Magic coach Steve Clifford tests positive for COVID-19
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said Saturday night that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Clifford said he doesn’t expect to coach the team Sunday when the Magic face the Indiana Pacers. Assistant Ty Corbin is being prepared to handle the coaching duties.
Clifford said the positive test is his second in a three-day span. He said he tested positive after Thursday night’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans and returned two negative tests on Friday before being told around 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday that he again tested positive.
The Magic canceled their Saturday practice — scheduled for 4 p.m. — due to health and safety protocols following Clifford’s positive test.
“I’ve stayed here and quarantined,” Clifford said on a conference call. “Every couple hours. I checked my temperature and my oxygenation numbers and they were fine. I haven’t had any problems at all — no temperature, no headaches, nothing.
“I was shocked today when my results came back as positive.”
Clifford said he received his second Moderna vaccination on Thursday.
Clifford would need NBA approval to coach against Indiana even if he returns two negative test results on Sunday.
“I don’t see a way I coach (Sunday) night. Monday maybe,” Clifford said of Orlando’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. “I think it depends on the league. It is frustrating for me but the league has to do what is best for the players and to go forward and play the games.”
Corbin has a 119-167 record as a head coach. He went 112-146 in parts of four seasons with the Utah Jazz before being fired after the 2013-14 season and also went 7-21 on a two-month stint for the Sacramento Kings during the 2014-15 campaign.
Orlando (18-41) has lost four straight games and 10 of its past 11.
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