“There are politicians worried about the economy, and I understand that because no one wants to be out of a job,” Vitale said. “But the economy should never come at the expense of people’s lives. Seniors should not have to sacrifice for the economy. I want to live, man. My wife wants to live, man. “To the political leaders, forget liberal, conservative, this is not about political agendas. We need to keep the (guidelines) in place.” Vitale hosts an annual Gala to raise funds for the V Foundation and pediatric cancer research. He’ll invite celebrity sports figures, with Dabo Swinney attending last year. Vitale moved the Gala, usually held in May, to September.
Marc J. Spears: Due to COVID-19, the 2020 WNBA Draft will take place April 17 virtually without players, guests, and media. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the picks. The WNBA also plans to honor the late Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, and Payton Chester.
Longtime ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale said the initial shock of the 2020 NCAA tournament being canceled left him despondent. Then Vitale said he quickly became grounded in the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic that's prompted all NCAA spring sports to be canceled and pro sports leagues to be put on hold. "I love March and college basketball as much as anyone. But what's going on is bigger than sports," Vitale told USA TODAY Sports by phone. "When peoples' lives are at risk, basketball goes on the backburner. Initially, I thought postponing the NCAA tournament made more sense. Those three weeks, there's no greater time in sports for mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. But at the end of the day, we're dealing with an infectious disease. I said to myself, 'My friend, you love basketball. But you love people more.'"
Right now, in the face of a crippling global pandemic, its members also represent an increasingly vulnerable and shaken segment of society that needs all the security, support, and accurate information they can find. The average member is 55 years old and over 200 of them are at least 70. All are impacted by the coronavirus, stressed over their own future, from a physical, emotional, and financial perspective. In addition to Bailey — who previously served before he was termed out of the role due to appointment related rules — other recently elected directors include Shawn Marion, Sheryl Swoopes, and Dave Cowens. (Cowens helped found the association in 1992 with Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, and Dave DeBusschere.) Johnny Davis was named chairman of the board after spending 34 seasons as an NBA player and coach, while Jerome Williams and Grant Hill were elevated into different roles on the executive committee.
Spencer Haywood, who just termed out after two straight three-year stints as the NBRPA’s chairman of the board, can’t stop thinking about his fellow members, former teammates, and friends who were suffering even before the globe was blanketed by coronavirus. “I love them,” Haywood says. “Everybody just calls, ‘Hey can you help me with $300. I need $400, $500. I need this to make my rent. I need this to get food ... We don’t have a revenue stream. All of our guys have to work. They’re doing basketball camps. They’re traveling. They do groups. That’s how they make money ... We’re at the very beginning [of this pandemic], so I know our family, the NBA retired family, we’re gonna have some drama. I’m hoping that it’s not me. But who knows?”
He reminisces about his childhood in Newport, Kentucky. Cowens’ grandparents and aunt lived upstairs, in the same house as his parents and brother. His aunt would entertain with stories about getting to see Jim Thorpe (the only sports hero Cowens ever had) race with her own two eyes. Cowens thinks about that time; how his grandfather lived to see his 60s despite serving in World War I and then enduring the Spanish Flu, which killed as many as 50 million people across the world. “People are going to survive,” Cowens says. That’s true. But the coronavirus will still crash into so many different lives, and so far the mortality rate for those it infects is substantially higher in seniors with underlying health issues.
Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic had been receiving daily treatment for a right ankle that he has sprained twice this season, a sprained left thumb and a sprained right wrist. Two other Dallas starters -- guard Seth Curry (ankle) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (hip) -- missed games due to injury going into the hiatus. "Luka's thumb and wrist will get better with rest," Smith said. "That's from getting hit. He's not getting hit now. With Dorian's hip, a few days off is what he needed. Unfortunately, he's got it now."
With players stuck at home, their respective teams are having to get creative to minimize the drop-off in conditioning that a potential monthslong layoff presents. The Chicago Bulls acted fast, sending out a workout plan to their players on the second day after the league suspended the season. "Our strength and conditioning coach sent us a little program that has different types of lunges, different types of pushups and you do it at a high volume to get a little sweat going," Bulls second-year center Wendell Carter Jr. said. "Nothing that anybody else can't do."
Josh Robbins: Magic officials said D.J. Augustin has donated to Krewe of Red Beans, a group in his hometown of New Orleans. The group is delivering meals from NOLA restaurants to frontline healthcare workers who are working against COVID-19. Others can donate at redbeansparade.com.
Dallas Mavericks: Coach Carlisle continues to pay it forward by purchasing Sal’s Pizza for those working the COVID testing site at the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management 🍕🙌 Keep supporting your local businesses! #MavsSupportLocal #NBATogether
Steve Forbes: Our prayers are needed tonight for my good friend Maury Hanks, who has enjoyed a life-long association with the game of basketball in college and the NBA. He is fighting the #coronavirus and needs our help.🙏🙏 #Bigs 🙏🙏 He has so many friends & he needs all of our🙏🙏#SonnyBoy
Adrian Wojnarowski: Maury Hanks is a well-respected scout with the Detroit Pistons. He’s also worked in the NBA with the Nets and Raptors and coached for decades in college ball. He’s in a battle right now with the coronavirus. A lot of people on all levels of ball are pulling for him.
A camera operator who shot footage inside the Utah Jazz locker room after a March 7 game in Detroit is in a medically induced coma after being diagnosed with COVID-19, his friends said. The game was played just four days before the NBA suspended operations because of the coronavirus pandemic. The man, who is in his 50s, has worked for years as part of broadcast crews for NBA games at Little Caesars Arena, according to friends. That included the Jazz-Pistons contest where part of his assignment, according to coworkers, was filming postgame locker-room interviews for the broadcast feed that went back to Utah.
Nick Young: If we dnt stop trying to be woke ....and stop coming up with all these conspiracy theories ...and blaming the government ......and just stay y’all ass in the house and let them feel like they doing something... they would have been gave us the cure...
Kerith Burke: Steph Curry talking to Dr. Fauci on instagram live tomorrow is brilliant because it reaches a different audience and connects them with factual, scientific information from an actual expert. I feel overjoyed and amused and grateful this is happening!
While the Golden State Warriors’ season is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stephen Curry has been active. The two-time Most Valuable Player has advocated for social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Curry and his wife Ayesha have started a breakfast and lunch donation pledge for out-of-school children in Oakland.
On Thursday, Curry will host a coronavirus question-and-answer session with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, who will join Curry on Instagram to take questions on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trae Young’s dad was sitting courtside at State Farm Arena on March 11 when he found out the NBA season was being suspended due to COVID-19. His son and the Atlanta Hawks, who were being blown out by the New York Knicks, had not yet been alerted. “I remember looking at a tweet from ESPN that Rudy Gobert tested positive and the NBA suspended the season,” Rayford Young said. “Trae came out for the fourth quarter and he kind of looked at me. I said, ‘I think the season might be over. You better hurry up.’ “It was crazy because after that he went off, and one shot he took with both feet inside the logo near half court because they were down 18 to the Knicks.”
Young would score 27 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter to help send the game into overtime. The Knicks would ultimately prevail 136-131 in what would be the last day of the NBA season until further notice. “This is probably the craziest thing, if not the craziest thing I’ve been a part of,” Young said. “This is worldwide. … When the NBA is being shut down, you know it’s a big deal.”
Young, 21, stayed in Atlanta for a couple of days as mandated by the Hawks and the NBA, then was cleared to go to his house in Norman, Oklahoma, where he’s been reunited with his family who live nearby. “There is a sense of relief because everybody is close,” Rayford Young said. “You’re able to see and touch everybody. If you see anything happen, you’re right there. You don’t have to jump in a car or get on a plane somewhere. That is always a level of comfort.”
Rod Beard: A league source tells The Detroit News that #Pistons Christian Wood is almost cleared, after being one of the first NBA players to test positive for coronavirus. The other 16 people (players and other staffers) who were tested all are negative and cleared quarantine today.
James Edwards III: Can confirm that #Pistons' Christian Wood has recovered from coronavirus. To be exact, I was told he only ever showed minimal symptoms in finals hours before the season was cancelled. No one else in Detroit's organization who has been tested has tested positive.
Serge Ibaka: Thinking of everyone that is suffering from this virus and of all the doctors and medical staff working hard to help them 🙏 pic.twitter.com/uuwq4hf0sU
Jeff Goodman: NCAA will vote on March 30 on whether winter and spring sports will receive an extra year, source told @Stadium.
Stephen Curry: Hyped to talk all things COVID-19 with Dr. Fauci of the @NIAIDNews tomorrow. This is a conversation for YOU so submit questions with #SCASKSFAUCI and join at 10am PT tomorrow (Mar 26). Let’s get it!
Brown, who was named the head coach of the Nigerian men’s basketball team in early February, will now have more time to put together a team, hire a staff, build a schedule and get prepared for the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. “It helps from the standpoint of there are a lot of teams that have been together … the players, especially. A lot of countries have players who have grown up playing together on national teams or All-Star teams,” Brown told The Undefeated. “There are a lot of coaches out there that are in charge of programs that they have been a part of for many years. “To have another year to grasp, not only the talent level of the team, but the direction the team needs to go and making sure we are able to put the best Nigerian team out there, it’s a welcomed advantage to have a little bit more time for a new guy like myself.”
Aminu, who played for the 2019 World Cup team, had surgery on Jan. 7 to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. How will the delay of the Olympics impact him? Mike Brown: He is obviously a guy who has been instrumental to this program for many years. He is one of the guys who has anchored the program. He has a lot going on right now to get himself healthy so he can compete with his current team, the Orlando Magic. Knowing him, how much pride he has and things he has helped his country accomplish in basketball, I think he’d want to play in the Olympics, especially the way they qualified. It gives him a lot more time to get healthy and get himself in playing shape. I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.
How have you stayed connected to the Warriors during the lockdown over the coronavirus? Mike Brown: I have been speaking to [head coach] Steve Kerr. I’ve been speaking to him a long time and he’s the best. We have a huge group chat via text where we communicate basically on a daily basis. Steve’s biggest thing is he wants everybody to make sure they take care of themselves, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of the family and try the best you can to enjoy this downtime knowing as coaches, especially, this can break at any time. Be ready.
NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweeted a sensitive message to everyone: "I’m not on the court anymore, but I’m still in the game, today I play for Team LA. Together we got to beat the Coronavirus, so show me what you’re gonna do, to become part of that team.”
For Young, seeing his NBA brethren test positive for the coronavirus has been an eye-opener. “As athletes, celebrities and things like that, sometimes it takes something like this to actually humble people,” Young said. “For us, sometimes you think you are untouchable or things might not happen to you because you are at this stature or whatever. It can. You see guys, big-time guys, superstars like Donovan [Mitchell] or KD get it. It is definitely an eye-opener. “It sucks that this has to happen to us for us to really realize that and for other people to realize we’re actually just human, too. … But we are going to all get through this together as people, not just athletes. We’re people and human together.”
Akron Family Restaurant co-owner Nick Corpas said he got a call last week and was excited to help. He started making his orders almost immediately and began prepping for the meals on Monday. He and restaurant employees arrived at the restaurant at 6 a.m. ET Tuesday to cook and assemble the meals. He said they finished around 4 p.m., and LJFF volunteers parked cars outside the restaurant. Adhering to social distancing recommendations, the volunteers remained in their cars while workers and volunteers placed the food in trunks. Each serving tray provided food for four to five people -- enough for more than 1,300 people to have dinner.
Billionaire Tilman Fertitta said he’s had to temporarily lay off roughly 40,000 workers at his casino, hotel and restaurant empire to limit the economic damage caused by government-imposed shut-downs. The Texas native, who owns the Golden Nugget casinos as well as hundreds of restaurants including Del Frisco’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp under the Landry’s Inc. umbrella, is calling on the authorities to allow businesses to reopen at limited capacity in a couple of weeks to avoid economic disaster. “I think what we are doing with the shut-down is good but in a few weeks people will need to be around people,” Fertitta said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. “Otherwise you are going to go into an economic crisis that is going to take us years to dig ourselves out of.”
NBA star-turned-marijuana mogul Al Harrington says his Viola company's sales are through the roof since the coronavirus scare took over the U.S. ... and now he's scrambling to meet the demand. Of course, Harrington has turned into a highly successful weed advocate and entrepreneur in his post-playing days ... sharing the medical benefits for athletes, as well as, the average folk.
We spoke with Harrington about the insane demand for cannabis products right now -- after all, EVERYBODY is stressing out over COVID-19 -- and he says his sales have DOUBLED. "The challenge is gonna be making sure that we can keep up with the demand at this point," Harrington tells TMZ Sports. "Everybody is stocking up on their favorite brands. I feel like the 'canna-curious' is really steppin' up right now, especially when you're stuck in the house with your kids 24 hours a day."
The Chinese Basketball Association, seen by many sports leagues as a trial balloon for recovery from the coronavirus crisis, has delayed it's restart, according to multiple reports and confirmed by ESPN. The league had hoped to begin April 15, after about 11 weeks of being shutdown, but now won't attempt resuming until May after failing to get government approval according to reports from China.
The delay of the Olympics contributed to the decision but Chinese officials were also affected by seeing re-starts abandoned basketball leagues in Japan and South Korea over continued concern about the virus in recent days, sources told ESPN.
Chris Forsberg: "Let me tell you something, that virus has never faced anyone like Marcus Smart." @Enes Kanter sends support to a teammate, says the Celtics are maintaining chemistry through video chats, and champions social distancing. 🎧 bit.ly/KanterPod 📺 youtube.com/watch?v=vH7g4S… pic.twitter.com/dJZwxHQZuT
But the spread of the novel coronavirus, which forced the NBA to suspend its season last week, presents an even greater financial challenge to the league. It could push the NBA’s revenue hit past the $1 billion threshold, according to team executives and media estimates, should the rest of the regular season and postseason be canceled. For a league that had enjoyed a decade of prosperity, the combination of the Hong Kong controversy and the coronavirus crisis represents an unprecedented and wholly unexpected financial challenge.
Gauging the precise economic hit of the NBA’s suspended season is impossible, but one high-ranking team executive said that the total damage could reach $40 million per team, or more than $1.2 billion, if the playoffs are lost. Similarly, a FiveThirtyEight.com analysis estimated that lost revenue could exceed $1 billion if the NBA can’t resume play.
Front office executives want the league to provide tentative contingencies on a return to play this season, but league officials have been reticent to share those estimates with teams. The loosest of drop-dead dates on completing the NBA Finals is Labor Day weekend in early September, sources say, which teams say necessitates games starting back up by July 1 -- and practice facilities reopening weeks before that.
Some executives and coaches believed that players are conditioned to find gyms to stay in shape, so why not under the supervision of the team? Perhaps, but teams are left to trust players to stay isolated the way the rest of America and parts of Europe and Asia have been asked to do. As one owner told ESPN, "Of course, it would make all the sense to have our players in the facilities, but if someone were to get sick there, the league and the team would get hammered. The league has no choice right now."
As one league insider cautioned me, we shouldn’t assume next year’s schedule will necessarily change as a result of this year. While all of us in the peanut gallery are jonesing to push the schedule back, that requires a massive undertaking from the league side at a time when it is already in the midst of another massive undertaking. The NBA could also do everything I outlined in this story and still kick off 2020-21 more or less on time this fall. If that’s the case, however, then that Labor Day timeframe becomes even more of a hard deadline for this season to end.
Also, I’m assuming no crowds, which means teams could play at an available arena or neutral site. Sources tell The Athletic that the league is still talking to teams about clearing arena dates in the summer, so I’m assuming this isn’t the league’s first choice, but it does provide several heretofore unavailable options.
Holed up in Houston, Van Gundy hopes he’s wrong, but doesn’t like the signs. “I‘m not an expert, but I’d be surprised if the NBA plays again this season,’’ Van Gundy told The Post. “It’s going to be hard to get it back going. I would suspect it will be very difficult. The good thing is I trust (commissioner) Adam Silver to do what’s right and best and not what is in the best interest of money. “If it does (go on), that will be great because you know Adam is putting no one unnecessarily in harm’s way. I hope I’m wrong. I hope in June, July it’s safe for our players to go back to work. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.”
“It’s horrible,” Ingles said of the test. “It’s 10 seconds … with a swab up your nose that literally goes so far up your nose that it feels like it’s about to pop out the top of your head. It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever felt in my life … Every guy when they finished was like teary-eyed, because it’s that feeling. And then they back it up with a swab down your throat as well.”
Donatas Motiejunas: So, the whole trip home was intense. I’m worried and trying to make sure that I wash my hands and that I don’t touch nothing. I was kind of paranoid. When I came back home, a lot of people looked at it as a joke. Me and my coach kept telling all of the people, “Hey guys, let’s hope this thing isn’t gonna come to this country because the joke is going to be over as soon as it starts.” Sure enough, two months later, all the way from China it comes to Europe and now my government closes the borders, tried to take action. Like you said yourself, the States didn’t take it seriously and Europe also didn’t take it seriously. We started looking when it had already happened. Right now, the only thing we can do is try to contain it and try to keep it from spreading.
Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns revealed in a video posted to Instagram early Wednesday that his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, is in a medically-induced coma and connected to a ventilator due to COVID-19. Towns said that both his father and mother felt ill, then went to the hospital to get checked out and tested for the novel coronavirus. While his father, Karl Towns Sr., was eventually released from the hospital, Towns' mother wasn't allowed to leave as her condition got worse. "Both of (my parents) have gotten (coronavirus) tests. Both of them didn't get the results for a long time," Towns said in the Instagram video. "We all assumed my mom had COVID-19 due to the symptoms that she was exhibiting, and she was deteriorating daily."
Karl-Anthony Towns: WE CAN BEAT THIS, BUT THIS IS SERIOUS AND WE NEED TO TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION. Sharing my story in the hopes that everyone stays at home! We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines. Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes! Praying for all of us at this difficult time.
After finishing his first season as a Tar Heel, Cole Anthony is understandably being asked about his future. In a personal statement, Anthony took to Instagram to give fans an answer. "A lot of people have been asking me if I am going to declare for the NBA Draft. Anyone who knows me understands that playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, but given the pain that America and the world are experiencing at this time, I am going to refrain from making any announcements around that topic.”
Cole Anthony: “Lliving in New York City, the Coronavirus hits hard. My family and I know many people directly affected by the Coronavirus-many hospitalized. A few in critical condition and one who has died. New York City is experiencing the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the United States. So my biggest concern right now is trying to figure out how I can help during this crisis. We are all in this together! Stay safe."
Bob Cousy is glad that his fellow Holy Cross graduate and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is finally receiving some well-earned recognition for a job well done, but unfortunately it took a pandemic for it to happen.
“I can’t say he’s my friend,” Cousy, a Worcester resident, said about Fauci on Monday from his winter home in Florida, “but I’ve been in his company three times and I’ve been telling people for 30 years that he’s my hero.” The 91-year-old Holy Cross and Celtics legend remembers first meeting Fauci many years ago at the Virginia Dental Association’s annual dinner. Ken Haggerty, co-captain of HC’s NCAA championship team in 1947, when Cousy was a freshman reserve, served as president of the association and invited Cousy to attend because Fauci was the guest speaker.
“Obviously, the last three weeks,” Cousy said, “you can’t turn on the television without seeing Dr. Fauci, and he handles himself so well. Talk about being unassuming.” Cousy said he hasn’t left his winter home in Florida lately other than to grocery shop while wearing a mask and gloves. He said he’s looking forward to returning home to Worcester, but realizes his health comes first. “I understand the gravity of it, especially at 91,” Cousy said. “If I wash my hands one more time, my skin is going to fall off. So I’m paying attention.”
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame has postponed its June 2020 induction ceremony until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Class of 2020 will now become the Class of 2021 and be inducted into the hall in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 12, 2021. There will be no additional members added for next year.
Mills has been in isolation in the United States since the NBA was sensationally shut down following Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert’s positive test nearly two weeks ago. “Stay at home and keep your distance; the better we can control this virus the better we can look after each other,” Mills said.
ONCE THE LEAGUE office delivered news that practice facilities were shut down and players began exiting team cities, the job of running organizations became further complicated. Front office executives want the league to provide tentative contingencies on a return to play this season, but league officials have been reticent to share those estimates with teams. The loosest of drop-dead dates on completing the NBA Finals is Labor Day weekend in early September, sources say, which teams say necessitates games starting back up by July 1 -- and practice facilities reopening weeks before that.
No one in the NBA wants to be tied to Labor Day weekend, because no one -- not the commissioner, not the teams, not the NBPA -- wants to limit the possibility of the NBA salvaging something of a season. If the NBA season could start later in July and finish later in September, well, no one is ruling out that idea either.
For now, front offices are working in isolation, on conference and video calls throughout the mornings and afternoons. Last week, some teams didn't want practice facilities reopened during this volatile coronavirus climate; some didn't want them closed. Several teams closed practice facilities as soon as Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, which prompted the NBA to suspend the season within minutes. "Our decision was simply based on looking at the enormity of what was coming," Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard told ESPN. "We were three weeks behind most countries, and the data told us what was ahead. We were going to be conservative with our players and staff."
For teams, letting players leave their markets felt inevitable. The NBPA had pushed hard for player movement during the hiatus, and the league never believed it could do anything but recommend players stay close to their respective organizations. Many players' families live outside of the markets they play in, and the possibility of three months apart before restarting -- or the possibility of a canceled season -- was a non-starter. The NBA has set up testing and treatment protocols in cities where NBA players live, including one non-NBA city: Las Vegas, a league source said.
The last game Jeff Van Gundy called was March 8 – Clippers vs. Lakers in Los Angeles. The ex-Knicks coach-turned-broadcaster believes it will be his last one this season. Holed up in Houston, Van Gundy hopes he’s wrong, but doesn’t like the signs.
“I‘m not an expert, but I’d be surprised if the NBA plays again this season,’’ Van Gundy told The Post. “It’s going to be hard to get it back going. I would suspect it will be very difficult. The good thing is I trust (commissioner) Adam Silver to do what’s right and best and not what is in the best interest of money. “If it does (go on), that will be great because you know Adam is putting no one unnecessarily in harm’s way. I hope I’m wrong. I hope in June, July it’s safe for our players to go back to work. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.”
Van Gundy has done the NBA Finals for ABC/ESPN for 13 straight years with Mike Breen and Mark Jackson. “There’s a lot of disappointment,’’ Van Gundy said. “If you’re involved in the NBA, you certainly miss it especially this time of year coming down the stretch and playoffs. But NBA people, when I talk to them, the conversations don’t center around, ‘I wish we were playing.’ It centers around, ‘Gosh, I hope we can make moves to get this (coronavirus) under control.'”
Adrian Wojnarowski: 76ers ownership is planning to change course, pulling back on salary reductions for staff, league source tells ESPN.
The Tokyo Olympics are officially postponed until 2021, but Team USA's leadership is recommitting itself to stay in the job. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Gregg Popovich remain committed to the team into 2021, Colangelo said Tuesday. Both men's futures in their roles had been uncertain after this summer.
"The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there; we're all-in and we're committed," Colangelo said. "It's important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass and we'll be back for everyone's well-being."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Members of Sixers coaching staff and front office on contracts have until Thursday to agree to 20 percent salary reduction, sources tell ESPN. Among many so far, there's apprehension on committing to giving back money -- especially with uncertainty surrounding employment futures.
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.
Just as the three officials were about to take the court, Strack, the Thunder’s vice president of human and player performance, sprinted out toward them. Strack had been informed that Utah’s Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19. He didn’t administer the test. He wasn’t in a lab on the verge of a breakthrough. But when the call came in to the Thunder, Strack was sent out to delay the game until the NBA could make a decision.
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.
August 10, 2022 | 11:40 am EDT Update
“The thing that people don’t realize is when you make decisions like that — so some people who don’t understand winning… would say, ‘But Brandon Ingram has been an All-Star, so that was the wrong move,’” Draymond Green said. “But if you understand winning, what I say is, ‘But they won a championship.’ So, regardless of what your thoughts could be on that topic, they won a championship, and that automatically trumps everything.” I’m not sure that team still wins if they keep B.I. over you [Kyle Kuzma] because of the skill sets,” Green said. “All of these pieces have to fit in. What you brought to that team…you and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were the shooters.”
“This is what I’ve been wondering, what the f— are you doing in the offseason?” Tracy McGrady said of Rudy Gobert. “Like, what is your workout? I was so mad at Rudy when they were playing against the [Houston] Rockets one year bro and Chris Paul was guarding him in the post. I was mad as s—. He couldn’t do nothing. Bro you’re 7’2″, and a point guard is guarding you. He had no moves.”
Quinton Mayo: Wizards forward Deni Avdija has tested positive for COVID, per source. As @Josh Halickman earlier reported, Avdija will not fly with the Israel National Team to Georgia for their two exhibition games on Friday & Saturday.
Clutch Points: Looks like Victor Oladipo is willing to try ANYTHING he can to make it to the Finals 🤣 (via victoroladipo/TikTok) pic.twitter.com/wrl5EP4oi6
August 10, 2022 | 9:55 am EDT Update
Michael Scotto: Sources: The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with guard Dakota Mathias, @HoopsHype has learned. Mathias had two 10-day contracts with the Grizzlies last season and was previously a two-way player for the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, after the news about the KD’s ultimatum became public, other NBA teams that are interesting in acquiring the superstar will lower their offers instead of increasing them which would further complicate the chances of the trade happening. “Doing it now is a maneuver, a maneuver that I don’t think worked because as I talk to teams out there, they don’t think this increased his trade demand. They think this hurt his trade value,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s This Just In.
“I want to point the second half of the Joe Tsai tweet. I think it’s obviously important to look at the first sentence which is that he’s not going to fire Sean Marks and Steve Nash. But the second sentence is really the sentence that the league paid attention to it. And it seems benign when he says ‘We make decisions for the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.’ “But I’m going to decode that for you. What he’s basically saying is despite what Kevin Durant is trying do here, we’re not going to change what our expectations are for a trade and if you are not traded, we expect you to be reporting to camp to continue the four years you have left on your contract.”