They might be living in four-star luxury accommodations, but being quarantined from the rest of the world — and each other, for that matter — isn’t easy for anyone. Paul George recently spoke about the emotional and psychological toll its taken on his mental health to be isolated from friends and family members for so long.
Fortunately, for the players who’ve made it to the second round, they are now able to bring their families inside the bubble after a period of quarantine, and it’s brought no shortage of adorableness, as the broadcast Thursday night was able to cut to a room full of socially-distanced toddlers and moms who were watching the games from backstage.
But apparently not everyone has been able to reunite with their family members. When speaking to reporters on Friday, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone sounded off about the league’s decision not to allow coaches to bring their families to Orlando.
Denver coach Mike Malone points out that it’s Day 60 in the bubble and he thinks it’s “criminal in nature” for the NBA not to let coaches bring in families. “I say shame on you, NBA. This is crazy. I miss my family.” pic.twitter.com/oBTve7zB3m
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) September 4, 2020
“First, I’m going to say something that has nothing to do with your question,” he said. “Today is Day 60. Alright? The guys that came down here on July 7, and there weren’t many of us because we were ravaged with COVID. This is the original crew. This is day number 60. The reason why I bring that up is because the players have their families here, which they deserve, which is the right thing to do. The referees are allowed to bring one guest, which is great for the referees. The coaches, the coaches are not allowed to bring anybody.”
“I say shame on you NBA,” said Malone, who is married with two daughters. “This is crazy. I miss my family. And I think I speak for me, I speak for my coaches and probably all the coaches down here. Sixty days and not having access and being granted the privilege to have my family come here to me is criminal in nature, and that shouldn’t be at all. So I wanted to get that off my chest.”
According to the report, there have been ongoing negotiations between the league and the coaches association about potentially bringing family members inside the bubble, but there’s been nothing definitive as of yet. The league later issued the following statement in response to Malone on Friday.
The NBA has this to say in response to Michael Malone’s comments today, in which the Denver coach expressed serious frustration that coaches haven’t been allowed to have family in the bubble. pic.twitter.com/JCM5ARGhhe
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) September 4, 2020
Depending on how far the Nuggets and other teams advance in the postseason, it could be more than three months before coaches are able to reunite with their families.