As the fallout from the coronavirus continues across the NBA, the Suns’ home game against the Hawks has been postponed, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
UPDATE 1/13: Suns report that Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors is postponed as well.
UPDATE 1/14: A third Wizards player tests positive, still no Suns are positive but games cancelled anyway due to exposure/contact tracing. Saturday’s Indiana game now in serious jeopardy but nothing official yet.
In a subsequent tweet, Woj indicated the decision from the league comes at least in part as a result of contact tracing in the days since the Suns took on the Wizards on Monday night.
Contact tracing with Phoenix players is a factor because Suns played the Wizards on Monday, per sources. Wizards have positive tests on roster. https://t.co/C8DUWVOQxs— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2021
That was confirmed by Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Hawks have been told contact tracing (Phoenix recently played Washington) is the reason for the postponement, source confirms.— Sarah K. Spencer (@sarah_k_spence) January 13, 2021
And then officially announced by the NBA shortly after.
This is Day 23 of the NBA season— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 13, 2021
The league's SEVENTH coronavirus-related postponement: Atlanta at Phoenix tonight pic.twitter.com/wLSawWEFA5
To go back in time a bit, many team outbreaks, including the 76ers, Heat and Mavericks, have hit around the time those teams played Washington. While that 100 percent could just be a coincidence, the bug finally hit the Wizards over the weekend, as Bradley Beal was forced into the health and safety protocol after prolonged exposure with Jayson Tatum.
Still, Washington played its game against the Suns on Monday night in D.C. even with Beal in the lineup. None of the Wizards sat for health and safety protocols. They all played.
First thing the next morning (Tuesday), both Rui Hachimura and Mo Wagner were also placed into the health and safety protocol. By mid-day, Washington’s game against the Jazz had been called off.
That clearly sounded the alarm bells for the Suns, who were obvious potential close contacts of both players after each played in Monday’s game.
Now, the Suns are stuck in limbo while they test and re-test everyone who was in the traveling party for the Washington game and cross their fingers that nobody has been infected.