Heat return to AmericanAirlines Arena workouts delayed until at least Monday

Tribune Content Agency

While the NBA has targeted Friday as the first day that players can be hosted for workouts at team facilities since the league’s mid-March shutdown, the Miami Heat do not plan to start the process until Monday at the earliest, an NBA source confirmed to the Sun Sentinel.

The NBA has put in place protocols for limited, socially distanced workouts at team facilities, which include medical tests and temperature checks prior to participation.

The voluntary workouts will be allowed only where permitted by local ordinance. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said last week that such permission would be granted to the Heat for use of county-owned AmericanAirlines Arena, with some county parks already open for individual shooting.

In addition, the Heat are expected to summon forwards Jimmy Butler and Andre Iguodala back from California, where they have been sheltering at home. While the NBA has not offered a timetable for a possible return to play, the goal is to have players who have traveled be out of quarantine in time for more robust practice sessions, should there be a move in that direction.

Butler and Iguodala are the lone Heat players away from South Florida.

The NBA ceased play March 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Adam Silver has yet to offer a timetable for a potential return.

According to the NBA’s guidance issued for player workouts at team facilities:

— No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time.

— No head or assistant coaches could participate.

— Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages.

— Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms.

Under the guidance, the Heat would not be allowed to have coach Erik Spoelstra or bench assistants Dan Craig, Chris Quinn or Malik Allen involved in such sessions. However, assistant coaches who do not work on the bench on game nights would be allowed, which, for the Heat would include assistant coaches Anthony Carter and Octavio De La Grana, who typically sit behind the bench on game nights, and shooting coach Rob Fodor. Only one such staff member can be in attendance for any player session.

Players who participate in the workouts at team facilities would be required to wear masks at all times other than when involved in physical activities, with accompanying staffers required to wear gloves. Those working with players would have to be spaced at least 12 feet away, twice the accepted social-distancing basis widely in use. The training and medical staff would be allowed closer contact.


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