LOS ANGELES — Preparing for the Los Angeles Lakers wasn’t the only thing on the 76ers’ agenda during Monday’s practice.
Kevin Johnson, the team’s head athletic trainer, met with the players to discuss the coronavirus epidemic. Johnson explained what the disease is and how to try to avoid it. The meeting came after the league sent a memo to all NBA teams about the coronavirus.
“The health and safety of the employees, teams, players and fans is paramount,” the league said Saturday in a statement to the media. “We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus, and continue to monitor the situation clearly.”
According to Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, the virus often originates in bats but may travel through another species en route to infecting humans.
The disease has killed more than 3,000 people globally and infected close to 89,000. The majority of cases and deaths are in China. However, it has killed six people in the state of Washington.
“Basically we just talked about how to prevent it,” swingman Glenn Robinson III said of Monday’s meeting. "With me, Al [Horford], Alec Burks, some of the concerns are we have young kids. We have little daughters. I know that’s a big concern for me. Their immune system is not up to speed. I’m not a scientist. I don’t know enough about it, but I know that’s a big concern for me.”
Robinson’s daughter, Ariana, is a 2-year-old in daycare. He noted that children that age are constantly sick.
Johnson told the players to constantly wash their hands and to do fist bumps instead of handshakes or high-fives. He also told them to avoid using fans’ pens for autographs.
Robinson’s second tenure with the Sixers has yet to be impactful.
The 6-foot-6 swingman is trying to figure out his role, and struggling to make three-point shots since coming to the Sixers via a Feb. 6 trade from the Golden State Warriors. In eight games with the Sixers -- including four starts -- Robinson is averaging 5.3 points and 15.3 minutes. He has also missed all 10 of his three-point attempts.
He averaged career-highs in scoring (12.9) and minutes (31.6) with the Warriors. He was also shooting 40% on three-pointers.
“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time, from the city to the new spot, new teammates, new coach,” Robinson said of adjusting. “So it’s just one day at a time for me.”
His first tenure in Philly began when the Sixers claimed him off waivers in March 2015, two days after he was waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played in 10 games with the Sixers, averaging 10.4 points. Robinson signed a free-agent deal with the Indiana Pacers after that season.
As expected, the Sixers announced that Josh Richardson will not play against the Lakers after injuries forced him to leave Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The shooting guard suffered a nose contusion early in the second quarter when teammate Alec Burks backed his head into Richardson’s face. It was announced after the game that Richardson also has a concussion and was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
Under the concussion protocol, the subject has to be symptom-free for 24 hours, then go through a number of benchmark steps before he can return to play. Technically, the quickest it should take to clear protocol is four to five days after symptoms are resolved.