NBA rumors: Karl-Anthony Towns donating $100,000 to Mayo Clinic

Chris Mannix: Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns announced he will be donating $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic, which has begun rolling out a test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Tim Bontemps: The NBA has extended its ban on team practices indefinitely, league sources tell ESPN. Players are still able to work out individually at team facilities.
Adam Johnson: In an evening memo to top G League officials, the NBA has still not committed to canceling the @nbagleague season according to multiple sources. As states effectively shut down business for an extended period of time, the NBA is still telling teams to hold pat.
Olympiacos has permitted its foreign players to leave Greece, in light of the EuroLeague shut down due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak across the globe.
Tim Bontemps: The NBA has extended its ban on team practices indefinitely, league sources tell ESPN. Players are still able to work out individually at team facilities.
Adam Johnson: In an evening memo to top G League officials, the NBA has still not committed to canceling the @nbagleague season according to multiple sources. As states effectively shut down business for an extended period of time, the NBA is still telling teams to hold pat.
Chris Mannix: Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns announced he will be donating $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic, which has begun rolling out a test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19.
Olympiacos has permitted its foreign players to leave Greece, in light of the EuroLeague shut down due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak across the globe.
Gallinari also won’t soon forget how quickly he and his teammates were ushered back to the home locker room when the game was abruptly called off after Rudy Gobert, Utah’s All-Star center, had been confirmed to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Gallinari recalled a lengthy wait for details and the uncommon instructions issued to Thunder players: You can shower, but you can’t leave. “We couldn’t really understand what was going on,” Gallinari said in an interview on Sunday. “We were all shocked. Maybe I was a little less shocked than anybody else knowing what’s going in on my country.”
The N.B.A. on Wednesday became the first major professional sports league in North America to suspend operations in response to the coronavirus outbreak, now a pandemic, but Gallinari, as Italy’s pre-eminent basketball export, had been consumed by the crisis for weeks. [...] Among those deaths was the grandmother of Filippo Conti, Gallinari’s best friend from their childhood in northern Italy — the country’s hardest-hit region — some 20 miles southeast of Milan. So when Gallinari, 31, spoke by telephone from his Oklahoma City condominium, where he is self-quarantined alongside his fiancée at the direction of team physicians and local health officials, he repeatedly brought the conversation back to Italy. “My family has been quarantined for some weeks now,” he said.
Gallinari said he had scarcely touched a ball since the N.B.A. was placed on hiatus, restricting himself to exercises he can do in his condo and, of course, checking in constantly with family members. Gallinari’s younger brother, Federico, is a redshirt sophomore on the basketball team at Rochester University, an N.A.I.A. school in Rochester Hills, Mich. Their father, Vittorio, a former professional basketball player in Italy, is frequently in the United States on business and is currently in Denver, where Danilo played for five and a half seasons. The rest of the family, including the brothers’ mother, Marilisa, is in Italy — but travel restrictions prevent her from visiting Danilo’s grandparents roughly 30 minutes away.
“Everybody is trying to find a new routine at home,” Gallinari said of Italian League players. “Basketball is not in their life anymore for now, so when they wake up in the morning, they’re trying to find something to do during the day, and it’s not easy because they have to stay home. They cannot have a regular social life. “It’s something serious. I see in Italy, right now, for the situation to get better, citizens — they have to behave in the right way and follow the lines and the rules that the government came out with. It’s not just a government thing or a hospital thing. It’s more like a team. We have to be a team.”

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The first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, the Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert, released an update from his quarantine on the official NBA Twitter account on Sunday thanking fans and expressing regret for initially not taking the spread of the disease more seriously. "I'm going to start by saying thank you to all the people that have been supportive and for all the positive energy," he said in the video. "It really means a lot. As for myself, I've been feeling a little better every single day thanks to the healthcare people of Utah and Oklahoma City and all the great people around me."
Gobert had joked about the coronavirus during a news conference on Monday and then touched the microphones and recorders in front of him. Two days later, his positive test catalyzed the suspension of the NBA regular season, which prompted the rest of the sports world to effectively go on hiatus. "As you may already know, I just wanted to make sure to remind you guys to keep washing your hands frequently with soap and water," Gobert said in the video. "Try to avoid touching your face, your nose, your eyes, and obviously try to avoid making unnecessary contact with people. It's all about protecting yourself and the people around you. I wish I would have taken this thing more seriously and I hope everyone else will do so because we can do it together. Take care and stay safe."
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and his players have stepped up to provide financial assistance to part-time employees adversely affected by the suspension of the NBA schedule. “It was the right thing to do!” Jordan told the Observer about forming a fund to compensate part-time employees who will miss paychecks as a result of canceled Hornets and Greensboro Swarm games, and other lost Spectrum Center events, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Hornets’ news release said about 500 part-time employees would be eligible for assistance, such as ushers, ticket-takers, entertainers, public-safety officers, etc. The announcement did not provide an estimate how much money this fund would distribute.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Hornets players chose to partner as team, not individually. Amount donated by each player to fund part-time employees won’t be announced. Players wanted to avoid optics of competing, self-promotion. “We’re here as a team to make a difference during this crazy time”
NBA referee Courtney Kirkland's coronavirus results came back negative, and doctors cleared him to leave Sacramento, a source confirmed to ESPN. Kirkland had been in Sacramento since Wednesday's game between the Kings and Pelicans was postponed just minutes before tipoff because he also had been assigned to work a Jazz-Raptors game in Salt Lake City on Monday.
The Pistons have confirmed their first preliminary positive case of coronavirus, amid the growing concern of a spread among players. Christian Wood's agent Adam Pensack told The News it's his client, and that "he feels 100-percent fine."
Wood is “100 percent OK” and “feeling fine,” per a source. Wood felt subtle symptoms of the virus on Thursday, and decided to get tested as a precaution. Wood has been in self-isolation since Wednesday.
Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks caught up with Los Angeles Lakers wing Danny Green, who shared his thoughts on the NBA’s hiatus in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. He also offered support for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA player to be diagnosed with the virus and is catching heat for a clip showing him jokingly touching microphones a few days before he tested positive. “People are blaming him for a lot of things, when obviously he was a little careless at times, but who’s to say that’s necessarily the reason why that’s happened? He probably should have been more careful, but it’s not all his fault. Mind you, you got to look at the positive of things. This was gonna happen regardless of whether it was gonna happen to him or somebody else. Somebody in the NBA was gonna catch the virus and give us a wakeup call…I don’t think he should be blamed or bashed as much as he is. I mean, it could happen to anybody.”
Wood is “100 percent OK” and “feeling fine,” per a source. Wood felt subtle symptoms of the virus on Thursday, and decided to get tested as a precaution. Wood has been in self-isolation since Wednesday.
Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks caught up with Los Angeles Lakers wing Danny Green, who shared his thoughts on the NBA’s hiatus in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. He also offered support for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA player to be diagnosed with the virus and is catching heat for a clip showing him jokingly touching microphones a few days before he tested positive. “People are blaming him for a lot of things, when obviously he was a little careless at times, but who’s to say that’s necessarily the reason why that’s happened? He probably should have been more careful, but it’s not all his fault. Mind you, you got to look at the positive of things. This was gonna happen regardless of whether it was gonna happen to him or somebody else. Somebody in the NBA was gonna catch the virus and give us a wakeup call…I don’t think he should be blamed or bashed as much as he is. I mean, it could happen to anybody.”
Chris Mannix: Pistons forward Christian Wood reported flu-like symptoms the morning of Detroit's game against Philadelphia on Wednesday, league sources told @SInow. Wood played, but when the Gobert news broke Wood was tested immediately upon the team's return to Detroit.
Shams Charania: Detroit Pistons‘ Christian Wood has tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Wood had 30 and 11 rebounds against Rudy Gobert on Saturday night before a career-high 32 on Wednesday. Sources say Wood has shown no symptoms and is doing well.

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A Salt Lake Tribune source familiar with Donovan Mitchell’s thinking has confirmed reports from ESPN and Sports Illustrated that Mitchell, after testing positive himself, was “frustrated” with Gobert for his actions before his positive test for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Mitchell wasn’t the only teammate of Gobert’s frustrated in the immediate wake of his diagnosis, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. But Gobert’s Instagram post has messages of support from many of his teammates, including Mike Conley, Emmanuel Mudiay and Royce O’Neale. Georges Niang is among others who wrote a tweet expressing well wishes to Mitchell and Gobert.
On Friday night, Mitchell was involved in a video game stream on Twitch with teammate and friend Royce O’Neale. At one point, O’Neale was asked about the status of Mitchell and Gobert’s relationship, to which O’Neale replied, “Ask Donovan." Mitchell largely stayed silent throughout the stream, laughing here and there. But when a clip of the “Ask Donovan” line started circulating on social media, O’Neale and Mitchell laughed at the drama and downplayed the “beef” on the stream. Someone associated with O’Neale and Mitchell asked the fan who posted the clip to take it down, and the fan complied.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has caught a lot of flack in recent days after he tested positive for COVID-19. Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green, however, doesn’t think that’s very fair. “I don’t think he should be blamed or bashed as much as he is,” Green said in a FaceTime with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks on Saturday. “I mean, it could have happened to anybody.”
Even if Gobert hadn’t have caught the coronavirus, somebody else would have. “This was going to happen regardless of whether it was going to happen to him or somebody else,” Green said, via Bleacher Report. “Somebody in the NBA was going to catch the virus and give us a wakeup call. I think it was needed. It was necessary for us — not just for the basketball world — but for the rest of the world to take it seriously … But this wouldn’t have happened if Rudy [hadn’t] caught it. So I’m glad that things happened the way he did.”
Maddie Lee: The Jazz announce that in addition to donating money to Vivint Smart Home Arena employees, families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah, and the French health care system, Rudy Gobert has pledged $100,000 of COVID-19 related social services relief to OKC.
Eric Woodyard: NBA referee Courtney Kirkland’s #coronavirus results came back negative and doctors cleared him to leave Sacramento, a source confirms. Kirkland had been there since the N.O. game was postponed. He is also cleared to resume all activities with no restrictions.
Donovan Mitchell thanked fans for the support he's received since testing positive for coronavirus and said he is feeling "fine." The Utah Jazz guard added that he remains quarantined on the orders of health officials in a video message released by the NBA on Saturday. "Just want to say thank you guys so much for your continued support. It means a lot to me," the 23-year-old Mitchell said. "I feel fine. Things are going well. Just taking the proper precautions as told to me by the authorities. I was told to stay in isolation, so, solo in here, playing videogames all day. Can't wait to get back out there and play in front of the best fans in the world. Really miss playing in front of you guys and I'll see you guys soon."
Jeff Zillgitt: Good news from the Raptors. Final coronavirus covid-19 test was negative. No one tested positive. pic.twitter.com/HbpmtMUatS
The Celtics and TD Garden released separate statements indicating Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were “unlikely’’ to have the coronavirus when they played in Boston on March 6. That revelation hit the Knicks’ world in a positive way. If Gobert didn’t have the coronavirus on March 6, then they also weren’t contagious when they played the Knicks on March 4 at the Garden. The Knicks and Celtics are still being advised by the NBA to “self-quarantine,’’ according to league sources. The Knicks flew back to New York from Atlanta late Thursday afternoon with all their players asymptomatic and not eligible to be tested under guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and New York Department of Health websites by which the franchise is abiding.
P.I.T.: Due to the Declaration of National Emergency, Declaration of Emergency in the State of Virginia, Declaration of Local Emergency in Portsmouth, VA and in an effort to prevent the spread the Corona Virus (COVID-19) through social distancing, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament has been cancelled for 2020. Mike Morris PIT Vice Chairman
Barack Obama: A shout out to Kevin, Giannis, Zion, Blake, Steph and all the players, owners and organizations who are setting a good example during a challenging time. A reminder that we’re a community, and that each of us has an obligation to look out for each other.
But on Wednesday when he got off work, Masri, a physician at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, canceled his trip. About an hour later, the NBA announced it was suspending play indefinitely after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. Masri, a Pelicans season ticket holder who has two seats in section 124, was disappointed that the NBA was halting play just as the playoff race was heating up but understood why the league was taking such drastic steps. “I’m kind of on the front lines of all this on the coronavirus,” Masri said. “I’ve been telling other people, for someone like me to say we should hold off on sports, being such a huge sports guy says a lot.”
In Italy, doctors are so inundated with coronavirus cases, they are forced to choose who to help, according to The New York Times. Doctors there are prioritizing younger patients without preexisting conditions. “We have a finite amount of resources,” Masri said. “On just a routine basis, on a normal flu season, we have several days where the hospital is at capacity.”
Reports of players in Italy flying back to the United States came in bunches on Friday morning. Emiliano Carchia, who runs the Sportando website that covers European basketball, reported the departures of Jaylen Barford, William Buford, Liam Farley, Davon Jefferson and James White from Virtus Roma in Rome. Numerous other Americans in Italy — Travis Diener, Ethan Happ and Terran Petteway among them — also received permission from their clubs to return to the States. Barford told The Athletic that people in the airport were “pretty calm” as he made his flight back to the U.S. The former St. John’s star said he might return to Italy if play resumes after the delay.
The NBA did not receive special treatment for the Utah Jazz when it came to coronavirus testing in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, an Oklahoma State Department of Health official told USA TODAY Sports. Oklahoma officials were prepared with test kits, and 58 people from the Jazz or with connections to the Jazz were tested because it was a “public health decision” based on direct contact with the initial player — Rudy Gobert — who had tested positive, OKDH spokesperson Jamie Dukes said Friday.
Rishi Desai is the chief medical officer and pediatric infectious disease physician for Osmosis, a digital platform for learning medicine and the health sciences. He also used to work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemic intelligence service officer investigating disease outbreaks. He understands Oklahoma’s decision to test who it did. He called athletes, team personnel and traveling reporters “super spreaders,” people who are often in direct contact with several other people especially in arenas with thousands of people. “The average person is not exposing as many other people as a super spreader,” he told USA TODAY Sports. “Whenever there’s an outbreak and you know you have these potential super spreaders who have the potential to be around a lot of people, you want to really get on top of that situation.”
Jones said there isn’t mandated testing for the players. There are nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Arizona. “If you look at it, like anything, you also run the risk of false negatives,” Jones said. “You definitely don’t want someone believing that they’re in the clear and not be in the clear. So for us, that’s why we’ve given our guys three or four days away to kind of settle and as we come back, if situation presents themselves where guys need to be tested, they’ll be tested.”
Jones said the Suns players aren’t nervous over the situation despite Gobert and Mitchell testing positive for the virus. “They’ve all understood what the risks are,” Jones said. “Our player population is a group that’s resilient as far as this illness. It’s something that like anything when it comes to health that you think about, but the more you learn, the more you process, the better you feel about the measures that we’ve taken as an organization. The measures that they’ve taken personally to protect themselves and their health. Our guys are good.”
Kareem-Abdul Jabbar: Again, the blame lies with the federal government’s head-in-the-sand policies built on incompetence, fear of losing voters, and lack of a basic understanding of science and math. The early CDC tests were flawed and they could have used the same tests other countries were using but they didn’t because it would have meant changing bureaucratic procedures. Hospitals and laboratories also could have manufactured their own tests, but the feds blocked those efforts with more red tape. While other countries were charging to get ahead of the virus, we were arrogantly lagging behind while patting ourselves on the back with Trump’s false claim that “[the number of infected is] going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” So, thank you NBA, NCAA, NHL, MLB and all the other organizations who have put public welfare above their own monetary gain. I never thought I’d see the day when Big Business acted more patriotic and selfless than a presidential administration.
Basketball is back in Japan. The Japanese league has resumed play after a 4-week suspension. Four games were played with no fans on Saturday, while the Kawasaki-Levanga game was cancelled as a precautionary measure after three players — Marc Trasolini, Kennedy Meeks and Sean Ichioka — were diagnosed with having a fever.
Shams Charania: Toronto’s Serge Ibaka has tested negative for coronavirus, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Ibaka defended Rudy Gobert throughout Jazz-Raptors game Monday, leading to testing of Toronto players Wednesday night.
Just two players—Gobert and Donovan Mitchell—tested positive for coronavirus. Gobert, who only reported symptoms when Utah arrived in Oklahoma City, sources told SI.com, and Mitchell are close, All-Stars who have been teammates since 2018. Oklahoma state health officials acted swiftly after learning of the positive test, the first in Oklahoma City. State officials ordered the testing of all members of the Jazz traveling party, sources say, in an effort to back trace the movements of anyone who tests positive to determine where the infection may have spread.
Gobert publicly apologized for his “careless” behavior in the days before his diagnosis, which included touching the digital recorders of reporters who had placed them in front of Gobert after an interview and reportedly making light of the issue inside the locker room. Mitchell is “extremely frustrated” with Gobert, league sources told SI.com. In an Instagram post, Mitchell said of coronavirus “hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.”
Both McCollum and Anthony first discussed how much money the league was going to lose if all the NBA games were to still be played, but without fans. And then… The big news bomb dropped at the 20:30 mark of the podcast. McCollum broke the news to Melo. LISTEN HERE "This is crazy. This really caught me off guard," CJ McCollum said. The two discussed the financial ramifications. Nobody knew this was going to happen and as athletes we never think it can happen to us. So we are always like -- oaky we're good, okay I got this money, I got that money. It's not until you hit a crisis when you really understand how much money you have and what you have in the bank and what you don't have in the bank…. It's going to get bad. It's going to get really, really bad. -- Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony on his initial thoughts of the suspended season news
Shams Charania: Toronto’s Serge Ibaka has tested negative for coronavirus, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Ibaka defended Rudy Gobert throughout Jazz-Raptors game Monday, leading to testing of Toronto players Wednesday night.
Just two players—Gobert and Donovan Mitchell—tested positive for coronavirus. Gobert, who only reported symptoms when Utah arrived in Oklahoma City, sources told SI.com, and Mitchell are close, All-Stars who have been teammates since 2018. Oklahoma state health officials acted swiftly after learning of the positive test, the first in Oklahoma City. State officials ordered the testing of all members of the Jazz traveling party, sources say, in an effort to back trace the movements of anyone who tests positive to determine where the infection may have spread.
Gobert publicly apologized for his “careless” behavior in the days before his diagnosis, which included touching the digital recorders of reporters who had placed them in front of Gobert after an interview and reportedly making light of the issue inside the locker room. Mitchell is “extremely frustrated” with Gobert, league sources told SI.com. In an Instagram post, Mitchell said of coronavirus “hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.”
Both McCollum and Anthony first discussed how much money the league was going to lose if all the NBA games were to still be played, but without fans. And then… The big news bomb dropped at the 20:30 mark of the podcast. McCollum broke the news to Melo. LISTEN HERE "This is crazy. This really caught me off guard," CJ McCollum said. The two discussed the financial ramifications. Nobody knew this was going to happen and as athletes we never think it can happen to us. So we are always like -- oaky we're good, okay I got this money, I got that money. It's not until you hit a crisis when you really understand how much money you have and what you have in the bank and what you don't have in the bank…. It's going to get bad. It's going to get really, really bad. -- Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony on his initial thoughts of the suspended season news
Prior to going on his weekly radio spot on KNBR on Wednesday evening, Kerr had a discussion with Golden State general manager Bob Myers, in which the possibilities of the situation were laid out. "I had also just spoken to Bob Myers about a half-hour prior and he told me we were heading toward fanless games across the league, like ours was going to be, or a complete suspension," Kerr explained to The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "With the suspension, he said worst case -- if a player gets infected -- that’s when we’re for sure going into a suspension."
"I think the way this whole thing has unfolded, it’s always human nature to be in denial of something that we can’t really understand," Kerr said. "As this stuff was unfolding over the last couple of weeks, it’s hard to fathom that the sports world can come to a complete stop. So your mind as a vulnerable human being is trying to rationalize everything -- like we could do this, we could do that, we could take this measure, this is how we could still play. And then all of a sudden when the reality hits home it’s: 'Oh my God. This is real.'"
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October 23, 2021 | 1:41 pm EDT Update
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Michele Roberts calls out Sixers GM Daryl Morey

In an exclusive statement to Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, Roberts urged everyone to be respectful and supportive of Simmons as he works through a tough time. She also called out Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey’s comments about continuing this standoff with Simmons for the four remaining years of his contract. “Really? Is it so hard to believe that Ben’s not mentally at a place to compete? Professional athletes — like the rest of us — have difficult periods in our lives that require time and energy to heal. We have and will continue to provide Ben with the support and resources he needs to work through this. Threatening the prospect of ‘another four years’ serves no one’s interests. Like Tobias [Harris], I say let’s respect Ben’s space and embrace him while allowing him the time to move forward. “So, take a breath and count to 10: We are all too good to continue to play this perpetual game of chicken.”
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The Wizards then flipped a draft pick for Aaron Holiday and signed Spencer Dinwiddie as part of the trade. Kuzma put on his GM hat after Friday’s game to evaluate the deal in hindsight. “I mean, you gotta do that trade 10 out of 10 times. If you have an opportunity to get five good basketball players for one, it makes sense. Granted, [Westbrook is] obviously a Hall of Fame player and everything. He’s an unbelievable player, don’t take that wrong,” Kuzma said.
Mark Medina: Lakers coach Frank Vogel taking issue with Dwight Howard and Klay Thompson not being on NBA Top 75 list. Vogel called it “surreal” that LeBron, AD, Westbrook and Melo are all on the list

Storyline: NBA's 75 Greatest Players