NBA news: Mike D'Antoni, Alvin Gentry explain why they're wearing masks while coaching
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Mike D’Antoni, Alvin Gentry explain why they’re wearing masks while coaching

NBA, Mike D'Antoni, Alvin Gentry

While some NBA players have been complaining about having to wear a mask at all times while inside the bubble, it is actually quite the contrary for two of the league’s most senior coaches in Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets and Alvin Gentry of the New Orleans Pelicans.

The two head coaches were asked about why they’re opting to wear a mask during their respective teams’ scrimmage games, and both explained that it was about sending a very important message:

“It’s important to Houston and a lot of the country. Right now, they should be masked up,” D’Antoni said, via Mark Medina of USA TODAY SPORTS. “We do it for Houston. We do it for you. I do it for my players. I do it for my coaches. I just feel like it’s the thing to do right now with where we are as a country.”

There are some who argue against the mask-wearing policy inside the NBA bubble, under the premise that there is no coronavirus within the isolated area. Then again, one can never be too sure, despite the daily testing of every person inside the bubble.

For Gentry, it’s not merely about keeping himself protected. More importantly, he is trying to emphasize how this seemingly small act — while uncomfortable for some — continues to play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19. It’s a truly important message:

“It’s a statement saying we think it’s important enough even down here to have on a mask,” Gentry said. “We’d like to send a message out to everybody that if we’re going to get this thing under control, I do think that this makes a big difference.”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has also been wearing a mask, though he hasn’t actually been the head coach during these scrimmages, instead giving his assistants a chance.

Make no mistake about it. We have not beaten the coronavirus as of yet, and these coaches are setting a good example with these actions.