The 76ers found out Tuesday morning that the rapid COVID-19 test isn’t always as rapid as people would like.
A lot of the Sixers arrived at the team’s practice facility at 9 a.m. or a little earlier in order to take the test before a scheduled 10:30 a.m. shootaround.
It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to receive results. The Sixers weren’t so lucky.
“Some of us had to wait in our cars for an hour-and-a-half, an hour and 45 minutes to get results back,” guard Danny Green said.
Waiting 105 minutes in a car the morning of the game is an inconvenience that could disrupt a player’s game-day routine. But as Green pointed out, nothing is more difficult than being in the bubble for the NBA restart in Kissimmee, Fla.
The teams there had to adhere to stringent guidelines and regular COVID-19 testing while remaining largely isolated from the rest of the world.
“So I think guys are prepared for this,” he said.
He noted the Sixers still had the rest of their day to get a meal and a nap before the game. Green will have a better idea of how it ultimately impacted their rest following the game.
“But if I had to guess, the rapid testing will be voted against or changed at some point,” he said. “But as of right now, I think it is the first day. That’s why the process is longer than it was supposed to be. ...
“But even still, guys will prefer to have regular testing and not have to wait in cars. So we still have plenty of time.”
Some of the Sixers were able to receive their test results at 10:15, which was a wait of around 75 minutes. Those with inconclusive results had to retest. Green was part of that group. So he wasn’t finished until 20 minutes before the rescheduled shootaround time.
“I got here at 9 and got [the OK] about 10:40, which gave me some time to get dressed and practice on the floor at 11,” he said. “Yeah, I’m sure that process with probably shorten up over time.”
Zhaire Smith lands with Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies announced that they signed former Sixers guard Zhaire Smith. Philadelphia traded him to the Detroit Pistons for Tony Bradley on Nov. 22. The Pistons turned around and waived the third-year guard, stretching his $3.2 million salary for the upcoming season to lighten the salary-cap hit.
Smith’s tenure with the Sixers was marred by bad luck, as he failed to remain healthy after being the 16th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He suffered a bone bruise in his left knee in May and didn’t travel with the Sixers to Florida for the NBA restart. As a result, the player the Sixers unsuccessfully tried to trade in February concluded that season with an average of 1.1 points in seven appearances. He has averaged 3.7 points in 13 career games.