The Detroit Pistons, similar to the rest of the sports world, have been mired in a COVID-19 outbreak. Nine Pistons players have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols since Dec. 22, and several assistant coaches and staff members have also tested positive.
Now head coach Dwane Casey became the latest member of the organization to enter protocols Monday, the team announced. Assistant coach Rex Kalamian will act as head coach until Casey returns.
The Pistons (8-30) play the Utah Jazz (28-12) at Little Caesars Arena on Monday (7 p.m.).
Kalamian has already filled in for Casey four times over the past month, as Casey missed road games due to what the team termed personal reasons. The team is 0-4 in those contests.
Casey, who has been vocally pro-vaccine and pro mask-wearing since the pandemic started, revealed last season he tested positive for COVID around the same time former Pistons big man Christian Wood tested positive at the beginning of the pandemic.
Frank Jackson is currently Detroit’s only player in protocols, after getting eight players back over the past two weeks.
“It doesn’t guarantee things don’t come around again,” Casey said last week, after the franchise saw most of its players in protocols return. “This virus thing is crazy. Hopefully we’re safe and take care of ourselves. Hopefully we can handle it again.”
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