Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill is speaking out against the NBA's restrictions that have been placed on players and staff to limit the spread of the coronavirus. In a postgame interview following the Thunder's loss against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, Hill questioned the latest measures introduced to supplement the current health and safety protocols put in place.
"We wanna play the game ... but I don't understand some of the rules," Hill said, per ESPN. "We can sweat 48 minutes with a guy next to us for 48 minutes, but we can't talk to them afterwards. It makes no sense."
On Tuesday the NBA revealed its enhanced rules, which state that players must limit interactions to elbow or fist bumps and "avoid extended socializing." Players are also required to wear facemasks on the bench as well as in the locker room and during strength and conditioning activities while coaches and other team staff are required to wear facemasks at all times during games.
Furthermore, players whose teams are at home are restricted to their residences — except for team-related activities — and may only interact with household and family members. Players on the road are limited to the team hotel except for team activities and emergencies and non-team guests may no longer visit hotel rooms.
"I'm a grown man. I'm gonna do what I want to do. If I want to go see my family, I'm going to go see my family," Hill said. "They can't tell me I have to stay in a room 24/7. If it's that serious, then maybe we shouldn't be playing. But it's life; no one's going to be able to just cancel their whole life for this game."
The announcement comes as six games — including five in three days — have been postponed for various reasons due to either positive tests for COVID-19 or being unable to field the minimum of eight players due to isolation protocols.
Commenting on the latest regulations, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said he was willing to do whatever it takes "to get rid of this COVID thing."
"If it means I have to wear a mask on the bench the whole time, it is what it is and I'm gonna do it. I want to get back to normal living, and whatever it takes to get back, I'm going to do it."
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