Ratto: The Warriors, standing in line like everyone else

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Golden State has also been left in the dark

Ray Ratto
March 18, 2020 - 10:14 am
Warriors left to wait like the rest of us amid COVID-19 pandemic

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The budding debate about why four full NBA teams could get tested for COVID-19 on demand while most Americans cannot has rumbled low but steady, one of the many things sports fans grouse about but accept through clenched teeth because of the cultural belief that athletes and celebrities should have the same immunity from shortage that the rich and powerful do.

Thus, Marcus Thompson's story in The Athletic about the Golden State Warriors not being able to get tested en masse because they aren't believed to have come in sufficient contact with either the Utah Jazz or Brooklyn Nets is a fascinating study of the holes in our already tattered safety net, and the haphazard system under which we try to function.

This is not a front-burner story on the rolling sports page. Tom Brady took care of that, blotting out sports fans' focuses because thinking about who has caught the 'Rona (including Kevin Durant) makes people feel more helpless than shelter in place or out-and-out quarantine. The NFL, which has been able to do its business, has filled the page (or the people who put out the pages have raced to Brady, and to a lesser extent the boiling mess that is the Bill O'Brien regime in Houston. Durant testing positive has had a surprisingly muted response in the media, maybe because it's about the story that had swallowed us all.

And the Warriors not being able to get tested as a group, when the Jazz, Nets, Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers (the last team to play the Nets) can, barely gets noticed. The debate about the front of the line may seem necessary but it doesn't engage folks because the answer always seems to be "RHIP." Rank Has Its Privileges. The Nets out-and-out bought their tests even though New York has the second-highest 'Rona mortality rate.

But the Warriors have essentially been told what most people get told — that there aren't nearly enough tests, and that shelter in place will simply have to suffice. Steve Kerr told Klay Thompson, "I’m hoping none of our guys went and hung out with any (Nets) players the night before our game.” Presumably he knows the answer to that by now.

It may be one of the answers he or his bosses gets for some time. Other than "Sorry, we can't help you."

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