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- American basketball coach
Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday morning, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Budenholzer, who is now the 12th head coach to enter COVID-19 protocols so far this season, will miss Milwaukee’s game on Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors. Assistant coach Darvin Ham will serve in his place.
ESPN Sources: Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has entered Covid protocols and will miss tonight's game vs. Toronto. Top assistant Darvin Ham will be the acting head coach. Ham is considered one of the league's next wave of head coaches.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 5, 2022
It’s unclear how long Budenholzer will be sidelined. The Bucks are set to embark on a three-game road trip after Wednesday’s game before returning to Milwaukee late next week.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, 76ers coach Doc Rivers, Nuggets coach Michael Malone, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault and Hawks coach Nate McMillan are still out in coronavirus protocols. Suns coach Monty Williams, Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups and Bills coach Billy Donovan were cleared to return in recent days.
About 97% of the league is fully vaccinated, and the NBA adjusted rules last week to allow players to return after five days of being in coronavirus protocols. Just more than one-third of NBA officials have been sidelined due to the coronavirus, and 11 games have been postponed (and rescheduled) so far.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the United States is averaging more than 547,500 new cases each day, according to The New York Times — which is a 254% increase over the past two weeks and an all-time high. There were more than 1 million new cases on Monday alone. About 71% of Americans aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated.