Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill had strong words regarding the NBA’s new COVID-19 protocols.
The 2008 first-round pick spoke out after the NBA announced stricter guidelines to combat the spread of coronavirus.
“I’m a grown man. I’m gonna do what I want to do. If I want to go see my family, I’m going to go see my family,” Hill said. “They can’t tell me I have to stay in a room 24/7. If it’s that serious, then maybe we shouldn’t be playing. But it’s life; no one’s going to be able to just cancel their whole life for this game.”
George Hill expressed frustration with the NBA's stricter health and safety protocols.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 13, 2021
The new guidelines say players, must avoid extended socializing, they can not leave their hotel room when they’re on the road, and they can not interact with non-team guests at the hotel.
“We wanna play the game … but I don’t understand some of the rules,” said Hill.
Players are now required to wear a face mask on the bench at all times, and coaches and staff have to wear a face mask at all times during a game.
Pre-game locker room meetings are now restricted to a ten-minute maximum.
“It’s challenging, obviously, not being used to all the protocols and all the rules, but for me personally, it’s what’s necessary,” Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this COVID thing. If it means wearing my mask on the bench the whole time, then it is what it is, and I gotta do it.”
The NBA has experienced an increase in players testing positive, with several teams having to cancel games due to a lack of eligible players.
Wednesday’s Jazz-Wizards, Tuesday’s Celtics-Bulls, and Monday’s Mavericks-Pelicans’ games were all postponed due to COVID-19.
Life outside the bubble has proven to be more than challenging for the league.