Fred VanVleet: NBA’s COVID-19 Protocols Trying to ‘Plug Holes in a Sinking Boat’ | Bleacher Report


Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet isn’t bothered by the NBA announcing stricter protocols in response to a COVID-19 outbreak, though he doesn’t know how effective it might be as new cases continue to show up across the league. 

“It does feel like trying to plug holes in a sinking boat,” VanVleet told reporters Wednesday. “… [I’m] just [trying to] continue to be optimistic and positive about it because it’s not changing anytime soon. So either get with the program or stay home, and I’m at work today.”

The NBA has postponed seven games as a result of its health and safety protocols, including six in the past week and three scheduled for Wednesday, per ESPN.

As a response, the NBA released new rules limiting interaction between players on game days and restricting movement outside of games. Players are required to remain in hotels on the road or stay in their residence at home with the exception of essential functions.

“We’re human,” VanVleet added. “We’re human and we all have different emotions and different feelings about it, and you feel different about it everyday. If you ask me today, I’m not terribly upset about any of the things we have to do. It kinda is what it is at this point.”

Other NBA players have had a harsher response to the restrictive rule changes.

“No one’s going to be able to just cancel their whole life for this game,” Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill said Tuesday.

The league was able to avoid the spread of COVID-19 during the restart last season because all teams remained in a bubble in Orlando, Florida. It has clearly become a greater challenge to begin the 2020-21 campaign.