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Two Lakers, Celtics’ Marcus Smart test positive for coronavirus

The Celtics announced that one player had tested positive and that he was asymptomatic. Marcus Smart said in a video posted to Twitter shortly thereafter that he had tested positive.

“I was tested [five] days ago and the results came back tonight, which were positive,” Smart, a 26-year-old guard, wrote on Twitter. “I’ve been self quarantined since the test, thank goodness. COVID-19 must be taken w the highest of seriousness. I know it’s a #1 priority for our nations health experts, & we must get more testing ASAP.”

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that three unidentified members of their organization tested positive. Their statement did not clarify whether the positive tests were players or other team employees. The Denver Nuggets also announced that one unidentified member of their organization tested positive.

All told, NBA teams have announced that 10 players have tested positive. The publicly identified players are Smart, Gobert and Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Christian Wood (Detroit Pistons) and Kevin Durant (Nets).

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that individual teams were following the advice of public health professionals in testing their players, defending the practice because players are so-called “super spreaders” because they work in close quarters, travel regularly and are often in large groups in public.

In defending her constituents, National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts blamed testing shortages on the federal government.

“They were responsible for making sure we were protected in that regard, and I think they failed,” Roberts told ESPN.

Josh Sharfstein, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins and former FDA official under President Obama, encouraged NBA players to come forward after testing positive to warn the general public about the coronavirus.

“Rather than get caught up in a back-and-forth over testing, I’d love to see their stars be used as evangelists to young people about what the real priorities are,” Sharfstein said. “It’s not brave to just say you have covid-19. You’ve got to spread the message about washing hands, not going out in groups, the core things that slow the spread.”

Smart, Gobert and Mitchell all filmed videos about the coronavirus.

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