July 6, 2020 | 3:25 am EDT Update
Sam Amick: Source tells @TheAthletic the Kings have shut down their practice facility after receiving a positive coronavirus test within the team’s traveling party on Sunday. The facility is not expected to reopen before the team departs for Orlando on Wednesday.
James Ham: Confirming that the Sacramento Kings have shut down their practice facility after a positive test within their traveling party. No word yet on whether it was player, staff or coach. @sam_amick first with the news
Marc Stein: Sacramento would be the seventh team of the 22 bound for Walt Disney World publicly known to take this measure at some point over the past two weeks since players were asked to be back in their home markets on June 22: Kings, Bucks, Heat, Clippers, Nuggets, Suns and Nets
Roster adjustments are underway at Panathinaikos OPAP. The new era recently officially launched will not include Jimmer Fredette, confirmed newly appointed team president Takis Triantopoulos on Friday’s press conference about the new season. “We don’t have anything new about him,” he mentioned referring to the status of the 31-year-old American guard, “He is informed that he is free to go, his agent also knows this and he is on the market for a new team. We are waiting for any new development.”
Paul gave basketball fans some insight on what that hour was like for him in an interview with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the “Knuckleheads” podcast, and he revealed he spoke to Bryant during that small window of time: “I was on the phone with my brother and my agent, and all that. We figuring out a plane to get to New Orleans to get us to LA … let’s just say my agent clicked over, said hold on, clicked over and then he came back on and he was like, stuttering. And we was hot. We was hot. Me and Kobe had talked, you know what I’m saying? We had talked already and all that. And it was a lot. It was a lot.”
As NBA teams prepare to leave for Orlando, Florida, in the coming days, organizations have received directives on the process for transporting players unable to travel on the team charters, according to a league memo acquired by ESPN. If a player misses a scheduled coronavirus test in the two days prior to the team’s departure date — or has “extenuating circumstances” that have been disclosed to the league — he must arrange his own travel to join his team as the league restarts its season. The player has the option of flying on a charter flight at the player’s expense, traveling by car, or flying commercial, the memo said. If a player flies privately or drives, he will have to have two negative test results before resuming basketball activities. If he flies commercially, the player must have three consecutive negative test results, according to the memo.
NBA players and staff are normal people, just like everyone else. The bubble concept is a way for the league to survive and save at least some of the revenue stream that has all but disappeared due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the league is asking its players to walk away from their families for an extended period of time. “There’s no way around the fact that this is a sacrifice,” Harrison Barnes said. “Whether you’re being away from your family, whether you’re not going to be able to see your parents, your siblings, whatever it may be. And not having an end date too, definitely adds an extra bit of focus to you, that if you’re going to be away from your family for this long, you want to make it work, you want to make it something that you’re completely locked in and focused on and giving your all to, or else it’s a waste of time.”
“It’s tough,” Bazemore said earlier this week during one of the Kings Zoom media calls. “It’s tough on being a husband and a father. I cried like a little baby when I left to head out here a couple weeks ago — just seeing him and my wife standing on the front porch as I’m leaving, and he has absolutely no idea I’m gone as long as I’m going to be gone.”
David Morrow: It was just said on the broadcast that a player on @thetournament team Eberlein Drive tested positive for COVID-19, and the team is therefore dropping out of the tournament. Dusty Hannahs, JP Macura, Tim Quarterman, Kaiser Gates among notable names on the team.
When Patrick Beverley says he wants all the smoke, he isn’t messing around. Mr. 94 Feet is ready for competition, and he’s ready for all of it. Beverley talked about his mental attitude towards competition on the Work From Home podcast. “I’m treating everybody the same,” Beverley said. “Every team I play, I’m playing them like we playing the Golden State when they had Kevin Durant. Every point guard I play, I’m playing Steph Curry. Every shooting guard I’m playing, I’m playing James Harden. Every three-man I’m playing, I’m playing LeBron and KD.”
Wesley helped Rose in player acquisition and worked with CAA coaches, including Tom Thibodeau. However, sources say Wesley also likes Jason Kidd, who interviewed for the Knicks’ job Thursday.
Last week’s Knicks press release quoted new executive VP William Wesley on his “long history with and respect for Jim Dolan.’’ Sources confirm Wesley has been in the Knicks owner’s ear for 15 years, working behind the scenes. As is his custom. A Knicks coach from the Glen Grunwald era verified the influence of “World Wide Wes.” “When we were there, I was told he listened to ‘World Wide Wes’ more than he did Grunwald,” the coach told The Post.
Anthony was represented by Creative Artists Agency, and Mills was reputed to have close ties to CAA. (Wesley, according to a source, served as a chief confidant of Anthony’s during his Knicks stint.) Now CAA is officially running the Knicks with the Leon Rose-Wesley tandem. After Rose agreed to terms in February, The Post quoted a source, stating, “MSG and CAA have been in bed for years. This shouldn’t be surprising.’’
In the two years since, Colangelo has scarcely spoken publicly about the incident. When he spoke to the Herald from Arizona, he knew it was the elephant in the room. “I haven’t addressed it very much over the course of the last two years. I have stayed very much under the radar on the topic because it’s a sensitive topic, for a lot of reasons,” Colangelo said. “Family, personal, professional, or otherwise. I have to say I was dealt a pretty big blow, personally and professionally. And it’s been a difficult time dealing with the fallout. I was completely blindsided by the accusation and the storyline of the controversy.”
“Once that investigation was completed and I was absolved, I felt the appropriate thing to do – in conjunction with ownership there in Philly – was to mutually walk away. “It was a difficult decision and a difficult time for me. But I have to say, it was a very, very difficult time for my family. Because of some of the reasons that came to light, it was something I thought was important not to talk about, quite frankly. And we’re still dealing with that. “But the No.1 thing I thought needed to happen was trying to stay positive; preserve and love my family, protect their interests, emotionally or otherwise. And frankly, two years on, it’s gone. It’s in the past and I’m ready to move on.”
This answer also shows Colangelo doesn’t deserve credibility. He wasn’t absolved. It was untrue when Colangelo said it at the time, and it’s untrue now. The investigators concluded only that they found no forensic evidence that proved Colangelo knew of the Twitter accounts before they became public – and that they had a significant impediment to finding that evidence. Bottini deleted the contents of her phone before surrendering it for review.
Calabro threw in the keys this week. He’s 64 and like a lot of us, trying to figure out what a pandemic has to do with him. The NBA teams are set to resume play in Orlando. None of the local broadcast teams will be there in person. They’ll instead call the games from studios in their home cities. And on top of that, the Blazers franchise just endured its biggest round of layoffs in more than a decade. The news leaked on Wednesday morning. “Calabro quit,” a source said. A team source soon confirmed it, and told me, “Not a layoff. His decision, 100 percent.” Then came a news release in which the franchise made the news public. Calabro would not join the team for the league reboot in Florida.
Phoenix Suns All-Star, Devin Booker, was seen yet again with Kendall Jenner, this time riding around Paradise Valley in a classic Chevy Impala convertible. Another holiday weekend, another Devin Booker-Kendall Jenner rendezvous in an extremely nice vehicle. The Phoenix Suns All-Star and international icon first made waves around the celebrity gossip community when they were seen making a road trip up to Sedona in a Maybach shortly after the NBA hiatus began.
July 5, 2020 | 9:01 pm EDT Update
Zeller’s safety bubble was pierced two Wednesdays ago, when the Spurs called to offer him a job. With seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge declared out of the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Fla, because of shoulder surgery, the Spurs were in search of a tall, warm body to help fill out their frontcourt rotation. A career-long journeyman who has not appeared in an NBA game since April 2019, the 30-year-old Zeller checked the most important box in the Spurs’ hunt. He was available. “It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been fun,” the 7-foot Zeller said. “I’m just trying to get used to the new coronavirus protocols. Just happy to be back, playing basketball, back on a team, especially a great team like the Spurs.”
“There is going to be a bunch of guys who need to step up and need to perform,” Poeltl said. “I’m looking at it as a positive thing. I think there’s a lot of guys on our team that are ready to prove themselves.” That includes a newly signed 7-footer who as recently as two weeks ago was content to spend the rest of the summer changing diapers. To say Zeller has bounced around the league in his seven seasons is an understatement. “It’s too many teams to remember how many it is,” Zeller said.
Much of that burden will likely fall on fourth-year center Jakob Poeltl, who is expected to slide into the starting lineup to replace Aldridge. The 7-foot-1 Austrian has played well as a role player this season, and has been especially valuable as a rebounder, rim protector and shot blocker. Poeltl is aware of the task that lies before him. “I’m going to take that challenge personally,” said Poeltl, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. “I have to step up and perform. I’m excited about the opportunity. Hopefully we’ll step up and manage.”
Patrick Beverley talked about his mental attitude towards competition on the Work From Home podcast. “I’m treating everybody the same,” Beverley said. “Every team I play, I’m playing them like we playing the Golden State when they had Kevin Durant. Every point guard I play, I’m playing Steph Curry. Every shooting guard I’m playing, I’m playing James Harden. Every three-man I’m playing, I’m playing LeBron and KD.”
Marc Stein: The deadline for NBA players to submit their two selections is tomorrow, sources tell @TheUndefeated.
Spencer Dinwiddie: Day 10 update: The sinus pressure headaches when I get up are starting to subside. But I was a lil too bullish on the bike 😅. Got dizzy and felt weak smh. But if I can get a negative test tomorrow then they’re gonna get me back on court Tuesday 🙏🏾 #AudienceOfOne
July 5, 2020 | 7:20 pm EDT Update
Fox, a 22-year-old point guard who will soon be eligible for a massive contract extension, intends to lead the Kings for years to come. Fox made that clear in a series of previously unpublished interviews with The Sacramento Bee before the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. He reaffirmed those feelings Wednesday in a Zoom call with reporters from Golden 1 Center, where the Kings are preparing to resume their season at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. “It’s all the same,” Fox said. “… I see myself being here. I want to be here.”
“I want to be here,” Fox said. “Obviously, I want to win, but I want to do it here. It’s been, what — 13, 14 years since the last time the Kings made the playoffs? I want to be a part of the first one. “Obviously, we all want to win. There are some things we know we need to work on as a team, and I’m here for that. Every team has gone through it, probably not as long as the Kings have, but I want to be a part of that. I want to be able to get to the playoffs with this team, and, hopefully, when I’m a veteran in this league, be able to be a (championship) contender.”
Revenue losses stemming from the COVID-19 crisis and the NBA’s frayed relationship with China could result in a significant reduction in the salary cap. Max contracts are calculated based on the salary cap, so any reduction in the cap would cause a corresponding decline in max contract figures. As a result, the Kings might end up saving money on Fox’s new deal, but league executives and agents say there is too much uncertainty to project how much a cap hit might impact the team’s books or Fox’s future earnings. “It’s just way too premature to predict what’s going to happen,” Priority Sports and Entertainment CEO Mark Bartelstein said. “There’s just so much to play out in the next few months.”
After receiving the results of a Friday round of testing for the coronavirus, the Milwaukee Bucks shut down the team’s practice facility for workouts until the team departs for Orlando, Florida, this week, sources told ESPN. It was not immediately clear if there was more than one positive test, but the team plans to keep the facility closed for workouts until the team’s traveling party departs for the league’s restart in Orlando on Thursday, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity will be departing the organization, sources tell ESPN. His contract was expiring and new GM Troy Weaver is starting to reshape the front office.
David J. Halberstam: Confirmed with @espn that HUBIE BROWN, 86, WILL work coming games. ESPN spokesman: “He’ll be part of our overall cross platform coverage – TV/Radio in some role. Cannot confirm he’ll be in Orlando though at this time.” (M. Albert, 79, won’t work TNT) http://sportsbroadcastjournal.com
July 5, 2020 | 6:47 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Milwaukee Bucks have shut down the team’s practice facility after receiving results of a Friday round of coronavirus testing, sources tell ESPN. The team isn’t expected to reopen facility for workouts prior to the organization’s traveling party leaving for Orlando Thursday.
Matt Velazquez: League source confirms the @Adrian Wojnarowski report that the Bucks have closed their practice facility following Friday’s round of coronavirus testing. The Bucks are not expected to have any further sessions at their practice facility before Thursday when they leave for Orlando.
Rockets forward Robert Covington summed up the sentiments of hundreds of NBA players and NBA personnel regarding the league squeezing in the rest of the season in Orlando, Fla., starting later this month and stretching into October. “We don’t know how this whole thing is going to go,” Covington said. “This thing is unpredictable.”
The Rockets plan to travel to Orlando later this week and will play their first of eight “seeding” games on July 31 against the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets are assured of one of eight playoff spots in the Western Conference and are tied for fifth place with the Oklahoma City Thunder, with the Mavericks 1½ games behind. “The team that catches a rhythm first, kind of has an advantage overall,” Covington said of his expectations for the abbreviated sprint to the NBA’s finish line this season.
He recalled that he and his cousin and two other youths were playing football in the street and occasionally running into a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor told the children to stay out of his yard, and Covington said he and his cousin obliged. The other two kids did not, and the man called the police. The officers began to detain all four of the youths, even though the neighbor told police Covington and his cousin had done nothing wrong. “The cop didn’t care; he arrested all of us,” Covington said. “He put is in the back of the car and took us down to the station. I got stuck in the car – I was too tall and my foot was wedged in between (the front seats). I told the officer I couldn’t get out. He said if you don’t get out of this car, I’m going to break your leg to get you out.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv announced that Tyler Dorsey has been quarantined after a verified case of COVID-19 was discovered in his building. The Israeli League season resumed on June 21 and Maccabi has played four games so far in the Winner Stage Group, winning three of them and improving to a 22-3 overall record.
July 5, 2020 | 2:38 pm EDT Update
Eric Walden: Jordan Clarkson said he briefly considered not going to Orlando, because of the combo of the BLM movement, plus his fear of injury affecting his free agency, but in the end, “I wanna go hoop. I’ve been bored sitting at home.” Also said he feels safe in the bubble environment.
Eric Walden: Jordan Clarkson predicted the Jazz may be rusty for about a week, but that they’ll quickly shrug it off. He anticipates he’ll be ready to go immediately: “When I got traded here, I just flew in and put on a jersey and played, so the chemistry just worked as soon as I landed.”
Eric Woodyard: Jordan Clarkson calls it a “really big loss” to play without Bojan Bogdanovic in Orlando, but the Utah Jazz guard says “everyone will have to step up and make it happen.” Says they have “enough talented guys that we can all put together and compete and put out a good product.”
Eric Walden: Quin Snyder also slammed the door firmly shut on the possibility of Bojan Bogdanovic returning this season, even in a deep playoff run: “Bojan’s not gonna pull a Willis Reed and run onto the court and be able to play.”
Eric Walden: Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, on Mike Conley leaving at some point for the birth of his child: “I hope we’re without him for as long as heeds to prioritize what is a gift. … Not to diminish the playoffs or the games in any way, but there’s things in our life that trump games.”
Brian Lewis: #Nets wing and NBPA VP @Garrett Temple on #NBA restart: “As black men, black people in America…this is an everyday struggle. So I think the way that we can utilize those 2, 3 months in Orlando to continue to push the narrative, to continue to have it on people’s minds.”