NBA Staying Active In Ongoing Fight Against Spread Of COVID-19
The NBA has been "active in the fight against COVID-19," working to "spread messages of hygiene, social distancing and mental well-being while their gyms and arenas are dark," according to Dan Woike of the L.A. TIMES. NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens said once the league suspended its season, it "just pivoted right away to what we could do to help." Behrens: "We're trying to put as much of what we're doing ... directly focused on this issue right now." Woike noted from the outset, the NBA had its stars "instruct fans on the importance of hand-washing before shifting the messaging to self-distancing, generosity and social well-being." Additionally, 13 current players have "video messages at the bottom of a coronavirus fact sheet on the NBA's web page" and at least six others have "participated in PSAs." Behrens said, "We've been hearing from guys who are like, 'What do you want me to do?' 'What can I do?'" (L.A. TIMES, 3/29).
MENTAL GAME: In Minneapolis, Chris Hine notes the T'Wolves are trying to "be there for their players and their families as they navigate this crisis." The T'Wolves have addressed the "physical challenge," as they have "sent players exercise equipment, given them workout routines they can do from home and helped players find living quarters that include basketball courts where they can at least take a ball and shoot." But there also is the matter of "making sure players are healthy from a mental standpoint." To do that, the team has been "leaning on the expertise" of VP/Performance & Technology Robby Sikka, longtime head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam and team psychologist Justin Anderson, who has been doing "video check-ins with players to help them cope with the psychological aspect of not playing." T'Wolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said that the team also has been "forming de facto book clubs and podcast clubs filled with literature and content on leadership and motivational talks to help keep players engaged" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/30). In Houston, Jonathan Feigen wrote under the header, "NBA Players Get Help For Anxiety, Stress During Coronavirus Pandemic" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/29).