NBA star Zach Lavine enters COVID-19 protocol

Published July 20, 2021, 9:43 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Zach LaVine of the USA Men’s National Team dribbles the ball during the game against Argentina Men’s National Team on July 13, 2021 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ned Dishman / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine was placed into COVID-19 safety protocols on Monday and did not join his US Olympic basketball teammates in traveling to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics.

USA Basketball said it hopes LaVine will be able to travel to Tokyo later this week and join his fellow NBA stars in time for Sunday’s Olympic opener against France.

A USA Basketball statement said LaVine did not travel with the team “out of an abundance of caution” after starting Covid-19 health and safety measures, but did not say if he contracted the virus or was being kept back for contact tracing.

LaVine scored 13 points for the Americans on Sunday in an 83-76 exhibition victory over reigning Basketball World Cup champion Spain at Las Vegas. 

The US squad has already lost Washington guard Bradley Beal after he was placed into COVID-19 protocols and center Kevin Love to a calf injury.

The Americans added Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee and San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson to replace Beal and Love.

The US squad is set to add three more players following the conclusion of the NBA Finals — Phoenix guard Devin Booker and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.