The N.B.A. has crowned a champion in each of its 73 pre…

The N.B.A. has crowned a champion in each of its 73 previous seasons and wants to avoid the sort of unappealing, unresolved conclusion to a season that Major League Baseball endured in 1994, when a labor impasse halted play in August. League officials want this even if it means returning from a first-of-its-kind extended delay to play in empty arenas and serving up the type of raggedy product that could well result from a lengthy hiatus.

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Dave McMenamin: The Lakers administered testing to players only - not coaches/trainers - today, sources told ESPN. Players arrived at the test site and never left their cars during the procedure, which took a matter of minutes, involving a Q-tip being placed up their nostril to secure a culture
One person said the doctor inserted a big swab in the nose, that it had to touch the throat and then was twisted while inside the nose. It took about 10 seconds for the testing to be completed. The testing wasn’t mandatory for the Lakers’ players, and none of the coaches were tested.
Players who took the test are hoping to get the results back by Friday. “It hurts,” one person said. “It doesn’t feel good.”
Nikola Vucevic: Have questions about the coronavirus? The @NBA has great resources from @cdcgov & @WHO: http://coronavirus.nba.com
Tilman Fertitta's Post Oak Hotel is cutting worker benefits as it and others in the hospitality industry cope with dining room closures, lost conference bookings and room cancellations as the country stays home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Vacation and paid time off benefits will be temporarily suspended and any time off would go unpaid, according to a memo sent to employees this week from the hotel's general manager Jorge Gonzales. The letter tells employees of the hotel at 1600 West Loop South where to find information on how to apply for unemployment benefits.
Fertitta, a Galveston native who owns the Houston Rockets and a global restaurant empire, told CNBC's Power Lunch early this month that his business was off $1 million a day from a base of $12 million a day in restaurant sales. "But remember, that last million in sales is your most profitable," he said on CNBC, which airs his reality show Billion Dollar Buyer. "That's where your heavy profit is, so if you don't cut expenses than what can you cut? We're not going to cut the quality of the product. You can only cut labor."
Wilson Chandler: Building manager called me saying “Oh, I seen Nets players had the virus. We would like to know your status. And if you could possibly stay out of the lobby etc. We can’t afford to lose our staff.” Didn’t even ask was I ok, one. And two, she didn’t ask me if I had been tested and if it was negative or positive. F--- this building man. I’m going home. Has to be 300 + plus ppl in this building coming and going. Plus Fed Ex and UPs deliveries, Amazon etc. F--- that lady man.
However, that’s all on hold since the NBA season has been suspended due to COVID-19. While pausing the season is understandable, it has led to frustration for many, including Hoskins who depends on his freelance check from NBA Entertainment. No games, no paycheck. “In the short term, I’ve got time off because normally I keep my schedule open (for the Pacers) up until the middle of April and the first of May because of the playoffs,” Hoskins said.
Silver’s decision set off a chain of events that led to the postponement of several high-profile sporting events for millions of people, including the NCAA men's and women's tournaments, the NHL season, MLB's spring training and the Masters, to name a few. And the NBA’s move may end up playing an important role in flattening the curve of outbreak – a public health service that could save lives and help minimize stress on health care personnel and services. “His action was instrumental at getting the political will and the economic will across the country over the hump, to switch us from one mode of thinking to another and get us to realize this is no longer an inconvenience and it is a national emergency,” Rishi Desai told USA TODAY Sports.
Silver relied on relationships he had formed to help him understand coronavirus and its potential impact. One of Silver’s strengths, beyond his intelligence and marketing skills, is his ability to maintain connections, never knowing when someone might be able to help, one person told USA TODAY Sports. Silver also has an influential circle of trusted confidants including former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The 64-year old Roberts said she is certain more players will test positive after some notable names already have. “I was mortified any of our players would test positive. But the more I learned about the likelihood of fatalities among all of us given our ages and pre-existing conditions, I have learned to embrace the probability that many of our players will be positive for the virus,” Roberts said. “They want to understand exactly what the health risks are. So whatever information we can impart, we do. We are (as) vigilant as we can and try to update them.”
Three Warriors players have left the Bay Area to join their families, Myers said, without identifying which ones. No Warriors employee, at this point, has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said. But no employee has tested negative, either. Until a coach, player or staffer is symptomatic, they won’t test at all, in accordance with local and state government preferences, according to Myers. “We’ve been told that the testing is in short supply and we’re treating ourselves like people,” Myers said. “Which is what we are. We’re not better than anybody, not worse. Just a basketball team. … I’ve been told by our doctors, medical community, we shouldn’t be testing asymptomatic people at this point in California. … We’ve been told there’s not enough tests to do that.”
Do we know anything about how (Nets) got tested? Alex Schiffer: They went to a private company.
An NBA official said no final decisions have been made on the lottery or combine. If the regular season is canceled, the Knicks would hold the sixth-best odds in the lottery at 21-45. That gives them a nine percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and a 27.5 percent chance of a top-three pick. There’s also a scenario of falling to No. 10.
As the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus hovers over the world, Golden State Warriors coach and Team USA assistant Steve Kerr said Tuesday that the staff must plan as if the Tokyo Olympics will go on as scheduled this summer. Kerr said he has been in contact with Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich in recent days. "Pop and I have spoken a couple of times over the last week or so," Kerr said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. "And everything's just up in the air. There's no sense of whether things are going to be delayed or anything. We're all kind of sitting here wondering what's going to happen, and so is the rest of the world. We're just going to plan as if this is going to happen, and we're going to try and put together a roster, and that's all we can do."
Given the exposure risks from our game against the Nets on March 10th, we are following the next steps of our COVID-19 procedures and protocol that are established in consultation with various health officials, the NBA and our UCLA Health doctors.

https://twitter.com/ramonashelburne/status/1240081662102274048
Adrian Wojnarowski: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is planning to raise its credit line up to $1.2 billion, sources tell ESPN. The previous credit line has been $650 million.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA discussed the plan on a call with the Board of Governors on Tuesday, sources said. For the NBA, this would allow the league to increase cash flow through what’s expected to be an extended shutdown of the season.
On players testing positive for the coronavirus: Michelle Roberts: “A whole lot of us are going to test positive. Even if we aren’t positive, we got the virus. I don’t intend to disclose identities because there’s a stigma attached to that. But I certainly know there will be more players, more league staff and my own staff [that will be tested positive]. I was hearing the numbers that 40 to 50% of our population will be positive for the virus, whether or not we test for it.”
Michelle Roberts: “What my players are asking of me is the same thing I ask of my local government and the federal government. They want to know what is the best estimate on how bad it is going to get. We understand the health concerns. Despite the fact that they are a population that is not presumably at risk, they have moms, grandmothers and children. They want to understand exactly what the health risks are. So whatever information we can impart, we do.”
Michele Roberts: “I wouldn’t share specific conversations with Adam. But the league is not any more able to predict the future than you and I are. We know this situation will likely get worse. We will not put players, team or staff at risk. It’s not hard to figure out what we can’t do. The only issue is when are things going to be safe enough to resume play? Everyone is guessing. I’m watching what happened in China. It looks like that cycle took six months. So will it take us six months for us to get through this? I don’t know.”
Mike Vorkunov: No word yet from the Knicks whether any player has undergone COVID-19 testing or tested positive. Several other teams have volunteered that information. NYK played 2 teams in season's last week with players who later tested positive. Part of larger public health picture as well.
Jeremy Lin: And I dont wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu bc everyday Asian-Americans inc ppl I know are threatened and physically attacked. I dont give a crap about the history of names rn. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards asians
Spurs guard Marco Belinelli is offering financial assistance to hospitals in his native Bologna, Italy, to aid in the battle against the global coronavirus outbreak. The country has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 31,000 diagnosed cases and 2,500 deaths.
The NBA broadcasters are suffering mightily from the loss of programming. Almost $700 million of ads will be at risk for Disney should the suspended season be fully canceled, Geetha Ranganathan, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in a note Tuesday. Turner, which was going to show the scuttled NCAA March Madness college basketball championship in addition to the NBA, faces a loss of almost $960 million in ads, she said.
Shams Charania: Durant has not had symptoms and was among four positive test results on the Nets. The two-time NBA Finals MVP's message is one for everyone to heed: Stay quarantined.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr, a Team USA assistant, on the possibility of the Summer Olympics being canceled: "Everything's up in the air. We're all sitting here wondering what's going to happen, and so is the rest of the world."
Wes Goldberg: Bob Myers on when he saw Jazz and Thunder players getting pulled off the floor. "Once it did, just connecting the dots for me, my immediate thought was they would have suspend the season."
JD Shaw: Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Only one is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic, the team says.
David Aldridge: Wow: pic.twitter.com/S34NRo3lC5

http://twitter.com/davidaldridgedc/status/1240004192514736129
Bam Adebayo: Mood Pt.5 pic.twitter.com/VLJsujjrNA

http://twitter.com/Bam1of1/status/1239977556910227457
Individually, Mitchell and Gobert, the two pillars of the Jazz organization, are doing whatever they can to aid the Jazz and NBA community during an unprecedented crisis. But collectively, Mitchell and Gobert, and the remainder of the Jazz, will need to take this hiatus to deal with their own crisis.
The reports of recent days have been multiple, and confirmed through The Athletic sourcing: Mitchell has been frustrated with Gobert in relation to his positive test. Those reports first surfaced on Thursday, the day of Mitchell’s positive test, and the day after Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive, which prompted a league-wide shutdown. They continued through the weekend, as Mitchell’s Instagram post stoked the rumors, because some of the wording is seemingly directed at Gobert. They were confirmed on Monday morning in Mitchell’s interview with Good Morning America.
Privately, according to sources, Utah hopes the time off does the team well. Neither Mitchell nor Gobert are the type to hold a grudge. Both are affable. And, privately, the Jazz know that they have doused fires before. Teammates everywhere get tired of each other over the course of a long season, and Mitchell and Gobert are no different. When Mitchell showed poor body language towards Gobert in a December home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he realized his mistake and apologized to his big man. After games, their lockers are next to each other and can often be seen talking to each other about what transpired on the floor. They are without question the leaders of this team. They are both accountable to their teammates and to the media.
NBA stars are not the only basketball players wondering whether their teams will get a chance to compete for a championship this season. Around the world, other professional ballers are also on hiatus due to the deadly COVID-19, including former NBA forward Anthony Randolph, who currently plays for Spanish club Real Madrid Baloncesto. “It is a little devastating to know that your season can be postponed for a certain period of time or even canceled,” Randolph told The Undefeated from Madrid last week. “It’s kind of hard to deal with when you put in so much work and we’re positioning ourselves for seeding and the playoffs, getting ready for the real season playing for titles and championships. “But we understand at this time, the health and safety of all the players and our families is the most important thing.”
Randolph, who has averaged 10.7 points and 3.7 rebounds for Real Madrid this season, has been sidelined due to a thumb injury and missed the game in Italy. He declined to comment on Thompkins potentially getting the coronavirus in Italy or his current status, but did say he himself currently has no symptoms of COVID-19. “Most of my teammates and the trainers were all worried about going to Milan to play the game,” Randolph, 30, said. “But you know us as athletes, we kind of shrugged it off as like, ‘We will be all right. They will protect us.’ There were procedures and things put in place to protect us. We just figured [EuroLeague] would protect us. And when the guys came back, everybody did what they were supposed to do.
Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith is convinced that the NBA teams should play the remainder of the season if it is resumed. He rejected the idea of going straight to the playoffs. It will take time for the players to get back in shape and for team cohesiveness to be rebuilt, Smith explained. With almost a quarter of the season still left to play, the teams would get enough games to get in shape for the playoffs.
According to an NBA source, all players are permitted to leave their market city during the extended suspension and self-isolate there. However, Ntilikina’s home base is France, which is on a lockdown, making it more complicated. The United States is not accepting flights back from France. International players “can’t currently leave the country,” according to an NBA source.
Marc Stein: The NBA has begun collecting data on available arena dates at G League buildings and practice facilities through the end of August -- as well as teams' regular arenas -- as it holds of hope of resuming the 2019-20 season, league sources say. In the strain to find silver linings amid this crisis, there are teams out there eager to see if real NBA games in the summer would be as "hot" as some believe -- since there certainly is a pocket of power brokers in the league intrigued by an Opening Night on Christmas calendar.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA will hold a Board of Governors call on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. This is the third meeting with owners and commissioner since Wednesday. As information flows into league on the coronavirus pandemic, there's plenty to discuss, analyze and eventually make decisions on.

https://twitter.com/BlakeMurphyODC/status/1239660598377566214
Storyline: Coronavirus
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July 28, 2021 | 7:51 am EDT Update

Devin Booker: 'There's no hate towards Jrue Holiday or Khris Middleton'

And two players from the Bucks are not only also on the American team, but circumstances were such that the three had to share a private plane ride across the Pacific last weekend — a day after the Bucks’ championship parade. “The memories are there, but it’s nothing personal between us,” Booker said. “We lost and that’s it, and I’m man enough to accept that and move on. There’s no hate towards Jrue or K Mid.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 1270 more rumors
Months after LeBron James lost a Finals, he’d always say it was something he’d never get over. Good thing he never had to be Devin Booker, who barely had 10 minutes to try and put it behind him. “I’m a forward thinker and able to move onto the next thing, and be able to take my ‘L’ and move on,” Booker said Wednesday, in his first comments since the night his Phoenix Suns lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, eight days ago.
Booker’s coach on Team USA, Gregg Popovich, and teammate Draymond Green (not to mention assistant coach Steve Kerr, but we digress) have been in Booker’s shoes, having lost a Finals. He said Popovich and Green discussed it with him “in short conversation.” “Talkin’ about it with Draymond, and him stressing the fact that it’s not gonna be that easy to get back to the Finals,” Booker said. “I remember us as a team saying that in the locker room after we lost — you know we’ve got to understand, it’s going to be even harder to make it to the point we were at. … But I’m excited for the experience. It was great. I am glad I got to do it, obviously ended up on the wrong side of the stick, but that’s life.”
“It’s a HUGE deal,” former NBA player Raja Bell said of the international ball in a text with CBS Sports on Tuesday. “I’ve always said that FIBA balls affected my shot and other NBA players’ shots tremendously. I HATE that ball! “It’s lighter, feels smaller, different texture,” Bell continued. “I mean, when the art of shooting is based on muscle memory, and you change all the factors except the rim size and height, it’s going to be difficult.”
Storyline: Olympic Games
In another exchange with a Western Conference scout, the conclusion was similar. “[The ball is] definitely a factor,” the scout said. “How big a factor I guess depends on the particular player. But it’s an adjustment for everyone. Some guys are going to make [the adjustment] easier than others.” And another text from an Eastern Conference scout with international playing experience: “It’s pretty different, and it takes some getting used to. It’s much softer than NBA or college basketballs.”
It should be comforting for Jalen Johnson to know he’ll be a first-round selection in Thursday night’s NBA draft. What should be more stressful for the former Nicolet High School standout is where he’ll actually be chosen. Johnson, a talented 6-foot-9 forward, has elicited a wide-range of opinions from NBA draft personnel. Said one longtime NBA personnel director of Johnson: “He is, to me, the biggest wild-card in the draft. I wouldn’t be shocked if he went in the lottery, like around 12 or so, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he fell into the 20s.’’
“Part of the evolution of African interest and passion for the game goes back to Hakeem’s entry into the game,” said Victor Williams, chief executive of NBA Africa. “Giannis is doing the same thing for today’s generation of African kids — and they do recognize him as African.” Antetokounmpo is known as “The Greek Freak” because he was born in Athens, but he grew up in a Nigerian home. His mother, Veronica, is Igbo. His late father, Charles, is from the same Yoruba tribe as Olajuwon. His last name — Adetokunbo — was Hellenized when he finally became a citizen of Greece and received his passport, one month before the Bucks drafted him 15th in 2013.
In the 2020 draft, nine players from or with at least one parent from Nigeria were selected. Seven players in the Finals had ties to Africa: Mamadi Diakite (Guinea); Abdel Nader (Egypt); Axel Toupane (Senegal); and Deandre Ayton, Jordan Nwora and Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria). “In a continent that is vastly made up of a young, vibrant, dynamic population, that’s the future,” Fall said. “So to see these young people on the global stage doing big things, I think across borders, whether he’s from Nigeria or Congo or Côte d’Ivoire, everybody is watching the NBA. What they are doing continues to build and add to the narrative and the momentum that’s been shaping up, in terms of basketball development on the continent.”