Dec 14, 2021 - Sports

In a 2021 first, NBA postpones Bulls game

A photo of a basketball player.
Zach LaVine looks on against the Miami Heat on Saturday in Miami, Florida. LaVine entered the team's COVID-19 health and safety protocol on Sunday. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The NBA postponed tonight's game between the Bulls and the Detroit Pistons at the United Center and Thursday's game in Toronto against the Raptors due to COVID-19.

Why it matters: The Bulls are amidst the worst COVID outbreak in the NBA this season with 10 players and two broadcasters in health and safety protocols, all of whom are reportedly vaccinated.

  • The Bulls petitioned the league for the postponement, but it wasn't until yesterday afternoon that the league responded.
  • The Chicago Department of Public Health had concerns and that played a part in the NBA's decision, per ESPN.
  • It's the league's first postponement this season.
  • The NBA's deadline for players to be boosted is December 17.

State of play: More than half the team has entered health and safety protocols over the past two weeks, including stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.

Origin story: The Bulls played the Charlotte Hornets on November 30th. Later that week, the Hornets announced five of their players had entered COVID-19 protocols.

Outstanding questions: Are the 10 players in health and safety protocols vaccinated? Boosted?

  • Do the players and staff follow safety protocols while traveling?

What they're saying: According to Bulls broadcaster Stacey King, he was scheduled to get a booster the day he tested positive.

  • "I don't wish this on anyone! No telling how I might have felt if I wasn't fully vaccinated."
  • The team did not respond to our requests for comment on the player's vaccination status and other questions.

What's next: The games will be made up later in the season.

  • The next game on the schedule is Sunday against the Lakers at the United Center.
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