team should NOT get tested for Covid-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested,” de Blasio tweeted. “Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”
The Nets’ positive diagnoses also show how the virus is spreading through the NBA, just as it is through the rest of society. The four Nets players join Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, whose positive test help set off the subsequent shutdown of the US sports industry, Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell, and the Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood as known positives.
The National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators, meanwhile, said late on March 17 they have an unnamed player on their team who tested positive and is showing mild symptoms, representing the first known Covid-19 case in that league.