Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
The NBA issued a warning to all 30 teams about the guidelines for Super Bowl LV watch parties Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported the rules Saturday:
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
The NBA informed its 30 teams that players, coaches and staff are not permitted to gather outside of their home for Super Bowl Sunday. At home, individuals are able to watch with household. On road, may host up to four family/close friends in hotel, with advance testing.
All five games on the NBA schedule for Sunday should be wrapped up before the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Bucs’ Tom Brady lead their teams into the fight for the Lombardi Trophy.
Health officials are worried the Super Bowl could spark another COVID-19 resurgence if people let their guard down because cases are dropping and because there have been increased vaccination efforts nationwide.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the face of the COVID-19 fight in the United States, urged caution Wednesday.
“You don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with,” Fauci told NBC’s Today (via the Associated Press). “You just don’t know if they’re infected, so, as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it.”
The NBA has postponed 24 games during the first half of the 2020-21 season because of COVID-19 guidelines, including Sunday’s matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets.
There has been a player backlash about the league’s efforts to host an All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta during the break between the season’s two halves.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James referred to it as “a slap in the face.”
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” James told reporters Thursday. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time defending MVP, was among the players who backed LeBron’s stance.
“I think every player was looking forward to those five days, seven days, whatever the days are,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’ve got to all follow the big dog [James]. The big dog says he has zero excitement and zero energy for the All-Star Game, and I’m the same way. I really right now don’t care about the All-Star Game. We cannot see our families.”
Sunday’s kickoff for Chiefs-Bucs is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.