As the NBA deals with mounting COVID-19 outbreaks following Thanksgiving gatherings, the Lakers announced that they had canceled their previously scheduled practice on Tuesday due to health and safety protocols. Shortly thereafter, third-year guard Talen Horton-Tucker was confirmed by multiple reports and a team announcement to have tested positive for COVID-19 and entered the league’s isolation protocols.
The player is Talen Horton-Tucker, the Lakers announced. https://t.co/ypBUXn9lsb— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 14, 2021
Lakers say Talen Horton-Tucker- is out for game at Dallas because of NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 14, 2021
The team is still flew to Dallas for their matchup against the Mavericks to start a three-game road trip this week, but later were forced to put Malik Monk (who traveled with the team) and Dwight Howard (who did not) into the health and safety protocols as well.
While this is the first time (that we know of) that the Lakers have canceled practice due to health and safety protocols this season, it’s not their first bout with COVID-19 this year, with LeBron James spending a brief stint in health and safety protocols himself before ultimately testing negative multiple times to be allowed to return to the lineup last month.
Across the league, though, outbreaks and positive cases have risen in recent days and weeks. The Chicago Bulls had two games postponed on Monday, with their next contest against the Lakers on Sunday being postponed — and in potential jeopardy — even prior to the Lakers canceling practice themselves due to their own positive test.
Prior to the season, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka noted that his team was set to be 100% vaccinated by opening night of the season. And with positive cases across the league — and country — increasing, the Lakers have encouraged eligible players to get booster shots after the NBA itself recommended the shots as well.
This story will be updated with more information as it continues to develop.