According to the LA Times’ Andrew Greif, Clippers center Ivica Zubac has yet to arrive in Orlando. The number of Clippers players who did not travel with the team’s traveling party on Wednesday is mounting, as Zubac joins star forward Kawhi Leonard, sharpshooter Landry Shamet, and backup forward JaMychal Green as players who did not make the original journey to enter the NBA’s bubble.
While other Clipper absences have been given clear reason, there has been no explanation reported as to why Zubac was unable to travel with the team on Wednesday. Leonard and Green are each tending to family matters, with reports indicating that Leonard would arrive in Orlando Friday evening while Green would make his own arrival on Sunday. Shamet tested positive for COVID-19 and is awaiting the required protocol of a quarantine, two negative tests, and clearance from a physician before traveling.
Greif did note that Zubac will arrive “eventually.” When he does, he will have to undergo the same quarantine period that his teammates did upon their arrival. If traveling by charter flight or driving, he will have to quarantine in his hotel room on the NBA’s Disney World campus for up to 48 hours while registering two negative coronavirus tests. If he choses to travel by commercial plane, the requirement is three negative tests. At that point, he will be able to join the team in practice.
The Clippers’ Orlando play kicks off with the first of three “scrimmage” games on July 22nd, and the regular season resumes with “seeding games.” The headliner match-up for (re-)opening night features the Clippers against their cross-town rival, the Los Angeles Lakers. Teams play eight seeding games before the playoffs begin on August 17th, with the latest possible NBA Finals Game 7 being played on October 12th.
During “bubble” plans like the NBA’s, entrance is the most perilous time for the bubble’s viability. Once players and staff are safely inside and have registered consistent negative test results for about a week, the likelihood of an outbreak resulting from an unknowingly infected person’s arrival is slim. While Ivica Zubac has yet to arrive in Orlando, there is no reason to believe Zubac–or any Clipper other than Shamet–is sick, but the entire NBA will certainly breathe a sigh of relief once each team’s entire roster has made it to Orlando and safely entered the bubble.
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