NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - After last nights big win at the Smoothie King Center against the Miami Heat, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry had a lot to say about the game but also addressed what was on so many peoples minds.
“I mean I’ll give you an example. I went five places today to buy hand-sanitizer, there was none in the whole town really. I think people are scared," said Gentry.
According to a memo sent out Friday night, the NBA instructed teams to put plans in place to play games without fans or even media present, something sports teams in Europe have already done as well as some colleges in the U.S.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if that did happen," said Gentry. “I think some colleges are already doing it. I think Johns Hopkins did it just the other day so I think we all gotta be careful.”
Teams were also told to prepare for possible temperature or wellness checks on players, staff, referees, or any other personnel.
The league also sent another memo earlier in the week offering some recommendations on how to decrease the risks of getting or spreading the virus, like not sharing pens, balls, and jerseys and avoiding high fives with fans.
“The information we got from the league is that bumping elbows might be better than shaking hands," said Gentry.
“I don’t think you can take it personal if you stick your hand out for them to shake it and they don’t.”
The Pelicans will now prepare for a four game road trip including two in California, which is still under a state of emergency and the spot where the first U.S. death was recorded due to the COVID-19 virus.
“I think we all gotta be as responsible as we possibly can and try to manage it as best we can," said Gentry.