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Something wasn’t right. Hundreds of basketball games had tipped off without fail at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but this was an outlier. The three officials gathered to start, then there was a fourth, a suit unfamiliar to this portion of the show. It was the equivalent of a 747 tearing down the runway only to get called back to the gate. When games are ready to go, they typically do. But “typical” is not what’s happening to the world right now. The coronavirus is not typical, nor was March 11, when, in front of 18,000 people, Donnie Strack acted atypical to the NBA machine that was in motion around him.
Amid a strange scene that ended with the cancellation of not just a game but the postponement NBA indefinitely, Strack remained himself. For those unfamiliar with the 6-foot-5 native of Indiana, his face may have exhibited urgency as he explained the scenario to the officials and motioned for Thunder assistant general manager Rob Hennigan to join the huddle. But Strack’s face maintained the same controlled concern he has when talking to players in pregame with a hand on their shoulder and an even tone.
Strack — who was not made available by the Thunder to speak for this story — didn’t display panic or lack for answers. He was, despite the unprecedented circumstances of the night, operating as if there was a precedent. While Strack was the messenger, he was more. He had to be composed amid potential chaos. Only the NBA had the authority to call the game, which ultimately happened, but Strack was part of the group which had to quickly mobilize to give the league time to make the final call. By the time the NBA did make that call, the players were already back in their respective locker rooms.
South Korea's basketball league, the KBL, canceled the remainder of their season due to safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic. The KBL suspended play on February 29th. League officials met to discuss whether to restart the league on March 29th, but decided to cancel the season.
South Korea's basketball league, the KBL, canceled the remainder of their season due to safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic. The KBL suspended play on February 29th. League officials met to discuss whether to restart the league on March 29th, but decided to cancel the season.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee leaders said, “It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising,” after surveying more than 1,780 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls about the coronavirus’ impact on their training and, potentially, the Tokyo Games.
“We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and Chair Susanne Lyons said in a joint statement accompanying the survey results. “We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner.”
The survey, sent to about 4,000 athletes with a 45 percent response rate, yielded results that included: Nearly 65 percent of athletes said their training has been severely impacted, or they can’t train at all. Nearly two-thirds of athletes feel that continuing to train would either put their health at risk or aren’t sure if it would put their health at risk. Nearly 70 percent of athletes said they would feel comfortable competing if the World Health Organization deemed it safe. 68 percent said they did not think the Games could be fairly competed if continued as scheduled. Nearly 93 percent reported a preference for postponing the Games versus canceling them outright.
In collaboration with the Portland Trail Blazers organizationand players, the Trail Blazers Foundation is establishing a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support local nonprofits serving the community. The funds raised will go to nonprofits who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including supporting the Oregon Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Pooled Fund, which is rapidly deploying resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the outbreak in Oregon.
New Orleans Pelicans veteran J.J. Redick was preparing to take the floor against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, Mar. 11, the night the NBA suspended play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On a recent episode of his podcast, Redick detailed the players’ perspective on how the night unfolded leading up to the Association’s landmark decision to suspend play.
Arriving at the arena and going about business as usual, Redick and the rest of the team saw the situation with the Jazz-Oklahoma City game unfold on TV about an hour before their own game was to tip off. “The other ESPN game was on in the locker room — all of a sudden it flips to whatever’s going on with OKC-Jazz, and there’s the byline of, you know, there’s a player quarantined or they’re testing a player,” Redick continued. “And then it comes out a few minutes later that it’s Rudy Gobert. He’s tested positive. I was standing next to our PR guy, Will, and within like three minutes, he had a memo from the league that the league had been suspended.”
“We’re getting ready to go out finally to the hallway, to do our prayer, go out for warmups, and Aaron Nelson sprints through the locker room to try to find David Griffin. And that’s when we found out Courtney Kirkland had reffed the Jazz game,” Redick said. “So, then we were having a conversation in the locker room like, you know, ‘I don’t think it’s safe to play.’ No one felt like it was safe to play. Had the NBA made us play, we would have hooped, but I know a lot of guys expressed concern that they didn’t feel like it was safe to go out and play. Not just for us, but for anyone — anyone that was in that arena that night.”
Do you have any thoughts on how you think the league should proceed or how they might proceed once the outbreak is contained? CJ McCollum: "I think as long as they’re doing what’s right from a health standpoint for all parties involved — fans, players, ownership, coaching staff — I think as long as they follow the rules, guidelines and regulations that are issued by the government, I think we’re in a good place and I think the NBA has been at the front of the line in terms of making decisions that are health-based and not based on finances. I think as long as we continue to follow those guidelines, we’ll be in a great spot to return at some point. “
CJ McCollum: "I’m good. I’m staying in the house, just got some kettlebells in, ordering some more products to workout in the house and some more products for my new puppy. I think people should definitely take this seriously. Obviously you have the age gaps to where you’ve got kids of spring break wildin’ out, you got a lot of different stuff you’re seeing and that’s just part of that generation and culture of not taking things seriously. But then you have the people who are following protocol, are staying in the house, especially the people who are more mature. I’ve left the house four times in the last 15 days now. Once was to get my puppy, one was to get some gas and then I went on two walks. I’ve basically been in the house for almost two and a half weeks.”
Mark Cuban is maintaining optimism that the NBA could return sooner than most would've thought. "Hopefully by the middle of May, we're starting to get back to normal and the NBA is playing games," Cuban said. "Maybe not with fans, but we're playing it because sports plays such an important role. you know, people want something to cheer for people want something to rally around, people want something to be excited about."
"I'm proud of Adam Silver," Cuban said. "I'm proud of the NBA and the way we've reacted. I think we've led the way, and hopefully will lead the way out of this. I mean you know no one has perfect information right now, and so all decisions are tough. But, you know, if I had to guess based off the people I've talked to at the CDC and other places -- I would say that the over under would be June 1, and I'm taking the under."
If that were to come to fruition, the NBA could play the roughly 15-18 games that teams have remaining from mid-May to mid-June, and start the playoffs in late June. "I mean, sports is what we need right now and... I think the NBA is ready to play that role," Cuban said. So how do we get there? "Really, one thing we've got to get to a point where our scientists have come up with, not a cure, but a therapy that we know minimizes the impact of the virus," Cuban said.
Rex Chapman is working to mobilize his 576,000 followers to help raise money for coronavirus relief efforts. His Rex Chapman Foundation, which normally is focused on fighting the opioid drug epidemic, has partnered with the Bluegrass Community Foundation to create the Rex Chapman Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund to raise money to go to any nonprofit organizations that are "providing support and aid to those impacted by COVID-19 nationally."
He rose to prominence on Twitter by circulating sometimes painful videos of collisions of all types with the caption, "block or charge?" as a reference to debate over basketball foul calls near the basket. His account has been suspended at least once for copyright violations regarding videos he has posted. Recently, Chapman has taken to circulating more heartwarming videos on Twitter, especially since the coronavirus pandemic began. As of Monday afternoon, more than 2,000 people had donated to the relief fund in the last 24 hours.

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Regarding life amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gasol said: “I imagine that it’s like everyone else. We must approach it with great concern, great sensitivity, great personal, family and social responsibility. Fortunately, my parents understand the measures and precautions that must be taken, having expertise in the healthcare world. Also, they, who are in advanced age, understand that they must more cautious, if possible because they are people that the virus can affect more, in a lethal way. It’s a time when, as a society, as a country, as a world, we have to be very responsible, follow the recommendations of the our governments and win the battle against the virus.”
Emiliano Carchia: Rodney Purvis and Kevarrius Hayes have left Italy to return to USA, a source told @Sportando . The two players returned to USA with Cantù permission.
In an interview with L’Equipe, Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier has strongly defended National Team teammate Rudy Gobert, who came under fire after being the first NBA player positive to Coronavirus. “It hurts me, he became the face of the virus in the NBA. The behaviour of people and journalists has been disgusting, I don’t understand taking out the names of the sick: it looks like the transfer window when it’s the scoop race. It was a coronavirus free agency, unbearable. You can say a guy is sick without naming him: today Philadelphia and the Lakers have cases and we don’t know who they are”, Fournier said.
Fournier noted that it was just that, a joke, and added that it was easier to blame him as a foreigner: “It’s typically the thing where we’re going to blame the stranger. He’s European so he brought the virus back? When we don’t know. Who says it was not Donovan Mitchell who infected him? The environment is unhealthy, not helped by what Donald Trump says. The joke with the microphones was a joke where no one had realized the magnitude of the thing. It’s easy to point the finger a posteriori. I could have made the same joke.”
The current state of the NBA has left much in peril and question with not only the league but the world in a situation never before experienced in our lifetimes. With regards to the NBA season and its fate, all sorts of potential solutions have been tossed out, ranging from continuing the season from the spot it was paused to forgoing the remaining weeks of the regular season to starting back up with the playoffs. During the Pelicans Playback social show on Saturday, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin gave some insight into the league’s thinking.
“With everything changing so quickly, everything is in a state of flux that I think it would be premature for the NBA to say what it ultimately looks like. I do know unequivocally that the league is very mindful of the idea of getting back to playing. The idea of canceling a season is not all on their minds, and we’re modeling every possible thing we can for how we can deliver a product to the fans. Quite frankly, we’re all going to need a diversion in the future. (But) until we can get to a point where we think we’ve got containment of (the coronavirus), we’re going to continue to stay locked down. Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can come back sooner rather than later.”
How are you dealing with the coronavirus at the moment? Marco Belinelli (San Antonio Spurs): The situation is really tragic. This virus has been underestimated in all countries since the first moment and immediate procedure wasn’t taken, thinking that it was similar to the flu. Being Italian, I saw all the progress of the virus and the restrictions that have been taken by my country. In the United States, we have been facing this virus for a week.
What’s the current situation in your city? Marco Belinelli: In San Antonio until yesterday (18/03) we had about 12 cases, but the numbers are continuously rising. Restaurants, shops, gyms etc. are slowly starting to close.
Due to the circumstances, what does your daily schedule look like? Do you practice at all? Marco Belinelli: I have been living in “quarantine” for two weeks now. I’m going out to only take my dog for a walk. We do our grocery shopping online, and I’m working out at home. I want to also thank the Spurs staff, that is absolutely present and read to accommodate our every need, by bringing us food and all the necessary tools to continue our sports routine as much as possible.
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sacramento Kings): It’s shocking, it’s unbelievably difficult for everybody but we’re all in this together. We just have to be disciplined as we learn more things about this new virus. It’s a new lesson for us as a community, as a society. We just have to deal with it like everyone else and be aware of the spreading and the power of the virus.
Bogdan Bogdanovic: (Sacramento) It’s the same as every other city. All the stores are closed, only grocery shops and hospitals are open. There are even more restrictions, compared to last week. We cannot use the gyms; all the arenas are shut down and we have to be patient and figure it out.
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Under these circumstances, no we don’t practice. The arenas are shut down. I’m just trying to get better; that’s the only thing I can do. I’m trying to get my body right and try to be prepared for what’s coming next. The hardest part about all this, is that you don’t know what’s going to happen and when this situation will end. You just got to be ready and work on everything in order to stay in shape.
The Miami Heat were at least able to pick up some sort of victory while the NBA is suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. On Saturday, Heat forward Meyers Leonard led his team to a victory in a Call of Duty tournament for NBA players. The match was broadcast on Twitch, a live streaming platform for gamers. Leonard teamed with NBAers Donovan Mitchell, Zach LaVine, Mario Hezonja and high school player Bronny James, son of LeBron James. They defeated a team comprised of Josh Hart, Ben Simmons and Royce O'Neale and high school player Terrence Clarke.
Staffers for the Brooklyn Nets boarded a March 13 charter flight from California before the team’s stars and their families got on. The staff disinfected the plane and placed hand sanitizers and masks alongside vitamins in the common area. The NBA had just suspended its season and players were on edge. Some team personnel had coughs and runny noses, so each player was given a piece of paper and asked to write how they were feeling, if they’d been around anyone who was sick, or if they have any family members in a high-risk category.
The Aggie alum says it's been difficult with the season suspended, especially since he can't even use the gym or team training facilities. "Not a gym. We have to be on quarantine. That was the recommendation, the 14 day quarantine after they figured out somebody on the team had it. I'm doing all homework nowadays. I'm looking forward to, eagerly, getting back on the basketball court," explained Caruso.
It was late February and Larry Harris, Warriors assistant general manager and director of player personnel, was wrapping up a two-week trip through three European countries with assistant GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. when he read that the coronavirus had spread to Northern Italy. “We had heard about the coronavirus, that it was already (in China), so we were talking about it, but it hadn’t hit the actual countries we were in,” Harris, told Bay Area News Group in a phone interview Friday. “We had just gotten back (to the United States) within the week. Then we were heading to go see these conference tournaments.”
Without the combine, however, front offices across the league will be forced to rely on reporting from colleges and agents, which can at times be insubstantial. “The biggest concern would be the medical testing portion, which is vital.” Harris said. “The other stuff we can navigate through conversations and in film work and all that. It’s nice to be able to have our hands on these players now that they’ve been out of college for two or three months.”
They will be making their pick with little information compared to teams at the top of past drafts, but assert they have enough to make a quality selection. “I’m confident that not only are we going to get the right guy,” Harris said. “But we’re going to have enough information and video work to be able to make that determination.”
“My hometown of Bihac is desperate to get things right now,” he told NetsDaily, noting delivery could take two weeks or longer. “The equipment was ordered according to the instructions of the management of the Cantonal Hospital in Bihac. The equipment is currently in high demand and almost impossible to find but we were lucky enough to reach a supplier through a friend. I would appeal to anyone but who is able to get involved in helping.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver finds himself almost constantly looking at financial numbers and projections. And like the rest of a world that is dealing with the seismic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he still isn't sure how bad things will get. Silver said Saturday the league is considering all options — best-case, worst-case and countless ideas in between — as it tries to come to grips with this new normal. But definitive answers on any front are in short supply. "It's too soon to tell what the economic impact will be," Silver said. "We've been analyzing multiple scenarios on a daily if not hourly basis and we'll continue to review the financial implications. Obviously, it's not a pretty picture but everyone, regardless of what industry they work in, is in the same boat."
Ray Allen: I had an awesome time playing in the @acehardware @aceshootout20 to help raise funds for @cmnhospitals back in February. You can vote for me as online fan favorite, and if I win, @nicklaus4kids in Miami will receive a $10,000 donation. Vote now by going to aceshootout.org. Tune into the @golfchannel on March 22 at 5pm ET to watch me play on team basketball with my guy @dwill8. #golfchannel #acehardware #cmnhospitals #nicklauschildrenshospital
Jack Ma Foundation: Go Asia! We will donate emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators&thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. Delivering fast is not easy, but we will get it done! Joe Tsai: In the global war against coronavirus, developing countries need help too. @JackMa is inspiring people to rise to the occasion. @foundation_ma @AlibabaGroup @BrooklynNets
Mark Cuban: Dear @3M, thank you for increasing your production of N95 Masks. No one knows better than your CEO, Mike Roman, that every discussion of the response to the CoronaVirus starts with our healthcare professionals and every discussion
Mr. Duncan along with Silver Airways partnered on the effort in a move to unite families during the national crisis caused by the coronavirus — the deadly pathogen that causes the Covid-19 disease — without creating another financial burden on families, the release said. The Tim Duncan Foundation and Silver Airways on Thursday encouraged students to be certain they have not contracted COVID-19 before coming in contact with family members, particularly elders.
Michele Roberts on Rudy Gobert: "I have not even by any stretch of the imagination heard from players that they think Rudy is somehow going to bear the scarlet letter. I mean, he's one of their brothers. He's one of their teammates."
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Right now, I’m more focused on this situation and how to take the positive things out of it. I don’t think about basketball. I’m not worried about that. There are people that are working on that and it’s their job; to plan the schedule when this thing will be over. I think any opinion right now is not important. Whatever happens, all players have to be ready for everything but in this situation, it’s hard to think about basketball. Everyone is more focused on how to take care of their families and get over this virus. The only way to do that is stay at home for 2-3 weeks or a month and wait, in order for the virus to calm down.
Cook, the Lakers back-up point guard, was on a Washington, DC podcast, Wizards Talk, Friday and talked about KD, who was one of four Nets who admitted he had tested positive for coronavirus last weekend. There’s been no updates on his condition since then. “He’s good. He’s good,” Cook said. “His spirits are good. K is in great spirits, still being K, man. Low, mellow, chill, moving at his own pace.”
The Pelicans' security personnel were alerted, sources said, and they immediately began communicating that information to the team's front office members, who were congregated elsewhere in the arena. Pelicans executives huddled up and grabbed their phones, quickly looking up recent Jazz box scores to confirm the information that had been relayed to them. And there it was: On Monday night, two days prior to this game, Courtney Kirkland had officiated the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz game in Salt Lake City.
There were only about 20 minutes remaining until tipoff, according to those present. Upon learning of Kirkland's exposure to an infected player, Pelicans staffers walked to the visitor's locker room and informed the players. One player wondered aloud, according to sources, "What's the point of even playing this game?" It was decided as a team that they wouldn't participate in the game, according to sources. Remain in the locker room, team officials instructed.
There's no word on whether other referees have been tested. Sources at the league office and referee union both declined to provide further information, indicating that tests and the results of those tests would be made public at the discretion of the applicable state and local health authorities.
Cook, the Lakers back-up point guard, was on a Washington, DC podcast, Wizards Talk, Friday and talked about KD, who was one of four Nets who admitted he had tested positive for coronavirus last weekend. There’s been no updates on his condition since then. “He’s good. He’s good,” Cook said. “His spirits are good. K is in great spirits, still being K, man. Low, mellow, chill, moving at his own pace.”
The Pelicans' security personnel were alerted, sources said, and they immediately began communicating that information to the team's front office members, who were congregated elsewhere in the arena. Pelicans executives huddled up and grabbed their phones, quickly looking up recent Jazz box scores to confirm the information that had been relayed to them. And there it was: On Monday night, two days prior to this game, Courtney Kirkland had officiated the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz game in Salt Lake City.
There were only about 20 minutes remaining until tipoff, according to those present. Upon learning of Kirkland's exposure to an infected player, Pelicans staffers walked to the visitor's locker room and informed the players. One player wondered aloud, according to sources, "What's the point of even playing this game?" It was decided as a team that they wouldn't participate in the game, according to sources. Remain in the locker room, team officials instructed.
There's no word on whether other referees have been tested. Sources at the league office and referee union both declined to provide further information, indicating that tests and the results of those tests would be made public at the discretion of the applicable state and local health authorities.
Thunder point guard Chris Paul, home instead of on the court, posted an uplifting message Friday on Instagram. It was the first time Paul has publicly spoken since the Thunder-Jazz game was postponed and the NBA season suspended last Wednesday after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
"I know everybody's trying to make sense of life right now with the situation and the circumstances that we have going on," Paul said. "I'm not here to try to tell anybody how to live their life. Just wanted to give some type of hope or encouragement for those that are having a hard time. It's a great opportunity for us all to step up and lead our families. The best thing that we all can do right now is try to be as selfless as possible.”

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Chris Paul: “I wanna give a huge shoutout to the medical experts and the doctors who are day in and day out giving themselves up from their families to make sure that we're all OK. And know that that stuff does not go unseen. A huge shout-out also to all those teachers out there. It's been a lot of mornings here now trying to fulfill that role with my kids and just using this time as an opportunity to connect and reconnect. I think it gives us a lot of perspective as we're all here spending a lot more time doing things that we may have not done because we're usually all so busy on the go. So take this time to call some of your friends or your family and let them know how much you love them and how much you care about them.”
Vanessa Bryant's trying to get affairs in order for her and her kids following Kobe's death, and coronavirus is making it difficult ... so she's asking the court for some help. Vanessa filed legal docs asking a judge to appoint a guardian ad litem for her 2 daughters -- Bianka and Natalia -- as well as another for Capri ... as it pertains to modifying Kobe's trust to include Capri.
With the Chinese Basketball Association preparing to end a nearly three-month hiatus, the league is welcoming back some of its foreign players, with perhaps the biggest splash of all coming from Jeremy Lin. "Safely landed back in Beijing to finish out the CBA season!" Lin said on social media Thursday after spending 40 hours traveling from his Bay Area home to China, adding, "It's been an awesome 2 months camped out in the gym ... basketball has never been more meaningful. The world needs basketball now more than ever."
As of now, among those who have returned to China are Lin, Ty Lawson, Donatas Motiejunas, Sonny Weems, Kyle Fogg, Pooh Jeter, Marko Todorovic, Antonio Blakeney and Ekpe Udoh. More are expected to return in upcoming days. Hamed Haddadi -- a former NBA center and a veteran of the CBA -- is currently held up in his home country of Iran, where the pandemic has also hit hard. His team Nanjing is working with the Chinese Embassy in Iran to aid in his return.
Lance Stephenson, who is in his first CBA stint with Liaoning, has indicated he will return. "Ready," he posted on Weibo with a video highlight of himself from earlier in the season.
LeBron James did his first-ever live video on Instagram for over an hour Thursday evening, providing an unfiltered glimpse into what life looks like in the James household. James drank wine, played cards with his wife Savannah, made fun of his beard, laughed at Bryce and Zhuri dancing, joked around with Bronny, played with his dog and answered fans' questions.
Cook then praised Durant for coming forward, admitting he was one of the four Nets that tested positive, and spreading awareness about the virus. "He's just encouraging social distancing, staying inside and don't expose others," Cook said on Durant. "For him to step up to the plate and use his platform to spread awareness, it's brave. That's the kind of guy he is. He's fine. He's doing great."
Jeff Zillgitt: Per White House press conference, President Trump said he has talked with Miami Heat owner and Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison about using cruise ships for sick patients. Trump said Arison pledged use of ships in various ports if necessary.
The league is using its vast digital footprint and the powerful voices of teams, players, coaches, doctors and others across the NBA family to launch "NBA Together" - a global community and social engagement campaign that aims to support, engage, educate and inspire youth, families and fans in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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October 23, 2020 | 7:37 pm EDT Update
Revenue projections for the league this season were missed by about $1.5 billion, the person said. The losses were the result of a combination of factors — the shutdown caused by the pandemic, the cancelation of 171 regular-season games, completing the season in a bubble at Walt Disney World without fans, the nearly $200 million price tag for operating that bubble and a yearlong rift with the Chinese government that saw NBA games not shown on state television there.
Storyline: Coronavirus
No decisions have been finalized on next season and talks with the National Basketball Players Association remain ongoing on many matters, including the financial parameters for the coming year. Those talks, especially on the money issue, would have to be concluded before any real decisions about next season are made. The NBPA has not made any final decisions on how it wants to see the league proceed, either. But this plan, starting in December and ending in June, would get the 2021-22 season — virus-permitting — back to normal, with 82-game slates starting in October.
The Golden 1 Center is one of 18 vote center locations opening Saturday, October 24. It will be the largest vote center in Sacramento County. “Yeah. We really think Golden 1 Center is the center hub for Sacramento County and our region. More than just basketball and events, and this is really one of those true examples of that where this building is going to be the center of our county for one of the most important days that we have in our history,” said John Rinehart, Sacramento Kings President of Business Operations.
The Miami Heat’s push to bring voting to the AmericanAirlines Arena was going so well with the county’s Elections Department that it was on a draft list of polling places. The next day, the county’s elections supervisor received a text from her boss, Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “We [need] to talk,” Gimenez wrote Elections Supervisor Christina White, forwarding an article about the the NBA’s plan to channel demands for social justice into a voting drive by turning arenas into polling places. Miami-Dade’s Election Department announced it had rejected the Heat’s offer on Sept. 5, saying the logistics and transit options were better at the nearby Frost Science Museum.
“Polling places are supposed to be apolitical,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer Moon, who oversees the Elections Department. “That was part of the discussion. Would it be an apolitical site?… I think we couldn’t conclude it would be completely apolitical. We don’t have control over the entire building.” At the time, the arena had a large “Black Lives Matter” sign facing Biscayne Boulevard, and NBA players had been active in the racial-justice protests that followed George Floyd’s May 25 death by Minneapolis police, including by sitting out games.
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