Two Warriors test positive as workouts delayed

    Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

Two Golden State Warriors players have tested positive for COVID-19, president of basketball operations/general manager Bob Myers said Tuesday.

“As players have entered back into our market, two players have tested positive after they’ve re-entered,” Myers said. “I don’t think this is unexpected with all the guys coming back in from (outside the) market. It kind of proves that the protocols and testing are working. That was the whole point to catch these things before we began.

“As a result we’ve been delayed one day so we’re going to start our individual workouts (Wednesday) and then the official kind of camp where they’re going to be practicing and everything together I believe will start on Monday. Obviously, I can’t disclose the players (who tested positive) per CBA and HIPAA rules, but I wanted to get that out, get in front of that so everybody on the call knows that we’re actually officially starting 1-on-0 stuff tomorrow and then Monday we begin with the increased activities. That’s all per the NBA protocols, which I’m learning a lot about.”

Myers said he has been in contact with executives in other sports to see how they’ve handled the uncertainty surrounding an unprecedented season during a pandemic. The Warriors did not participate in the NBA’s bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, after finishing with a league-worst 15-50 regular-season record.

“(Warriors co-owner) Peter Guber obviously went through (this past season) as an executive with the Dodgers,” Myers said. “I’ve talked to the (San Jose) Sharks GM Doug Wilson about how they might prepare once they get going, (San Francisco 49ers GM) John Lynch. But more just in an overarching way. How do you move through this? What’s your advice? … Just kind of how do you navigate all the uncertainty?”

Myers believes the Warriors will be able to start their season at home on schedule, which is notable given the Niners had to move two home games later this month to Glendale, Arizona, because of a ban on contact sports in Santa Clara County.

“At this point in time, clearly the Santa Clara County decision made us think about those things,” Myers said, while discussing potential contingency plans should San Francisco County enact a similar order. “Have not heard from the city of San Francisco that they’re going to implement anything like that at this time. Have not heard that we’re going to be put in that type of position.

“This is a very fluid world right now. Sports are a part of it, just like our lives are all a part of it. If we need to make adjustments at some point, we will. Just like they’re doing. At this point in time, we’re not being told anything like that.”

Like Myers, Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding how the new season will play out.

“We can’t control the environment like the league did with the bubble,” he said. “We’re going into this thing with our eyes wide open. I talk every day with (Warriors president) Rick (Weltz) and Bob about our COVID protocols, the latest updates from the league, latest updates from our training staff, what’s happening. As far as my confidence level, I’m confident that the league is going to do everything in their power to do things the right way and to protect us, protect the players and the staffs.

“Then who the hell knows? I mean, it’s 2020. I think we just have to go into it with an open mind and do our best and see what happens.”

Both Myers and Kerr tried to keep an open mind regarding how things may play out in the future.

“The truth is that nobody has the answers to these questions,” Myers said. “I think the key really is the testing, if I had to say something I’ve learned is appropriate accurate testing as often as possible. Other than that, being smart and really kind of understanding there’s going to be bumps in the road. And understanding that (this process) is not going to be smooth and seamless. Not today, not tomorrow, not in a day, not in a month, maybe in a while.

“We’re all trying to move through this the best we can. And sort of talk to other people in sports that are moving through it can be helpful and make sense. I know the league executives talk to the other league executives, so I’m sure that factors into a lot of the decision making.”

The Warriors weren’t alone on having a positive test.

Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday that his team has seen one player test positive, and Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said center Mo Bamba — who tested positive several months ago — is still “a ways away” from being ready to play again.

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