What was up with all the reports about Heat players having Covid?


The unfounded rumors starting flying as soon as the Heat cancelled their shootaround.

Prior to Game 5 Wednesday, there were scores of conflicting tweets and pseudo-reports about Miami players getting left behind in Boston after testing positive for Covid. It’s important to note that none of the rumors came from verified NBA sources, but the conjecture persisted.

"Sources: Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unavailable tonight,” tweeted somebody named Chris Roberts, who calls himself a “senior NBA Insider” (despite having only 351 followers).

His report was debunked when Adebayo appeared on the court at FTX Arena for his pre-game workout.

That propelled Roberts to issue a correction. Apparently, his supposed source misled him about Adebayo having Covid.

“My source adds: ‘The Bam rumors were merely due to an unknown illness, not COVID related. Bam was throwing up this morning but decided he is good to play tonight,’” he tweeted.

Adebayo, who played 38 minutes, didn’t mention being sick or throwing up after the game.

But the ominous Covid discourse didn’t come from just one tweeter. A number of accounts posted alleged reports about Miami players testing positive.

Like most rumors, there is a kernel truth behind the madness. The Heat did leave behind two employees in Boston after they tested positive for Covid: Spanish-radio broadcaster Jose Paneda and a team therapist, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The other possible explanation for the toothless buzz is that Al Horford missed Game 1 of the series after winding up in the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols. He returned two nights later in Game 2, though his status was a mystery until a couple of hours before game time.

It was reported that multiple Celtics staffers tested positive for Covid. Horford’s positive test was never confirmed.

Understandably, nobody wants to talk about Covid anymore, especially in regards to the NBA players. But with daily cases rising over 1,000, another surge is happening. That means Covid could play a role in the NBA Finals.

League policy mandates that players with Covid sit out even if they’re asymptomatic.

The Heat-Covid reports turned out to be fake. But maybe the next flurry of speculation won’t be.