The latest round of Covid-19 testing conducted inside the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) “bubble” at Disney World found zero positive cases out of 346 players tested, the league said on Monday.
In a brief statement, the NBA said the latest figures related to testing carried out since July 13, when results of the last wave of tests were announced.
“In the event that a player on the NBA campus returns a confirmed positive test in the future, he will be isolated until he is cleared for leaving isolation under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association,” it added.
On July 13, the league said that two players had tested positive for Covid-19 since arriving in Orlando, where the league is gearing up for its season restart on July 30.
However neither player had fully cleared quarantine and had not entered the NBA’s “bubble”.
The competition has been in shutdown since the pandemic’s outset in March, but teams will be playing exhibition games from today as preparations enter the final phase.
Russell Westbrook is unlikely to play in the first of Houston’s three scrimmages, but the Rockets are hopeful he will be integrated this weekend after the guard flew to Orlando on Monday.
The 2017 Most Valuable Player (MVP) announced last week he had tested positive for Covid-19, but he will be allowed to enter the “bubble” after he is quarantined for 48 hours and is cleared of the disease in two separate tests at least 24 hours apart.
He must also be cleared by a league-approved infectious disease physician and undergo cardiac screening before he can join his teammates.
His coach, Mike D’Antoni, is looking forward to his return, saying Westbrook will “give everyone a little pep in their step”.
The isolated nature of the “bubble” has so far worked, but being housed in a contained facility has left LeBron James pining for family.
His mother, Gloria, has remained in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, while the Los Angeles Lakers star has been in self-isolation – first in Los Angeles and now in Orlando.
“It was the first time I went that long in my life without seeing my mum,” he said. “That was extreme for me.
“Coming from a single parent household, being an only child… for me to be away from her that long (was difficult). My mum, she kept me sane because she said in due time we’ll join back again.”
He added that he was unfazed by news that this year’s Most Valuable Player award will be decided before the league’s restart, claiming he had proven himself in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
“There was a lot of conversation about ‘LeBron can do those things in the East, but if he came to the West, what can he do?’,” he said.
“I heard all of that. To be able to have our team at the top of the West and playing the way we were playing at that time and the way I was playing, that’s definitely a good feeling.”