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Jeff Goodman: NCAA source to me: “Things are moving quickly. Right now, it’s no fans. But we don’t know where this is headed. There have been discussions about canceling or postponing the NCAA Tournament, but we’re hoping it doesn’t get to that point.”
Melissa Rohlin: AD on potentially playing w/o fans: "‘If you have a big play, it’s going to be quiet. Nobody is there to celebrate that play with you. There could possibly be a lot more techs because you can hear what players are saying now. The refs can hear clearly. It will be different."
Greg Logan: Here’s good news. I’m told print media will cover #Nets at #Warriors. #KevinDurant is staying in LA and will rejoin team Friday vs #Clippers. Otherwise, it’s glorious day in SF. Passed bar in terminal where sound system was playing pianist Horace Silver and “Song for My Father.”
Sam Amick: Meanwhile, I'm told the Kings-Pelicans game in Sacramento tonight (that I'll be attending) will still involve fans. As a relevant sidenote, I originally planned weeks ago on bringing my family out to see Zion in person. Those plans have most assuredly changed.
Sources say the league is still considering more sensible options as well, among them the prospect of pushing its entire calendar back. The NBA has been asking teams to provide its arena schedule through July, which is as clear a sign as any that the notion of putting everything on hold for a while so the authorities can attempt to contain the virus remains in play. If nothing else, it’s a good sign that the focus is moving away from half-measures to full ones – dollars be damned.
This reported idea of relocating games to places that haven’t been impacted by the virus is just absurd, in large part because of the optics. Nothing says being tone-deaf like taking your employees from a place that is impacted to a place that’s safe because, well, there is work to be done.
David Aldridge: Mayor Bowser says she can order events in D.C. to be closed that exceed the 1,000-person limit that was "recommended" to be cancelled or postponed earlier Wednesday, and that the District can "pull the permits" of large gatherings that don’t voluntary delay through March 31.
Amid coronavirus fears, the Orlando Magic will take extra precautions but still plan to play two home games with fans in attendance this week. NBA leadership met Wednesday to discuss response to the new coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, that was listed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
The Magic announced fans can expect to see prominent signs highlighting healthy habits, including hand washing, when they arrive at Amway Center Thursday. Fans also can find hand sanitizer stations throughout the arena. And the franchise has implement a policy of deep cleaning in high traffic areas of the building with disinfectant, including at point of purchase devices, door handles, elevator buttons, escalator handrails and restrooms. “We are getting daily communication from the NBA and have established an internal task force to address any directives,” the Magic statement read.
Scott Agness: The Pacers’ advance scout is no longer traveling due to coronavirus, @TheAthleticIND has learned. He’s on the road more than anyone, 200+ days each year.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Story filed to ESPN with @Zach Lowe: In a meeting with the NBPA on the coronavirus crisis today, NBA and union discussed ways to continue the season without the cancellation or loss of games --- while conceding sport's trending toward period of time without fans in attendance.
Nick Friedell: Kerr: “No matter what you do, who you are, your daily life is going to be affected by this.” Kerr says he is thinking about all the part-time workers who won’t be able to still earn a paycheck during this time.
Nick Friedell: Steph on playing without fans tomorrow in San Francisco. “It will be different. It will be weird.” Says players have been educated on the virus and what precautions to take moving forward. “We have jobs to do. As long as there are games to be played, we’re going to play them.”
Tim Bontemps: Giannis on playing with no fans: "It’s going to be hard. As an athlete, you play for the fans ... we are out there to win games, but we are out there to entertain. When you have a momentum swing, when you have a dunk & a 3, & there is silence … it takes a lot out of your energy"
Keith Pompey: According to multiple sources, the #Sixers have cancelled advance scouting due to the coronavirus. No one can deny that this team is serious about protecting its employees from the virus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that major sports leagues, including the National Basketball Association, owe their fans more consideration related to coronavirus. He made the remarks during a news conference in the Capitol building, blocks from the downtown arena where the Kings basketball team is scheduled to host three home games over the next week.
“I found it quite curious that the four major organizations NHL, soccer, MLB and the NBA put out guidelines to protect their athletes but not their fans,” Newsom told reporters at the news conference. “I think they owe you and their fanbase an answer as to why is it more important to keep you as reporters away from their players in the locker room than keeping fans in highly contagious parts of the country together.”
Wes Goldberg: Rick Welts says that this will cost the Warriors "tens of millions of dollars." Because it impacts basketball-related income, both Welts and Bob Myers acknowledged this will also affect next season's salary cap.
Dan Gelston: 76ers team official statement on fans with tickets to tonight's game: "We will manage on a case-by-case basis and work closely with our fans toward finding another game for them to attend in the future." 76ers will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation.
Logan Murdock: Press release from San Francisco mayor London Breed on the banning of events larger than 1,000 people, including Warriors games: “Today I spoke with the Warriors to discuss the steps were taking to cancel large events and they are in support of our efforts.”
Michael Singer: Michael Malone, on today’s “new norms” where interviews conducted from 6-8 feet away. “This is, I wouldn’t say absurd. Maybe it’s necessary and precautionary.”
Salman Ali: Wow, here's Dr. Fauci's response in the congressional testimony to how the NBA should handle coronavirus: "We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means there won't be any people in the audience, so be it."
As the NBA's board of governors prepares to confer with the commissioner's office Wednesday in a critical conference call on the coronavirus crisis, one scenario introduced into the league's conversation involves moving some games to NBA cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks, league sources told ESPN. If the virus clusters and forces a team out of its city and arena for a period of time, there has been discussion about moving games to the away opponent's arena if that city hasn't suffered an outbreak -- or even moving games to neutral cities and sites, league sources told ESPN.
Marc Stein: The NBA has scheduled a conference call Thursday for the league's 30 GMs to discuss the latest on the Coronavirus Crisis, league sources tell @NYTSports -- but first up is Wednesday's conference call for NBA team owners
The NBA is discussing a number of possibilities -- including eliminating fans from buildings for games or, more drastically, suspending game operations for a period of time -- but sources said decisions on those options remain complicated by the fact that there has been a limited amount of public testing for the coronavirus in the United States. There is no full understanding of how widespread and debilitating the virus could become in the country.
After the board of governors call Wednesday -- which is expected to include one designated ownership representative of each team, sources said -- two additional calls are set for Thursday for team presidents and general managers, sources said. So far, individual NBA teams have been hesitant to become the league's first to voluntarily eliminate fans from home games, sources said. Even with the conference call set for governors and owners on Wednesday, there has been a tremendous amount of communication among teams, the league and public health experts in recent weeks.
Bill Oram: Frank Vogel states the obvious and says it would be “very strange” if NBA games were played without fans but acknowledged the growing likelihood. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Vogel said. “As the concern grows it looks more and more like it might be a possibility.”
Nick Friedell: Kawhi, on possibility of playing in an arena with no fans: "It will be very different if it does come to that. Hopefully the fans aren't mad or whatever. So it's up to them. I think we should just leave it up to the fans if they want to come to the games or not."
Andrew Greif: "I think everyone is pretty much worried about the virus," Paul George said, asked whether he's concerned about playing in front of fans. "If it is fans, if it isn't fans [in attendance], we got a job to do."
“When I was asked the question would you play without no fans, I had no idea it was actually a conversation going behind closed doors about the particular virus,” James told reporters before the Lakers’ 104-102 loss to the Nets on Tuesday. “Obviously, I’d be very disappointed with not having the fans. That’s who I play for. I play for my family and I play for my fans. “No one could actually come to the game if it actually got to that point. I’d be disappointed in that. But at the same time, you got to listen to the people that are keeping track of what is going on. If they feel like it is best for the safety of the players, safety of the franchise and the safety of the league to mandate that, then we all listen to that.”
Being someone who enjoys riding the subway and being out and about, Harris said he knows he’ll have to curb that. “Obviously New York’s one of the highest cases of the virus in the States right now. At the end of the day you just try and be as cautious as possible,” Harris said. “The biggest takeaway for me is just how quickly it spreads and how contagious it is, so one person gets it in the NBA it seems like everybody will probably get it. “So it’s one of those things to just err on the side of caution, be conservative, try and limit your outside exposure. As much as it might cut into your daily life, at the end of the day health is the top priority with all things.”
In the middle of answering a question, Love started coughing, covering his mouth with his arm. “I always practice good habits. I’m a big shower guy. I always take at least two showers per day,” Love said. “Typically right when I wake up to feel good and then with practicing and how much we work out…I think just more conscious of the decisions we make every single day in different moments too. How many people we come in contact with on a daily basis is I think probably more than 99 percent of the country or the world. I’m sure all of us from a human standpoint are just considering that and continuing to do the right thing as far as your body, hygiene and cleanliness is concerned.”
Brian Lewis: DeAndre Jordan on the prospect of playing #NBA games without fans: “It’s very serious. But at the same time a lot of us play for the love of the game, but also for the fans. That would be extremely tough for us to play a scrimmage a practice-site scrimmage.” #Nets
“It gets scary because it’s unknown,’’ LaVine said. “Obviously, if we’re taking precautions like this, it’s getting more and more serious. I just hope everybody is staying safe, staying healthy, staying clean, washing hands and things like that. “The main thing is it’s unknown for sports and entertainment people, our little circle, and how it could be affected because you’re around so many people, you go on flights all the time, have so many interactions. You see how easy it spreads, so you just want to make sure everyone is safe and doing the right thing.’’
Andy Larsen: According to two different NBA oddsmakers who send me emails, it’s now more likely that the NBA holds games without fans than the season goes on as normal.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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March 20, 2023 | 11:02 am EDT Update

Both Lakers and Austin Reaves interested in re-signing

Austin Reaves’ surge is setting him up for a fascinating offseason. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will undoubtedly have multiple suitors looking to pry him from the Lakers — especially after stat lines like Sunday’s. Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they coud speak freely. The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.
The coming weeks will ultimately determine how the situation plays out. The Lakers have 10 regular-season games remaining, and possibly some postseason games as well. In the meantime, Reaves is thriving as his role expands and his confidence grows down the stretch of this season. “It’s special,” Reaves said of playing for the Lakers. “I mean, I grew up a Lakers fan. To do it for this organization, especially, is surreal. Sometimes I gotta stop and really think about what I am doing. … All I’m really happy about is the win.”
NBA Communications: Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers can become the third team from the Eastern Conference to clinch a spot in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The 76ers host the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. ET on the NBA App. Clinch scenario ⬇️

March 20, 2023 | 7:00 am EDT Update