NEW YORK – Sidelined 76er Seth Curry was informed early in Thursday night’s 122-109 loss to the Brooklyn Nets that he had tested positive for COVID-19. That forced the team to quarantine and contact trace in a New York hotel late Thursday after the game and early Friday morning, league sources confirmed.
The sources added that the team will be tested Friday morning and the NBA will let the Sixers know the next step. There was no word if their scheduled 3 p.m. contest Saturday with the Denver Nuggets will be postponed. ESPN reported Curry’s test after the game.
Curry, who has a sore left ankle, spent the first quarter on the bench next to teammate Joel Embiid and assistant coach Sam Cassell. Once the Sixers were alerted of his test results, the shooting guard immediately went to an isolation room at the Barclays Center. He left the arena separate from his teammates, who were informed during intermission that he tested positive.
To return to work, a player must isolate at least 10 days after the first positive test or onset of symptoms or test negative twice at least 24 hours apart via PCR testing.
The 30-year-old wore a mask while on the bench. However, he was seated in the front row in close proximity to the starting lineup and coaches.
The seventh-year veteran is averaging a career-best 17 points this season and shooting 59.5% on three-pointers. Curry scored 20 of his season-high 28 points while making all six of his first-half three-pointers in Wednesday’s 141-136 victory over the Washington Wizards. He missed his lone second-half three-pointer after intermission.
Curry shot 11 for 14 overall in 36 minutes, 18 seconds of action, all season highs, against the Wizards. He has made 19 of 28 three-pointers (67.8%) in his last five games.
His time away from the team over the upcoming days will be a big loss for the Sixers (7-2).
Coach Doc Rivers voiced his concern during training camp last month of playing during the pandemic, since there is no bubble-type atmosphere like at the NBA restart in Florida.
Rivers, who is Curry’s father-in-law, said that NBA players are now at home with family and friends. They can order and eat food from whichever restaurants are still open and serving. So there’s freedom they didn’t have inside the bubble.
“That’s my concern,” Rivers had said. “The food is not my concern. I’m thrilled to death about that. But the freedom is a concern. Like, man, I guess I’m very concerned if we can pull this [season] off.”
He also pointed out that Ohio State had Big Ten football games canceled after players tested positive for COVID-19. In the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens game was postponed twice because players tested positive.
“You know the difference in football. They play once a week,” Rivers said. “They have 1,000 players. So you know when you miss three or players, you can still get away with it.”
If an NBA team misses three or four players, it is in trouble considering that teams play three or four games a week.
“So one of our guys, or two of our key guys, get the virus, and they miss 10 days, or 14 days. That can be eight games in a 72-game season,” Rivers said. “That could knock you out of the playoffs.
“So that’s a concern.”
Sixers rookie combination Tyrese Maxey and power forward Mike Scott tested positive before the start of training camp.