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NBA eases mask rules for vaccinated coaches

Apr 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, right, talks to Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during a break in the action against the Charlotte Hornets in the second quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, right, talks to Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during a break in the action against the Charlotte Hornets in the second quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has relaxed the mask requirements for head coaches as the playoffs tip off on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

The league reportedly sent a memo Saturday morning that clears the way for fully vaccinated head coaches to ditch their masks during games.

Head coaches still will be required to wear masks for pregame, warm-ups, halftime and postgame. Assistants and players on the bench still will have to adhere to the existing masking protocols.

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The league also encouraged coaches to wear masks should they meet on court after a game.

The NBA’s testing protocols remain in effect for coaches, despite the update.

The move comes as teams around the league increase capacity for fans during the playoffs.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who host the Miami Heat in a playoff opener on Saturday, are allowing 50 percent capacity in the postseason after limiting attendance to 18 percent since March 20.

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The Heat plan to allow 17,000 fans for Game 3 on Thursday. Their arena holds 19,600.

–Field Level Media