Much like a vaccinated Chris Paul testing positive for COVID-19 last June just before the Western Conference Finals playoff series for the Phoenix Suns, now a vaccinated Devin Booker is facing the same protocols just before training camp to kick off the 2021-22 season.
While science shows that vaccination reduces the chance of needing hospitalization for COVID, it does not stop a person from contracting the virus entirely. The victim generally feels fewer symptoms and often does not even realize they are COVID-positive. But in the NBA, COVID-testing is a near-daily occurrence.
Last June, All Star point guard Chris Paul tested positive for COVID-19 just after dominating the Denver Nuggets and before the conference finals. He missed the first two games of the series before receiving consecutive negative tests, at least 24 hours apart. When he returned he appeared to be a step slow, though that’s just my eye test at work. He did shoot terribly for three games after returning but that could have been as much about injury (he had surgery on his wrist after the season ended) as anything else.
Now the Suns have reported that Devin Booker, who had just returned to Phoenix in the last few days and was tested for COVID as part of the league’s health and safety program, has tested positive for the virus.
The Suns did not mention any other players having tested positive, so you can surmise that all the other players on the team tested negative.
Booker’s absence from the team is indefinite but is unlikely to last more than 10 days after the positive test, the timing of which we are not exactly sure. Friend of the blog, Flex from Jersey reports that this has been known for a few days now.
That's the news I couldn't share last week on the Flex Appeal with @Saul_Bookman @Espo @LindseySmithAZ @GeraldBourguet Booker is Vaccinated and should be back with the team as soon as he clears all the proper Health and Safety protocols similar to the CP3 situation. Not worried— FLEX From Jersey (@FlexFromJersey) September 26, 2021
Again Devin Booker is in the NBA Health and Safety Protocol. It's that simple! He is Vaccinated and is following all the rules set up by the League/Team while in the Protocol. Standard procedure at this time and in this environment. This team will be fine to start training camp. pic.twitter.com/cRMn4zETzG— FLEX From Jersey (@FlexFromJersey) September 26, 2021
Still, the Suns return the head coach, most of the coaching staff and all but one rotation player from the team that nearly won a championship. Booker is unlikely to fall too far behind due to missing a few days of camp.
In fact, his absence will allow newcomer Landry Shamet to acclimate to the playbook and style with more reps in camp.