Pandemic shows wealth disparity among NBA teams

Photo: Trent Call (CC BY 2.0)

With the National Basketball Season put to a grinding halt by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, wealthier teams like the Utah Jazz or the New York Knicks have had an easier run getting COVID-19 tests for players and officials.

Players who tested positive to COVID-19 included Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz, Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, and Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics.

The owner of the New York Knicks James Dolan was also diagnosed with the illness.

The New York Times reported that only wealthier NBA teams have been able to access tests in the United States, where a severe shortage of tests has hamstrung the country’s fight against coronavirus.

Teams with “less financial means and often more severe symptoms” were not able to test for COVID-19 which, the New York Times reported, has “become a flash point in the wake of the season’s cancellation.”

The decision to halt the season was announced by NBA CEO Adam Silver and leaves the world’s top professional basketball league uncertain about when teams will return to play, or if play will resume at all in 2020.