If the NBA returns to finish the season and playoffs this summer, those first games will likely be without fans. (The NBA may bring all the teams to one location, maybe Las Vegas, where the games can take place in a more controlled venue, with less travel and risk of exposure. It’s one of many scenarios under consideration.)
When fans do get back into the games this year, should the league set up a system to check the temperature of everyone entering the building?
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said it was possible.
“It’s not hard to use thermal guns to take someone’s temperature and look for fevers. Is it feasible? Yes, absolutely. We have to be very cautious, particularly as we try to come back. At first we’ll play a lot of games without fans and figure it out with all the medicines that become available, we’ll go from there.”
The thermal gun technology was used on a larger scale in China and South Korea, among other places, to identify people starting to show symptoms of the disease.
Cuban is both an optimist — he thinks there could be NBA games in May — and a believer in technology, so him taking this position makes sense. Even if this seems like a longshot.
Whether the NBA would set up something like this would depend largely on both the willingness to pay for it and where the nation is in dealing with this pandemic. The bigger questions of when the NBA will return and in what form remains up in the air right now, those need to be answered first before everyone gets into the details.
In a world where everything is on the table, thermal guns for temperature taking at the gate — like walking through a metal detector — is possible. It’s been too unpredictable a year to rule anything out.