ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Another NBA season with strict COVID-19 safeety protocols in place is here for Fred VanVleet. The Rockford native is in Tampa with his Toronto Raptors teammates going through training camp.
Monday the Raptors announced that three members of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19, but through contact tracing measures they believed everyone else on the team was in the clear and camp was allowed to continue.
Unlike this past season, the NBA has not put all of its teams in a bubble. Teams, with the exception of the Raptors, will be playing games in their own arenas. The Raptors can’t play in Toronto. The Canadian Government won’t allow travel back and forth from the United States.
VanVleet told reporters Sunday he’s hoping for the best in terms of getting this NBA season in as scheduled and he’ll be ready for anything.
“For better or worse I’m just going to roll with it and see how it goes. Obviously put the safety of everybody first, myself included and my family.” “I think the NBA is definitely trying to cover all their bases and make sure that it’s a safe environment for us. I don’t have great expectations about that. I think it’s going to be tough to do, but this is what it is and we’ve got to try to do as best as we can.”
VanVleet says he expects players to police each other to ensure protocols are being followed, but only up to a point.
“Yes and no. I think if you’re next to somebody and they’re being a little bit reckless with it, but at the end of the day this is becoming a polarizing topic and people have their own beliefes and their own way of living and the thing that’s being pushed aside in all of this is the other health factors and mental health, so obviously Covid is a giant and it’s very dangerous, but it’s not stopping all the other problems of the world. People are dealing with things in real time, so we’ve got to be understanding of that. Obviously if guys are being reckless or careless I’m going to say something, but aside from that I think that’s what the testing every day is for.”
VanVleet says if players or coaches do test positive for Covid-19 that shouldn’t be held against them.
“You can’t turn getting Covid into an indictment. You can’t turn getting Covid as you did something wrong. Nobody understands the full dynamic of what’s going on. Now if you’re going to a pool party at night and nobody’s wearing masks that’s one thing, but if you have to go to the grocery store or you have family in town and you get it you get it. That’s how it goes.”