Only a couple of hours after Alfonzo McKinnie and Tony Bradley entered the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, Lonzo Ball has joined them.
Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is entering Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 26, 2021
All things considered, it only felt like a matter of time for Ball, who this morning became one of only two members of the team’s 15-man roster not to enter protocols. Alex Caruso is now the only member of that 15-man group who has yet to enter protocols this season (and, for what it’s worth, he is currently out with a foot injury). Tyler Cook, who is on a two-way contract, has also avoided his own stint in protocols thus far.
Today is the first day of the NBA’s increased testing that will run until January 8th, and it’s brought harsh news for an organization that finally appeared to be out of its most recent outbreak. Zach LaVine and Ayo Dosunmu headlined the Bulls’ most recent group to exit protocols on December 23rd, making it so that zero players were in protocols for the first time this month. Now, the Bulls are back to having multiple players away from the team (as well as their head coach), which perhaps opens the door for recent hardship signings like Ersan Ilyasova and Mac McClung to clock real minutes over the next few games.
Ball was the only Bulls player not to miss a game this season. He has averaged 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 41.9 percent from downtown. As one of the most well-rounded point guards in the league, he has been a fundamental part of turning this Bulls team into an Eastern Conference contender. Removing him from the starting lineup will surely come with a playmaking learning curve, as well as require that much more energy from his teammates on the defensive end of the floor.
At least he seems to have a sense of humor about it all. Get well soon, Lonzo.
Y’all jinxed me
— Lonzo Ball (@ZO2_) December 26, 2021