NBA beefing up security to curb player hugs, handshakes


The NBA is reportedly expanding in-game security in an attempt to enforce coronavirus protocols designed to limit player contact before and after games.

The league on Wednesday informed teams of the new measure amid a series of virus outbreaks affecting several teams in recent weeks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The beefed-up safety plan calls for adding team security to the mid-court area to "dissuade violations," the story said.

It was unclear whether casual player interaction such as pre- and postgame hugs, handshakes and small talk played a role in any of the outbreaks, but the league has apparently observed players continuing to flout guidelines that were installed recently as the virus continues to wreak havoc in the US and elsewhere.

As well, the league memo reminded teams and players to remain on their half of the court during pregame and halftime warmups, according to Woj.

The league this week announced 11 new positive cases of coronavirus, out of 502 players tested. Wednesday's Portland-Memphis game was the latest postponement owing to positive tests, contact tracing, or teams having too few players to field a lineup.