The decision came shortly before tipoff. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the league “needed more testing and data. As soon as I talked to them, they were concerned about health and safety, and it wasn’t about basketball at that point.”
The Lynx already had arrived at the arena in Bradenton, Fla., and some of the players were warming up when they were told the game had been postponed.
“This is the hardest part of covid-19 of putting on live sports,” Engelbert said (via the Associated Press). “Every day you’re reset to zero. Keeping the bubble safe and making sure there’s no community spread. The purpose of the testing program and protocols is to pull anyone out before they are infectious.”
Game 2 of the series had been scheduled for Tuesday night.
“We want to make sure we have all the data and testing if someone is affected with covid,” Engelbert said. “We can isolate them and take care of their safety. Hopefully we’ll get good data over the next 24 to 48 hours. Hopefully get back on the court for Game 1 on Tuesday. We will test them tonight and have additional testing on those players that had inconclusive results.”
The WNBA has had no positive cases since it set up its bubble at IMG Academy in July. However, there have been inconclusive results or false positives, and those resulted in extended quarantine and missed games. In every case, players were retested and cleared.
In a statement, the Storm said it “fully supports the decision” to postpone the game.
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