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Magic coach Jamahl Mosley enters COVID-19 protocols on MLK Day: ‘This is such a big day’

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Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Monday, making him just the latest coach in the league to be sidelined by COVID-19 this season.

The timing of it, he said, couldn’t have been worse.

Mosley, one of five first-year Black head coaches in the NBA, was thrilled to be participating in his first Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a head coach.

“This is such a big day, with meaning behind myself and so many others having this opportunity because of what Dr. King fought for,” Mosley said, via ESPN. “Our locker rooms are represented by his dream. His words, example of leadership, fight for equality and strength are just as important now as they were then.”

Mosley and his top assistant, Nate Tibbetts, both entered coronavirus protocols on Monday. Assistant Jesse Mermuys was then tabbed to lead the Magic as their acting head coach.

Washington Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. entered protocols, too. Those two, along with Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, are the three head coaches who are currently out due to the coronavirus. There have been 16 across the league in total who have been out at one point.

As of Monday afternoon, the United States was averaging nearly 802,000 new cases each day, according to The New York Times, which is a 98% increase over the past two weeks. There have been two days this year already where more than 1 million cases were recorded in a single day. About 63% of eligible Americans are now fully vaccinated.

The Magic fell 98-88 to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night — a game even more special for Mosley, considering he and Portland coach Chauncey Billups both played together at Colorado.

Orlando has now lost 12 of their last 13 games.

All five new Black head coaches were set to lead their teams on MLK Day. Now just Billups, Celtics coach Ime Udoka and Pelicans coach Willie Green were available.

"I'll really miss being out there against Chauncey, a fellow Buff," Mosley said, via ESPN.

Head coach Jamahl Mosley of the Orlando Magic
Magic coach Jamahl Mosley entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Monday. (Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
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