After the game on Tuesday, Oklahoma City Thunder’s George Hill, Hamidou Diallo, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were each asked postgame on their thoughts on the new COVID-19 protocols that the NBA laid out Tuesday afternoon where the rules essentially became stricter.
Each player gave different answers in a situation where there is no correct one.
Hill would answer the question by being highly critical of the league’s logistics of tightening the rules in some areas but not acknowledging the fact that these players are sweating and playing each other for 48 minutes a game.
George Hill said if COVID is that serious then the league shouldn’t be playing.
“I’m a grown man, so I’m going to do what I want to do,” Hill said postgame. “If I want to see my family, I’m going to go see my family.”
Diallo and Shai seem to have the same mindset of doing whatever is necessary to keep playing the season and decreasing COVID-19 cases.
“For me personally, it’s what’s necessary and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this whole COVID thing,” Gilgeous-Alexander said after the game.
SGA on the new NBA COVID protocols: "For me personally, it's what necessary and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this whole COVID thing."— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) January 13, 2021
Diallo repeated those same sentiments after the loss against the Spurs.
“The rules are set,” Diallo said. “It’s either you follow them or you don’t. I’m for whatever as long as we can keep playing basketball.”
Hamidou Diallo on the new NBA COVID protocols: "The rules is set, it's either you follow them or you don't... I'm for whatever as long as we can keep playing basketball."— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) January 13, 2021
The NBA has been hit hard recently with COVID-19 positive tests and exposures, which has caused the league to postpone numerous games.
All three players bring up valid points and just goes to show how different a person’s answer will be based on their priorities and motivations. Some do not think it’s worth it and want to avoid not seeing their family again.
Some will do whatever it takes to keep this season going. And some will do whatever is necessary to continue this season and end the pandemic as soon as possible.
It is a very tricky situation for the league to be in as they attempt to balance the morally correct decision of stopping play and the financial incentivize decision of continuing play despite the pandemic worsening by the day in the United States.
My view on this is if the league is micromanaging the lives of these players and staff this much to the point where they are basically only allowed to go to the games and their hotels, then the games should not be played.
But I also understand that at the end of the day, the bottom line is the NBA’s top priority.
It is a very grey situation to be in where there are no correct answers as the league tries to hurdle through and complete their season during unprecedented times. Hill, Diallo, and Shai are all correct in their answers and each has the right to feel the way they do.