CHICAGO – At the end of 2021 and the start of 2022, the Bulls were hit hard by the resurgence of COVID-19 with just about everyone on the coaching staff and the roster contracting the virus.
Now as the postseason begins, two assistant coaches are once again in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
During the team’s practice on Friday ahead of the start of their first round playoff series against the Bucks, head coach Billy Donovan announced that both Chris Fleming and Damian Cotter tested positive for COVID-19.
He said that the team found out about the results this morning and neither will travel with the team to Milwaukee for Game 1 against the defending NBA champions.
This came on the heels of the news that Clippers forward and seven-time All-Star Paul George tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Los Angeles’ “win-or-go-home” play-in tournament game against the Pelicans on Friday.
“You try to be as safe as you can, as much as you can,” said Donovan during his news conference at practice Friday, who said the both coaches are doing well.
Fleming is in his third year as an assistant with the Bulls having been initially hired by previous head coach Jim Boylen. He was retained by Donovan when he took over in September of 2020 and even filled in as interim head coach in December when he contracted COVID-19.
The Bulls won all five games in which Fleming led the team.
Cotter is in his second year on Donovan’s staff after serving as the head coach for the G-League Windy City Bulls in 2019-2020