Orlando Magic first-year coach Jamahl Mosley disappointed to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day after entering COVID-19 protocols

Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley expressed disappointment over the timing of his entrance into the health and safety protocols on Monday -- his first Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an NBA head coach.

The Magic hosted the Portland Trail Blazers, and two of the NBA's five Black head coaches who are in their first season -- Mosley and Chauncey Billups -- expected to be on the sidelines in Orlando on Monday night.

"This is such a big day -- with meaning behind myself and so many others having this opportunity because of what Dr. King fought for," Mosley told ESPN on Monday. "Our locker rooms are represented by his dream. His words, example of leadership, fight for equality and strength are just as important now as they were then."

Billups hosted Mosley on his recruiting trip to the University of Colorado in 1996, and the two CU stars had a shared pride in becoming head coaches in the same hiring cycle last spring.

"I'll really miss being out there against Chauncey, a fellow Buff," Mosley told ESPN before the game.

Mosley and his top assistant Nate Tibbetts entered protocols on Monday, clearing the way for assistant Jesse Mermuys to serve as the acting head coach in the Magic's 98-88 loss.

All five of the Black head coaches who are in their first season were scheduled to be active on Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Mosley, Billups, the Boston Celtics' Ime Udoka, the Washington Wizards' Wes Unseld Jr. and the New Orleans Pelicans' Willie Green.

Both Mosley and Unseld were unable to coach due to entering protocols.