The National Basketball Association reportedly sent a memo to each of the league’s 30 teams this week informing their players, coaches and staff they are not permitted to attend a Super Bowl party outside their own home this Sunday in an effort to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus within the NBA.

Teams that are traveling are prohibited from leaving their hotel to watch Super Bowl LV, according to the league-wide memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

The directive stipulates that for those players and staff on the road, watching the game in a “pre-arranged, private area” with up to four family members or friends, who have been tested in advance, is permitted.

At home, individuals can watch with members of their household.

The league dealt with numerous Covid-19 outbreaks within several teams last month. Over a 17-day stretch, from Jan.10 through Jan.17, a total of 21 games were suspended due to players either testing positive or being forced to quarantine due to contract tracing. Encouragingly, cases have decreased over the past two weeks, with the NBA announcing that just one new player tested positive between Jan. 20 and Feb. 3. Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci urged Americans not to attend or host Super Bowl parties with anyone outside their home. “Watch the Super Bowl on TV, enjoy it, have a party in your house with your family,” said Fauci, one of the country’s top infectious disease specialists and President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor. “As difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it,” Fauci added.

“I love watching it,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told the AP. “I definitely like that atmosphere year to year, and a lot of times if you do have it on the road, you can have a big team activity and enjoy the game together. But this is obviously different.”

20%. That’s the percentage of Americans that plan to participate in a “virtual party,” such as a video call or an online chat with friends or family during this Sunday’s Super Bowl, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult.

Many prominent players were irked by reports this week that the NBA and the Players Association were working toward an agreement for an All-Star Game to be played on March 7 in Atlanta. Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox said it was “stupid” to consider playing an All-Star game during a pandemic. Most notably, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James slammed the league, saying he has “zero energy and zero excitement about” playing in a relatively meaningless exhibition game this year. A frustrated James stated he was “not very happy” about the planned All-Star festivities and went so far as to call it “pretty much kind of a slap in the face.”

One In Five Americans Plan To Attend A ‘Virtual’ Super Bowl Party, Survey Says (Forbes)

Fauci Warns Against Super Bowl Parties: ‘Just Lay Low And Cool It’ (Forbes)

LeBron James: All-Star Game Is A ‘Slap In The Face’ (Forbes)

NBA tells teams to exercise caution when watching Super Bowl (AP)

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