The NBA, along with MLS, major league baseball and the NHL will be limiting access to the media due to the coronavirus.
Locker room access will be limited to only players and essential team personnel. The athletes will still be able to be interviewed, but not in a locker room setting.
The four leagues issued this joint statement on Monday evening.
“After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These temporary changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow’s games and practices.
“We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment.”
The 76ers had off on Monday but will have media availability after practice on Tuesday. At the Sixers Camden practice facility, the press never enters locker rooms and conducts interviews in open areas.
The press has been able to enter locker rooms for pregame and postgame interviews at the Wells Fargo Center, so the new limitations will impact coverage for Wednesday’s game against the Pistons.
The Professional Basketball Writers Association issued the following statement in support of the NBA’s decision:
“The coronavirus poses a serious health threat to everyone. The Professional Basketball Writers Association believes the safety of fans, players, team employees, arena workers and the media who cover the league must be protected. Our thoughts are with all people who already have been adversely impacted by the virus.
“Therefore, we understand the NBA’s decision to temporarily close locker rooms to everyone but players and essential team personnel with the NBA’s promise that once the coronavirus crisis abates, the league will restore full access to the journalists who cover the league.