Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal revealed Wednesday that he and his team were 'fighting' the league to have Friday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks postponed, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
Hours later, the league decided to postpone the game, citing “the number of unavailable players for the Wizards, contact tracing for other players on their roster, and the length of time preceding the game during which the team was unable to practice.”
The Wizards have been out of action since Jan. 11 while dealing an outbreak within the organization. Last week, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that five Washington players had tested positive for COVID-19.
So far, the NBA has postponed 16 games this season, most recently Wednesday's game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers. The league reported 11 new players have tested positive in the past week, per Reynolds, down from 16 in the previous week.
The league requires teams to have eight healthy players suited up in order to play a game. The Wizards returned to practice on Wednesday, just meeting the minimum requirement with eight healthy players.
Beal said that resuming play after missing so much practice time would be "a recipe for injury," according to NBC Sports's Chase Hughes.
On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league has considered giving its players the COVID-19 vaccine in order to educate and influence the public.
"It's something we're particularly focused on," Silver said in a virtual conference hosted by Sportico. "In the African American community, there's been an enormously disparate impact from COVID. ...But now, somewhat perversely, there's been enormous resistance [to vaccinations] in the African American community for understandable historical reasons."