Bulls' Donovan promises to do better job of wearing mask

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan talks with referee Mark Ayotte during a game on Jan. 6. Donovan acknowledged he needs to do a better job of keeping his mask on during games.

    Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan talks with referee Mark Ayotte during a game on Jan. 6. Donovan acknowledged he needs to do a better job of keeping his mask on during games. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/12/2021 8:42 PM

There were reports Tuesday of new pandemic guidelines for NBA players and coaches:

No hand shakes, no postgame hugs, masks worn by coaches on the sideline and players on the bench.

 

Will it do any good? The NBA knew a long time ago basketball is a sport that very susceptible to spreading an airborne virus, since there's close contact by all players on the court at any given time.

The Bulls were supposed to play a game Tuesday against Boston, but it was canceled since the Celtics don't have enough players available between to positive COVID tests and contact tracing. Two more games (Celtics-Magic and Jazz-Wizards) were canceled from Wednesday's slate.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan, who coached in the bubble last summer with Oklahoma City, was asked his thoughts on the new guidelines.

"Listen I need to do a better job (of keeping a mask on during games)," Donovan said. "I'd be the first one to admit that. The hard part for me is when I am talking to the guys ... they can't hear me. I feel bad for them. They are asking for instruction or direction. I'm sitting there and they can't read my lips, they can't hear what I am saying. Sometimes they can't maybe get all the way over to me.

"So I've taken it off to do that and I maybe need to do a better job of just lowering it for a second and then pulling it back up. Behind my ears are getting a little chafed from yanking it on and off so I have figure out some kind of solution."

According to ESPN, the most significant change is not allowing players to leave the team hotel during road trips or allow guests in the rooms. Previously, family members and longtime friends were allowed to visit rooms.

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