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The Los Angeles Clippers saw their season come to end Friday, thanks largely to the combination of Brandon Ingram and COVID. New Orleans bested the Clips 105-101 in the Western Conference Play-In, meaning they’ll advance to the postseason. Meanwhile, Los Angeles heads to vacation, and possibly quarantine.
As OutKick reported early Friday, Clippers star Paul George was ruled out just hours before the game because he tested positive for COVID. George was placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocols, making him ineligible for the game. The fact that George even had to test for the virus (he began feeling symptoms Thursday) likely has those in and around the team fuming.
Earlier this week, Axious-Ipsos released a poll showing that less than 10% of Americans still consider COVID a crisis. Which presents a relevant question: Can you name an athlete, vaccinated or not, who has died from COVID, become gravely ill or hasn’t been able to fully recover?
Additionally, even if George did have a case of the sniffles, err…COVID, the NBA’s reportedly more than 90% vaccinated. There would be minimal, if any, risk to him suiting up. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a pro athlete competed while sick — it’s kind of their job.
That’s not to discount the Pelicans who bested the George-less Clippers without a star of their own, Zion Williamson, who’s missed the entire season due to injury.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 16, 2022
New Orleans was led by Brandon Ingram’s 30 points and six rebounds. And trade deadline acquisition CJ McCollum chipped in another 19 points.
“Brandon Ingram is the truth,” Pels coach Willie Green said following the win. “He just brought it. He had that look in his eye from the time we got on the plane. Shootaround, he’s been locked in. He has been waiting for this moment, for this type of moment.”
Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. paced Los Angeles with 27 points each. But it was ultimately LA’s inability to contain COVID, or the Pelicans’ offense (they shoot nearly 49% from the field), that ended their season.
Boosters not withstanding, they’ll have to wait until next season for another shot.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF