Two weeks later, the four Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive for the novel coronavirus are symptom-free, general manager Sean Marks said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
The team announced March 17 that the players had contracted COVID-19, although only one of them was experiencing symptoms at the time. The Nets did not name the players, but Kevin Durant told The Athletic that he was among the asymptomatic ones.
Marks also said the Nets’ traveling party has now completed a two-week quarantine.
“I think what I’m seeing so far from how our group — with (interim coach) Jacque (Vaughn) and his assistants — how they’re working through this and how they’re reaching out to players and their collaborative approach within the organization has been great,” Marks said, according to the Daily News. “I think it’s extremely important that everybody has not only my support but the owner’s support and front office’s support during this time. That’s our priority.”
The GM said there are no plans for the team to retest players. The initial tests drew the ire of Mayor Bill de Blasio who tweeted upon learning of them: “We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested. Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”
The Nets hired a private company to conduct their testing. More than a dozen NBA players have tested positive for the virus.
The NBA season has been suspended since March 11. The league is hopeful it can resume its season at some point and hold its playoffs.
Marks would not say if the extra time off might mean Kyrie Irving (should surgery in February) and Kevin Durant (Achilles surgery last June), both of whom had been ruled out for the rest of the season, might return. Marks said both players are continuing to rehab their injuries, but their progress could be slowed by the closure of the team’s practice facility.
"I couldn't give an answer on when they'll play this season," Marks said. "I don't think it's fair to those athletes nor the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things."
Marks also said the Nets are not currently conducting a search for a new head coach. Just days before the NBA shutdown, the team parted ways with Kenny Atkinson and named assistant Jacque Vaughn its interim coach.