New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't thrilled that NBA teams have gotten tests for the coronavirus before some sick patients receive that opportunity.
Following the Brooklyn Nets' announcement Tuesday that four players tested positive for COVID-19, including Kevin Durant, the mayor made his frustrations known.
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass issued a statement later Tuesday night addressing the situation.
"Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players' direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus," Bass said. He added, "Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others."
On Wednesday, commissioner Adam Silver was asked about NBA teams' quick access to testing, and he stressed that Oklahoma health officials urged the initial NBA test on Rudy Gobert and his teammates.
"The Utah Jazz did not ask to be tested," Silver told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "The Oklahoma public health official there on the spot not only required that they be tested, but they weren't allowed to leave their locker room for four hours after the game."
In addition to the Nets, other NBA squads have been evaluated for the virus since the season was suspended March 11, including the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors. The Los Angeles Lakers - who played the Nets on March 10 in their final game before the league's hiatus began - are reportedly set to undergo testing Wednesday, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
The Nets paid to be tested by a private company, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
There are currently 89 verified public health laboratories in the United States offering testing for the coronavirus, according to the CDC. As of Tuesday, there have been 4,226 confirmed cases stateside.