Nearly two years after the NBA postponed its season due to the onset of Covid-19 amongst players in the league, the pandemic continues to plague the NBA as teams continue to suffer from shortages in personnel due to health and safety protocol. As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, the NBA maintains that they will "trust the science" to guide them in managing the situation, but it seems as if things are starting to get out of hand. The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the many teams that have been hampered by health and safety protocols, with Sixers big man Joel Embiid dealing with a tough bout with the virus early in the season.
"I really thought I wasn't going to make it." - Joel Embiid.
Embiid is now back in action, but the Sixers continue to struggle with gaps in personnel. Philadelphia already started the season shorthanded due to the absence of all-star point guard Ben Simmons, but like the rest of the league, health and safety protocol is making an already challenging season even more difficult for Embiid and the crew.
"I thought last year there was great precautions in place and this year it was just all over the place and I just thought it was unprofessional and that's where we are now." - Joel Embiid.
The NBA continues to enforce health and safety protocols. Still, the protocol is only as good as those adhering to it. Embiid believes that he and his peers can do a better job of taking the necessary actions to help curb the rise of the number of players entering health and safety protocols in the league.
"We all got to protect each other. Whether it's wearing masks, making sure whatever you do outside of basketball, that you think about your teammates, their family or your own family." - Joel Embiid.
It's a shame that we continue to see players in and out of lineups due to the protocols, but unfortunately, this is the new normal in the NBA. 97% of the league is vaccinated, and until that number gets to 100%, players missing time and the postponing of games will be a regular occurrence. Unfortunately, we already miss enough opportunities to watch players due to injuries, so hopefully, the management of the Covid-19 situation by the NBA does not add to that as well.