Four players on the Brooklyn Nets, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Tuesday. One player exhibited symptoms, while the remaining three were asymptomatic.
“The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organization and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible,” the Nets said in a statement.
De Blasio appeared to disagree with the organization’s decision to test the players.
“We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested,” he said in a tweet.
“Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick,” he continued.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets paid out of pocket to a private company to conduct the tests.
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass issued a statement to the outlet Tuesday following the mayor’s criticism explaining that the testing was done because of the players’ “close interactions with the general public.”
“Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players’ direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus,” he said. “Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive.”
In addition to the four Nets, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Detroit’s Christian Wood are the other NBA players who have tested positive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.