TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are improving their health and safety protocols in response to the rising number of coronaviruses in the league, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
Among the most significant changes: The league and union are working to finalize a plan to return to daily testing for players and coaches, at least in the short term, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday under cover. anonymity because nothing had been finalized or publicly announced.
Fully vaccinated players have not needed daily testing this season. The league and union were already set to start daily testing on Friday for those who have yet to receive recalls, and can now simply expand those plans.
The league said about 97% of players are vaccinated, and just over 60% of them are boosted. But there were 33 players known to be in league health and safety protocols Wednesday night, as well as two head coaches – Rick Carlisle of Indiana and interim Sacramento coach Alvin Gentry – and a certain number of other staff.
Among the big players currently excluded: Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee and James Harden of Brooklyn. The league has postponed two games this week involving the Chicago Bulls, who currently have 10 players, a league-high, in protocols.