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CORONA UPDATE: As a response to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., the NBA is planning to ban what they deem to be nonessential personnel from locker rooms, and that will include the media. What’s more, in other settings where the media will still be allowed to meet with players and coaches, the league is asking teams to create a space of six-to-eight feet between players and media members, so as to limit the risk of infection.
The NBA didn’t come up with these solutions on its own, as they were actually based on recommendations from infectious disease and public health experts, and they come just days ahead of Wednesday’s big planned conference call between the Association and team owners to discuss the virus. Today is the deadline for teams to tell the NBA what their infectious disease contacts are, as well as report about their coronavirus testing-capable facility they are in contact with.
Over in Italy, where the outbreak is the worst of anywhere outside of Asia, the popular Serie A soccer league will be suspended indefinitely as officials try and control the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, in California, the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, one of the most important annual competitions in the tennis world, was canceled.
We’ll see how coronavirus continues to affect the NBA, as team owners are reportedly concerned we could be headed to games being played without fans in arenas; other sports are already seeing major ramifications, though.
MORE ON DISMISSAL: The Athletic went in-depth on Kenny Atkinson and the Nets parting ways, and there were some very interesting details in that piece. Among them: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving did not ask for Atkinson to be fired, nor were they only two players who felt a disconnect from the former Nets head coach.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: LeBron James and Norman Powell were named Player of the Week for their respective conference yesterdays. Well-deserved in both cases.
FRESH START: Jordan Bell, who had so much promise as a prospect prior to reaching the NBA, is starting over in the G League.
CONFIDENT BUNCH: We recently talked to Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, who told us he feels like teams don’t want to see Memphis in the playoffs, among a bunch of other stuff.
MAKING MONEY: We ranked the 15 players who made the most money while playing for teams that ended the year with a losing record. Stephon Marbury shockingly played 13 seasons and had a losing record in 11 of them, so you can guess who finished first.
FRESH POD: Our own Alex Kennedy was joined by Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Cohen, who recently wrote a book discussing the hot-hand theory and determined that it’s a real, scientifically provable phenomenon.
DISHING DIMES: The Ringer ranked the top assist combos in NBA history; John Stockton and Karl Malone shockingly did not finish No. 1.
GOOD TEAMMATE: Nikola Vucevic recently read a mailbag and got upset with a fan who asked a Magic beat writer why DJ Augustin continues to get playing time, so he talked to the reporter about it to defend his teammate.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: An insightful Q+A with NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and vice president Oris Stuart about improving diversity inside the league’s front offices.
WORTHWHILE CAUSE: WNBA star Maya Moore took a hiatus from basketball to help a family friend, Jonathan Irons, get a burglary and assault conviction overturned and free him from jail. She succeeded.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.