Following the announcement of new league-wide coronavirus protocols, NBA players have found themselves in the confusing and contradictory space that Americans have lived in for most of the pandemic. The powers-that-be, in the country and the league, have landed on the idea that working is safe, but extracurricular is not. Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill pushed back against the notion that he should only leave the house to play basketball.
In a press conference following the Thunder's loss to the Spurs, Hill states that he planned to disregard the protocols passed Tuesday.
"I’m a grown man, so I’m gonna do what I wanna do,” Hill said. “If I wanna go see my family, I’m gonna go see my family. They can’t tell me I have to stay in the room 24/7."
Though the NBA was able to finish last season via an unprecedented and strict bubble in Walt Disney World, this season's lack of a bubble puts players in the shoes of essential workers like retail, service and office employees who have also been expected to isolate for nearly a year unless reporting for work duties.
"If it’s that serious then maybe we shouldn’t be playing," Hill said. "It’s life. No one’s gonna be able to just cancel their whole life for this game.”
The new protocols were agreed upon by the NBA Player's Association and the NBA in response to rising coronavirus numbers in the US. The new rules would require players to isolate if they weren't carrying out essential activities, playing or practicing.