Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 11, 2021 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

The NBA postponed Wednesday’s clash between the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix after the Suns were unable to raise a game-day roster because of COVID-19.

In the latest postponement to hit the league since the season started in December, the NBA said the game at Phoenix Suns Arena had been called off in accordance with health and safety protocols.

“Because of ongoing contact tracing within the Suns, the team does not have the league required eight available players to proceed with tonight’s game against the Hawks,” the league said.

It is the seventh game to be scratched in the three-week old season, and comes as the NBA and its players union updated COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Tuesday aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus.

The new measures were imposed “in response to the surge of COVID-19 cases across the country and an uptick among NBA teams requiring potential player quarantines,” a league statement said.

Later Wednesday the league released it’s latest Covid-19 test figures, saying that of 497 players tested since January 6, 16 new players had returned confirmed positive tests.

For at least the next two weeks, players and team staffers are required to remain at their residence at all times when the club is at home except to attend team-related activities, exercise outside or perform essential activities, except in extraordinary circumstances.

Those beefed-up protocols have attracted criticism from some players, with Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill questioning the restrictions now being enforced which limit contacts and movement during road trips.

“I’m a grown man. I’m gonna do what I want to do,” Hill said after the Thunder’s 112-102 loss to San Antonio.

“If I want to go see my family, I’m going to go see my family. They can’t tell me I have to stay in a room 24/7. If it’s that serious, then maybe we shouldn’t be playing. But it’s life; no one’s going to be able to just cancel their whole life for this game.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (