The NBA sent a memo to its teams Monday afternoon explaining its agreement with the National Basketball Players Association for health and safety protocols to govern the All-Star break, for players participating in the festivities and those who are not.
The memo, which was obtained by ESPN, states that players participating in All-Star Weekend are allowed to travel only to their out-of-market home before going to Atlanta. In addition, everyone traveling to and from Atlanta will do so by private transportation that will be provided by the NBA. Each player will have to have a negative PCR test on March 6 and 7 before participating in any of the All-Star festivities, and all will be allowed to bring a “limited” amount of family or close friends with them, though all will have to follow the same testing and travel protocols that the players will.
During their time in Atlanta, players and any guests they bring with them will only be allowed to be at the hotel or the arena.
For players not taking part in All-Star Weekend, they can either stay in their home markets or travel within the country, but are barred from staying in public accommodations, like hotels, if they do travel, and are not allowed to travel internationally. In addition, the current rules regarding bigger gatherings — for example, indoors with more than 15 people — remain in place, and anyone who either visits or travels with players during the break will be required to be tested.
Players who stay in their team markets can work out or do rehab at the team’s practice facility, while players who travel can still conduct individual workouts at private facilities, provided the league approves them.
Meanwhile, every player — whether they are headed to Atlanta or not — will have to undergo testing daily during the break, which is scheduled from March 5-10. It also says that all players will be required to rejoin their teams — either in their home markets or if they are meeting back up away from home to resume the second half of the season — two days before their team’s first scheduled game after the break.
In addition, for the first week following the break, teams are going to require the current game day testing regimen — which includes two PCR tests and one rapid test — each day, regardless of whether teams have a game that day or not. Each time the NBA has returned from a break — in June, before the start of the bubble, and in November, before the start of training camp — there has been a significant spike in cases discovered among players.