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MITCHELL'S FIRST REACTION “I thought it was the FBI.”


The game was a bit late, but nothing unusual. Suddenly, men in suits ran on the court and started talking to the refs. Players tried to find out what was going on, but couldn’t hear anything. After the coaches had a quick talk with the refs, they signaled the players to go back to the locker room. Despite all the warnings, news of a virus spreading the world, and Rudy Gobert missing the game due to illness, no-one’s first thought was COVID-19.

“I thought it was the FBI.”

Donovan Mitchell, BR

It wasn’t the FBI; it was an assistant general manager and team doctor talking to officials, letting them know a player had tested positive for COVID-19. When the PA announcer started letting people know the game was canceled and ask them to leave, one phrase was stressed over and over again. “You are all safe.” They knew people’s first instinct would be much more dramatic, and panic could cause a lot of problems.

“At first, we’d heard from an Oklahoma City television reporter that law enforcement was on the way to help evacuate. Our first indication was, ‘Is this a bomb threat’?”

Sarah Todd, BR

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All this goes to show how naive and uneducated we all were. Avoiding all crowded places, particularly indoors, using a lot of hand sanitizer and face masks are normal now. Not long before Gobert tested positive, the NBA sent a memo to teams letting them know to “prepare to play games in empty arenas.” A few months later, the Orlando guide strictly prohibited playing doubles table tennis and getting rid of a deck of cards after every game. 

In a perfect world, we’d take scientists seriously a lot earlier than we do, but we know that’s not likely to happen. So thinking bomb threat and FBI is understandable on March 11th. But when Dwight Howard refuses to wear a mask in the bubble and gives his expert opinion on vaccination, as a graduate of the Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy high-school, we have a problem. 

Dr. Howard’s theory is that now everyone in the bubble tested negative, there’s no need for masks anymore. The fact Disney employees that work in the bubble are not staying in the bubble doesn’t seem to be a problem. 

This isn’t only irresponsible and symptomatic of a more significant issue in society. The NBA invested a lot of money and time in this, and if someone is so defiant in following procedure, they should be sanctioned. Howard already got a warning, so something a bit more punitive is in line.

Dwight Howard, proving once again that history isn’t life’s teacher. 

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