2 Bulls coaches test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the NBA Playoffs
2 Bulls coaches test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the NBA Playoffs

2 Bulls coaches test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the NBA Playoffs

As Chicago Bulls preparing for the first round of the NBA Finals, two of the team’s assistant coaches have tested positive for COVID-19, according to head coach Billy Donovan.

Chris Fleming and Damian Cotter both went into the NBA’s health and safety protocols this week. Fleming’s case has kept him out of all the Bulls’ preparatory practice, which dates back to Tuesday, while Donovan heard about Cotter’s positive test on Friday morning. None of them travel with the team to Milwaukee on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s game 1 between the Bulls and defending champion Bucks.

Donovan said both of his assistants feel “fine” and have only experienced mild, cold-like symptoms.

“I think they feel like I did,” Donovan said, referring to his positive test in late December. “I was very lucky that my symptoms were not too severe. I think when they talk to Chris and Damian, both of them guys feel – you know, they have colds? Yes. Do they feel like they could come here? and do their job? Yes. So I do not know how long it will last. “

That is truly the question. None of the coaches will be on the bench for Match 1, but Donovan said it is too early to speculate about their availability beyond that. Their approval from protocols will depend on league-sanctioned tests. Until then, Fleming and Cotter will continue to attend coaching meetings over Zoom, as Donovan did when he entered minutes earlier in the campaign.

What about the rest of the team? Donovan said he has not received any word on improved testing measures. But they tread carefully.

“It’s a concern for everyone,” Donovan said. “You try to be as safe as you can, as much as you can, but it’s a bit – I do not know if it (cases) goes up again, but it’s definitely a challenge.”

The Bulls, a fully vaccinated team, have not faced a lack of COVID-19-related challenges this season. A total of 18 Bulls players have entered minutes this season, plus Donovan and other assistants at Mo Cheeks, Josh Longstaff and John Bryant.

Now would obviously be an inappropriate time for further problems to emerge. Stick around.

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