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Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford will miss multiple games.
On Saturday, it was reported that Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford had tested positive for COVID-19. While the initial test results seemed inconclusive, and the team hoped he’d be able to remain on the sidelines following two negative test results, it appears that won’t be the case now.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Clifford is set to miss multiple games for the Magic, starting with their Sunday evening tilt against the Indiana Pacers.
The 59-year-old coach has been asymptomatic to this point, but he yielded a positive test result on Sunday morning, which was his third positive test result in a four-day span. He will now enter the NBA‘s health and safety protocols for the time being.
Steve Clifford out for the immediate future
Magic assistant coach Tyrone Corbin, who has head coaching experience from his time with the Utah Jazz from 2011-14, will take over at the helm until Clifford can return.
Clifford originally tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday night before returning two negative tests on Friday, leaving optimism that it had just been a false positive. Then he tested positive again on Saturday morning, forcing the team to cancel practice and putting his immediate future on the sidelines into doubt.
Sunday’s positive test will keep him away from the team until he’s out of the league’s health and safety protocols.
The Magic are 18-41 heading into Sunday’s game, sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference standings and a full eight games back from the final play-in spot. There are only 13 games left in the season, and with Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac both injured, not to mention Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier being shipped out at the NBA trade deadline, this Orlando team doesn’t have much to play for at this point of the season anyway.