76ers HC Doc Rivers 'feels good' after entering COVID-19 protocols

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the day, Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers became the latest NBA head coach to enter the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to impact sports leagues around the world.

Assistant Dan Burke served as Philadelphia acting coach ahead of and for Thursday night's game at the Brooklyn Nets and offered a positive update on Rivers' condition before that matchup.

"It probably hit him hard in that way," Burke said of Rivers not being able to work Thursday's contest in person, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. "He's like [Atlanta Hawks coach] Nate McMillan always was. He's got to touch the guys, he said. He always wanted to be around his guys, and I know Doc wants to be here for the guys.

"He says he feels good. He's not the least bit worried. If there's anybody who just takes things in stride and keeps it real and keeps it relative, it's Doc. That's the lead we've got to follow."

As Bontemps explained, seven NBA coaches in total were in the protocols as of Thursday evening. Rivers joined Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls, Chauncey Billups of the Portland Trail Blazers, Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets, Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns on the list of coaches out of action.

Thursday's game between Denver and the Golden State Warriors was scrapped because the Nuggets couldn't produce a squad of eight available players due to COVID-19 and injury-related setbacks.

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