Christian Wood has a pair of distinctions in the NBA’s bout with COVID-19. The Detroit Pistons’ forward was the first player outside of Utah to have word of a positive test leak to the media, and he’s the first NBA player, as far as we all know, to completely recover from the virus that has caused the entire league to come to a halt.
As it turns out, though, news of Wood’s positive test wasn’t supposed to be made public. In a piece written by Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Pistons coach Dwane Casey revealed that the staff was promptly made aware of HIPPA laws, which exist to protect the privacy of patients, after they learned of the diagnosis. Casey went onto say that the word of Wood’s test wasn’t supposed to be made public, and when it was, both the coach and the player were quite unhappy.
“That’s why we were so mystified when it leaked out,” Casey said of a report in The Athletic. “Christian was upset his name got out there. He didn’t release it. And the worst part was it got out before Christian even had a chance to tell his mom.
“I was very unhappy about that. I told our staff, ‘This is unprofessional. This can’t happen again.’ It was so unfair to our player.”
We’ve seen some players take a more public approach with this, as the hope has been to raise awareness of COVID-19 and how it can impact anyone. But of course that hasn’t been the case for everyone, and it is particularly unfortunate that word of Wood’s test leaked before he had gotten the chance to make his mom aware of what happened. Some teams have opted to reveal that there have been positive tests in their organizations with players announcing after that they’re dealing with the virus, and it would have been nice if that luxury was afforded to Wood, even if it is good news that he has since recovered.