Kings aware of reports Jabari Parker was seen playing tennis without a mask after a positive COVID-19 test

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As the NBA return plan begins to increase, teams began testing players for COVID-19 this week. That process yielded 16 positive tests, including three for the Sacramento Kings. Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Jabari Parker contracted the virus.

“Several days ago I tested positive for COVID-19 and immediately isolated myself in Chicago, which is where I am staying,” Parker said in a statement. “I am making progress in my recovery and I feel good. I look forward to joining my teammates in Orlando when we return to the court to resume the NBA season.”

You really must feel good because you supposedly spent some time playing tennis in a park in Chicago without a mask. In a statement to the Sacramento BeeThe Kings said: “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”

According to the league’s 113-page health and safety manual, which was obtained by CBS Sports, those who test positive should be isolated until they complete the required procedure. That process includes being asymptomatic, following CDC’s guidelines for resolution (two consecutive negative tests, at least 24 hours apart), and a medical evaluation and authorization from an NBA-designated physician.

The rules are quite strict and for good reason. This is a highly infectious virus, and catching or transmitting it could be catastrophic, not just for the player and those around him, but potentially for the NBA’s plan to resume the 2019-20 season.

It goes without saying that spending time outdoors without a mask just a few days after announcing you tested positive for COVID-19 is not a great appearance. At the same time, it’s hard to really criticize Parker without knowing all the details. We don’t know exactly when the photos were taken, or Parker’s medical condition. It may have already been removed, but you have not yet joined the team.

Still, the best we can do is encourage each other to wear masks and hope everyone stays safe and healthy.