Thunder players passing time with chess, video games on long road trip: ‘Still a lot to be grateful for’

Granted, the rooms are quite nice, but players can only leave them to go to practice, shootarounds and games. Interacting with non-team guests at hotels is no longer allowed — a change that was announced earlier this month.

“We’re just taking the lead from the league and certainly trying to follow every protocol that gets put in front of us because that’s the only way that we’re gonna emerge from this and endure it, but it is pretty limiting,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

The Thunder has had two games postponed this season due to COVID-19 protocols: Dec. 23 against the Rockets and Jan. 17 against the 76ers. In both cases, it was the other team that didn’t have the league-required eight available players to play.

Thunder forward Josh Hall was out Friday due to health and safety protocols, but he’s the only Thunder player to have been ruled out this season with that designation.

For a Thunder team with a new coach and several new players, this season isn’t an easy one to build chemistry. Hanging out off the court isn’t an option.

FaceTime and video calls have become common between players and staff.

“And then when we come together and get the chance to bump into each other we try to make sure that those interactions are of quality and make the most of the circumstances,” Daigneault said. “We’ve got a group of guys that has had a…

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