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Kristaps Porzingis missed a coronavirus test on Saturday, and the NBA made him sit out Sunday;’s scrimmage. Brandon Wade/Associated Press

The NBA, like the NFL, MLB and other sports leagues, has pages and pages of instructions on how to keep players safe and the games proceeding uninterrupted during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But all the new rules come down to individual responsibility, as Kristaps Porzingis found out.

The Dallas Mavericks center forgot to take a coronavirus test Saturday on the team’s off-day inside the NBA’s Disney World bubble and had to sit out Sunday’s scrimmage against Indiana.

“He just forgot to get tested,” Coach Rick Carlisle said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “When that happens, for safety reasons, he’s unable to join the team the following day. He’s getting retested (Sunday) and I believe that he’ll able to rejoin us (Monday).”

Carlisle said the mistake was a simple slip-up and Porzingis isn’t the only player who has had a lapse. Paul Millsap of the Denver Nuggets missed his daily test Friday and was not allowed to participate in the next day’s scrimmage against New Orleans. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams began a 10-day quarantine in his hotel room Saturday after making what he said was a food stop at a strip club during a team-excused trip to attend a funeral in Atlanta late last week.

“(Porzingis) was very contrite and really felt bad about letting the team down,” Carlisle said. “Something like this is something that I think all of us can take as a cautionary tale. We’ve just got to remember that the details of the situation that we’re involved in are very, very important.”

Rules call for daily coronavirus tests, temperature checks and extensive monitoring, with players housed in luxury hotels isolated from the outside community. They must sit out games if they leave the campus without permission and are encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distance when they are not competing.

KYRIE IRVING is making sure WNBA players can sit out the season and not stress about a paycheck.

The Brooklyn Nets star is committing $1.5 million to supplement the income of players who choose not to play this season, whether it be because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons.

The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched Monday. It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS.

Irving said that with the help of WNBA players Natasha Cloud – who chose to sit out – and Jewell Loyd, he connected with several WNBA players who discussed with him the challenges they faced in deciding whether to play. The season began Saturday and will be played entirely at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

He decided to help with the financial burden in a league where the top annual salary is a little more than $200,000.

“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said in a statement.

 

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