Sports | March 3, 2020 10:42 am

NBA Asks Players to Stop High-Fives as Part of Coronavirus Strategy

Players were also advised to avoid taking pens, balls and jerseys to autograph

To Prevent Coronavirus, NBA Asks Players to Stop High-Fives
Taurean Prince high-fives Caris LeVert at Barclays Center in 2020. (Sarah Stier/Getty)
Getty Images

To stop the potential spread of coronavirus throughout the league, the NBA is coming down on high-fives.

In a memo that was sent out Sunday and obtained Monday by the Associated Press, the NBA asked players to stop high-fiving fans and strangers as well as to avoid taking pens, balls and jerseys to autograph.

In the memo, the league said it was consulting “with infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control” about coronavirus.

“We are also in regular communication with each other, NBA teams including team physicians and athletic trainers, other professional sports leagues, and of course, many of you,” the league wrote in its memo. “The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly.”

An NBA player who contracted the coronavirus should expect to miss about two weeks, one team medical official told ESPN. Prior to the memo being sent out, Portland guard CJ McCollum said in a tweet on Saturday that he is “officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice.”

“You just have to be careful,” McCollum said Monday night in Orlando before Portland’s 130-107 win. “Obviously it’s affecting people, especially people who are displaying weaker immune systems and people over 60. You’ve got to check yourself and wash your hands, try to reduce contact with outsiders and outside germs.”

If the virus continues to spread, it is possible pre-draft combines, on-site workouts and international scouting events could be postponed or canceled due to the outbreak.

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