7:04 P.M. (EASTERN TIME).
Chicago Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison tested positive for COVID-19, said coach Billy Donovan.
He’s staying in D.C., where the Bulls beat the Wizards on Thursday. The Bulls took on Friday night against the Bucks in Milwaukee and lost 126-96.
He’s reviewing security and NBA protocols, Donovan confirmed that.
Hutchison’s teammates Lauri Markanen, Ryan Arcidiacono and Thomas Satoransky also missed Friday’s game because they are subject to the health and safety protocol of the competition. The trio went back to Chicago.
Donovan initially announced Thursday that the Bulls would be in Washington without four players and that those players would not travel to Milwaukee because of the NBA health and safety protocols. Donovan then announced that Hutchison tested positive on Friday after approval of the Bulls organization.
There are just a lot of drawbacks, to be honest, and that’s the way the world works, Donovan said. It’s a completely different environment. I really didn’t know what to expect when I took this job, but I also didn’t know what to expect when I went to Orlando on the bubble.
Chicago was faced with the coronavirus at the start of the 2020-21 season when striker Noah Vonleh tested positive in the preseason before being released. Satoransky ran out of time in December due to a mandatory nine-day quarantine for close contact with Vonleh. Striker Luke Cornett and bi-directional guard Devon Dotson spent the preseason in quarantine with excused absences. Garrett Temple also reported that he tested positive in November.
Donovan said four members of the Bulls coaching staff will attend the game on December 26 against the Indiana Pacers, but he will return for the next game against the Golden State Warriors.
It’s complicated. Like I said, it’s not normal, Bulls playmaker Kobe White said. Of course it’s not normal, but we knew from the beginning that this would be the case. VIDOC is real, and we know that whoever you are, it affects everyone. So you can’t help yourself. You can get it any way you want, so you can’t accuse him of that. He’s just adjusting.
Bucs coach Mike Budenholzer and star striker Giannis Antetokounmpo believe the recent situation with the Bulls is a reminder to be wary during a difficult season.
We’ve seen multiple teams dealing with multiple players defying security procedures and protocol, and every time you see that, your first thought probably isn’t your team or your group, Budenholzer said. It just reminds you to be diligent. The competition has always made our health and safety a real priority and will continue to be a success for the season and ensure that nothing serious happens to the team or a player.
Antetokounmpo added: You can’t force us to stay in the room, but if you leave, it’s at your own risk. You have to be smart enough to take care of yourself, because in the end it’s not just about you. It affects us as a team, and it affects our families, so we have to call each other to account. That’s true, but we’re doing the right thing. I think the union’s doing the right thing. Let’s hope that in a month, two months, three months, everything will be okay again and that we can look at this COVID-19 and put it behind us.