Sheppard said the team saw no reason to bring an inactive player to the NBA bubble.
“Everyone in the NBA is very aware of how important it is that there is a very, very small group of people in that bubble,” said Sheppard. “… I don’t think it’s wise to have people on the team who aren’t playing just for the possibility of that extra exposure, whatever would be over there.”
As for Wall’s progress, the flagship guard of all the stars was clashing with the affiliate of the Wizarding League in March before the NBA closed in the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic. But when the gyms were closed, Wall’s progress naturally stalled.
The 29-year-old now works with Washington coaches in a routine similar to what he did last season.
“He had to go back – I’m not going to say it at the starting point – but he definitely lost all the basketball earnings he had made,” Sheppard said. “He was rejected because of all this.”
Meanwhile, Sheppard said, Wall is in contact with the SMS team and is participating in team-level Zoom calls.
It is not the only Washington pillar that will not participate in the restart of the Florida season: striker Davis Bertans was elected to participate in the big NBA experiment last week. Sheppard said on Monday that no other player has informed the team that he doesn’t want to play. Wizards have some players who have not yet arrived in Washington, but each player who is in the city has participated in regular individual training and coronavirus tests.
Wizards have not consolidated their 35-person travel list for Florida, but Sheppard said the team hopes to take some 15 or 16 players, eight coaches and seven medical staff members, as well as various team officials, including security staff and an athletic trainer. Sheppard will represent the team’s front office within the bubble.
Players and staff are tested on alternate days while in the District and will be tested the two days prior to their arrival in Florida on July 7th. When they arrive near Orlando, they will be tested again and quarantined in their rooms for 36 hours until they receive the results of that test. Team members will receive a second test 24 hours after arrival and, if both tests are negative, they can leave their hotel rooms.
“Entering the bubble will be a unique experience, being 36 hours in a row in the room and I think we are preparing for this. … After that, we will be tested on a daily basis, “said Daniel Medina, team leader for the care and performance of athletes.” The level of risk is about to be reduced, and this is ultimately what will allow people to interact in safely and surely allow you to have an early detection capability of any symptomatic case. “
Part of Medina’s job ahead of the reboot is to keep the numbers of coronavirus cases in Florida under control. The state has emerged as the epicenter of the virus in the past few days and has reported over 43,000 new cases from June 22 to Sunday, the highest number in a week-long period since the start of the pandemic.
Asked if he feels a basic level of concern over the resumption of the NBA in a new virus hot spot, Sheppard said he was confident in the league’s ability to keep teams safe.
“We are following the example of the NBA,” said Sheppard. “… We look at the numbers just like everyone looks at the numbers. It’s not about basketball, it’s about safety for everyone, right? We are very confident that this is the best information, the best situation we are going to, the best environment, the safest environment, otherwise we will not. The NBA will not allow him to move forward.
“We are still proceeding as indicated, as usual. So I don’t see any problems today. Going forward, unless someone tells us otherwise, is what we are prepared to do.”