Kings close down practice facility after another member tests positive for COVID-19

Stockton Kings guard Cody Demps gets air during a photo shoot at media day at the King’s practice facility in Sacramento in 2019. 

 

Days before departing for Florida, the Kings have canceled individual workouts at the team facility after another member of the organization tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Kings shut down their Golden 1 Center practice facility after a member of the team’s traveling party tested positive Sunday, a league source told The Sacramento Bee, confirming a report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick. The Kings have called off Monday and Tuesday workouts and are not expected to reopen their facility before the team leaves Wednesday to resume the season at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, the source said.

At this point it’s unknown whether the person who tested positive Sunday is a player, coach or staff member. Kings guard Buddy Hield, forward Jabari Parker and center Alex Len previously tested positive for COVID-19. Kings coach Luke Walton discussed the positive tests results and offered an update on those players in a Zoom call with reporters last week.

“You don’t want anyone to get sick, but if you’re trying to find a bright side, if you test positive now, most likely, from what I can tell, you’ll be ready to play by the time games come around in Orlando,” Walton said. “All three of those guys are reporting doing much better. We’re doing testing every other day, and for those guys we either send medical staff to them or they’re doing kind of a drive-by testing where they don’t even get out of the their car at the facility.”

Under the NBA’s health and safety guidelines, any player who tests positive must quarantine and produce two negative tests results before receiving medical clearance to make the trip to Florida. Protocols also require players who test positive to refrain from exercise training for a period of two weeks from the date of the first positive test or the resolution of viral symptoms, whichever date is later.

Under those guidelines, any player who tests positive will be out a minimum of 14 days before he can participate in practice or games. A player who tested positive Sunday would not be allowed to practice until at least July 20, two days before the Kings hold their first scrimmage against the Miami Heat.

Players were required to report to team headquarters June 22 to start mandatory individual workouts and regular COVID-19 testing. Only four players were allowed in the practice facility at a time until Wednesday, when teams were allowed to bring up to eight players into the building at a time.

The Kings are one of 22 teams that will converge on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning Tuesday to prepare to resume the NBA season July 30. Everyone who enters the bubble will quarantine in hotel rooms until they produce two negative tests results more than 24 hours apart.

Earlier Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Milwaukee Bucks were shutting down their practice facility after at least one person tested positive. The Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets have all taken similar steps to close their facilities in response to positive test results since individual workouts began.

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