CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls will go without two assistant coaches for at least their playoff opener against the Milwaukee Bucks after Chris Fleming and Damian Cotter tested positive for COVID-19, coach Billy Donovan said.
Donovan said the team found out Friday morning that Fleming – Chicago’s senior assistant – and Cotter had tested positive. He said they had mild symptoms and would not be traveling to Milwaukee for Game 1 of their first-round series on Sunday.
Donovan wasn’t sure how long they will be out. Game 2 takes place in Milwaukee on Wednesday, with the best-of-seven series moving to Chicago for Game 3 on April 22.
“I think one of the things that I’ve been really happy and content with, and I think it speaks to the staff, whether it was myself or John Bryant or different staff traveling, we all worked together and worked together and everyone is kind of stayed involved,” Donovan said. “I know when I was out I tried to help as much as I could. Chris will try to help. Damian too.”
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The Bulls were hit hard by a COVID-19 outbreak in December, with several games postponed. Donovan tested positive with mild symptoms at the end of the month, and Fleming served as head coach for the five games he missed.
“I got lucky,” said Donovan, who found out he tested positive when he went to train. “I know a lot of people who have had it really, really hard. It was really, really unfortunate what people had to deal with. But I was very fortunate that… my symptoms were not too severe.”
Chicago finished sixth in the Eastern Conference, 46-36, which is its first win record since 42-40 for the 2015-16 team. The Bulls made the playoffs for the first time since being knocked out in the first round by Boston in 2017. And they ended a run of four straight losses.
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