With the NBA season on an indefinite hiatus, Westbrook …

With the NBA season on an indefinite hiatus, Westbrook said he has enjoyed the time to be home with his wife and children. “My biggest thing now is to impact and inspire as many people as possible,” he reiterated. “I’m trying to find more ways to give people hope, confidence, a sense of swagger to themselves that they can do and put their mind to do anything they want to do.”

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If the NBA does return, team executives told CNBC they favored Las Vegas as a possible location to conclude the season. And media experts agreed, adding the decision could help the NBA retain some of its revenue domestically and perhaps in China. An NBA spokesperson told CNBC the league has considered many “scenarios” but is not close to rolling out a plan. When asked if the NBA would pick up where it left off or jump into the postseason, Silver said he didn’t have “a good enough sense of how long a period this is going to be” to give a definite answer.
Casey tried to be as productive as possible under the circumstances. He's proceeding as if the NBA season will resume at some point and his team will play its remaining 16 games. "I'm optimistic," he said. "We have to stay in the mental frame of mind that we will come back. It's easy to turn it off but it's hard to turn it back on. We can't go into vacation mode. We'll continue to work as if we're coming back."
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.
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.”
"They're both going to put their name into the draft," Oats said. "They're going to go through workouts whenever those are — and that's the thing, too. These early entrants with this year, I mean everything's up in the air. I talked to a few NBA scouts. They're talking like the NBA is gonna start back up with the regular season in July. There's just so much uncertainty."
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.'”
The sports and entertainment group that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils has notified salaried, full-time employees they will be subject to temporary pay cuts of up to 20% and will be moving to a four-day work week as a result of the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. "As we navigate this evolving COVID-19 environment, we are mindful of the long-term impact the suspension of live events and games will have on our organization and industry," said Scott O'Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, in a statement sent to the employees. "To ensure we can continue to support and operate our businesses during these uncertain times without reducing our workforce, we are asking our full-time, salaried employees to temporarily reduce their pay by up to 20 percent and move to a four-day week."
The pay cuts will begin as soon as next month and will affect full-time employees who make $50,000 or more and will go as high as 20% for those making $70,000 or more, sources told ESPN. The teams are expected to ask contracted front-office employees to take similar cuts, sources said.
The sports and entertainment group that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils has notified salaried, full-time employees they will be subject to temporary pay cuts of up to 20% and will be moving to a four-day work week as a result of the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. "As we navigate this evolving COVID-19 environment, we are mindful of the long-term impact the suspension of live events and games will have on our organization and industry," said Scott O'Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, in a statement sent to the employees. "To ensure we can continue to support and operate our businesses during these uncertain times without reducing our workforce, we are asking our full-time, salaried employees to temporarily reduce their pay by up to 20 percent and move to a four-day week."
The pay cuts will begin as soon as next month and will affect full-time employees who make $50,000 or more and will go as high as 20% for those making $70,000 or more, sources told ESPN. The teams are expected to ask contracted front-office employees to take similar cuts, sources said.
What was your perspective in the arena when the NBA postponed the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder? Juwan Morgan: That was really weird. You kind of had an idea that the NBA was going to take that step. But everyone on the team thought it was going to happen the next day or after the game against Oklahoma City. As soon as we got done warming up, we had the national anthem, starters were announced. And everybody did their handshakes, we were ready to go. But when the refs brought it in, we kind of knew what was going to happen. We weren’t very surprised. It just came a little bit earlier than we expected.
What was the arena like when everything was shutting down in front of you right before tipoff? Juwan Morgan: It was probably a little bit more hectic because we were back in the locker room. It did feel like a movie, just being back there, waiting to see, taking all the steps that the doctors were giving us and everything like that. It was definitely a long process but a necessary process, it’s how I explain it. We were there for a few hours, after everybody cleared out; we were probably two or three hours maybe. It was pretty surreal, but I was looking at the positives at that point. Everybody came to the realization that it was here, it was real.
Juwan Morgan: I’ve probably never gone this long without playing basketball. Safety comes first, though. Basketball isn’t everything. It’s a big part but it opens up a lot of doors for you to see what your other interests are and then be able to explore those different hobbies. I’ve been that way my whole life, though. I have been playing games and I have so many of them where I’ll never get bored of them.
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.”
What was it like for you in the initial days after the NBA announced the season would be postponed? CJ McCollum: "It was weird, I kind of knew it was going to be a while, so I didn’t go into the practice facility right away. I think we had a team meeting the next day, so I went in for that, grabbed some things I figured I might need. Had Melo sign some stuff and he’s like ‘This isn’t goodbye!’ and I was like ‘Just in case, lemme get some stuff signed now. Don’t forget to pull me a jersey,’ kind of going through that process of how I would normally do things once the season ends. But then understanding that the season is going to resume at some point, we just don’t know when.”
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.”
What is Curry able to do to stay in shape? "He's got a fairly nice workout area there at his home," Brandon Payne -- the two-time NBA MVP's personal trainer -- said Monday morning on KNBR 680. "He doesn't have a basketball court, but he's got stuff he can do outdoors. He's got a nice place where he can lift and do his strength work. He's a little bit ahead of the game, whereas some of these younger guys who are living in apartments and condos -- they don't really have that luxury. So planning and trying to get stuff done for them is a little bit more challenging."
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.
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.”
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.

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Michele Roberts on potential salary reductions: "It's not going to be insignificant. If we end up having to shut the season down, they will not be insignificant at all. And the players know that and no one no one is willing to give up all hope. Now, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to be as optimistic today as it was yesterday."
The NBA plans to deliver players full salaries due on April 1, but left open the possibility of recouping future salaries for canceled games on April 15, according to a league memo shared with teams Friday. As the coronavirus pandemic paralyzes the NBA and nation, the canceled games and loss of revenue are causing the NBA to leave itself financial flexibility based on the force majeure provision in the collective bargaining agreement.
For now, it appears most players are staying put; of the 20-some teams that responded to a query from Bleacher Report, none reported more than two or three players going elsewhere. But that could change when, as league sources say, all team facilities are closed this week on the recommendation of health authorities. The Atlanta Hawks, a source said, voluntarily shut down their practice facility Thursday, and every other team was expected to follow suit.
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.
With the coronavirus crisis creating pervasive anxiety in the workforce, Madison Square Garden still hasn’t committed to pay concession workers for the remainder of the shutdown, the Daily News has learned. The union had been negotiating with MSG as recently as Friday but MSG has only pledged to continue making healthcare contributions to workers who are eligible for the company’s plan, a source said. MSG has also vowed to pay workers until March 29, and only certain workers until April 5.
The NBA plans to deliver players full salaries due on April 1, but left open the possibility of recouping future salaries for canceled games on April 15, according to a league memo shared with teams Friday. As the coronavirus pandemic paralyzes the NBA and nation, the canceled games and loss of revenue are causing the NBA to leave itself financial flexibility based on the force majeure provision in the collective bargaining agreement.
For now, it appears most players are staying put; of the 20-some teams that responded to a query from Bleacher Report, none reported more than two or three players going elsewhere. But that could change when, as league sources say, all team facilities are closed this week on the recommendation of health authorities. The Atlanta Hawks, a source said, voluntarily shut down their practice facility Thursday, and every other team was expected to follow suit.
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.
With the coronavirus crisis creating pervasive anxiety in the workforce, Madison Square Garden still hasn’t committed to pay concession workers for the remainder of the shutdown, the Daily News has learned. The union had been negotiating with MSG as recently as Friday but MSG has only pledged to continue making healthcare contributions to workers who are eligible for the company’s plan, a source said. MSG has also vowed to pay workers until March 29, and only certain workers until April 5.
Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky did an interview with a reporter from his home country and the headline read, "Imprisoned in USA!" The article wasn't that extreme. But Satoransky did admit he wishes the NBA season would be canceled so he and his family can go home to the Czech Republic. He spoke to reporter Tomas Rambousek from Nova Sport for a story published Thursday.
"It is not pleasant at all to stay here and watch how the owners of the teams try to finish off the season in order to not lose so much money," Satoransky said, according to a translation. "It's not very pleasant also because we -- me with my wife and daughter -- would like to depart to the Czech Republic. The way I see it is that the season will get canceled, but it's not up to me."
“This was a very important to Jody that we take care of part-time employees who are missing out on wages relating to the suspension of our season,” Blazers Chief Executive Officer Chris McGowan told The Athletic. Allen’s commitment includes all employees who work at Blazers games — from ushers, to food service workers, to security, to parking attendants … everyone.
League sources told me that if games do resume, fans likely won’t be in attendance, and players, coaches, and other team personnel would have to go undergo regular testing for the coronavirus to prevent community infection. It’s a lot to ask—maybe too much—for games to happen this spring or summer, though the league is trying to plan for every potential situation.
Rachel Nichols: I asked Adam Silver how he'd determine if the NBA season could resume, and if so, what it would look like - he told me the league is considering three different options for going forward, including a possible one-off event for charity. Said Silver: "all suggestions welcome."
Rachel Nichols: I asked Adam Silver how he'd determine if the NBA season could resume, and if so, what it would look like - he told me the league is considering three different options for going forward, including a possible one-off event for charity. Said Silver: "all suggestions welcome."
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.
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.”
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.
On Tuesday, the Timberwolves and Lynx organization, led by owner Glen Taylor, has pledged to donate up to $1 million in a relief fund for the part-time gameday staff at Target Center. Throughout the past week the organization has been working with the appropriate parties to bring the plan to fruition. The fund will provide financial assistance to hundreds of part-time employees who are adversely impacted by the loss of games at Target Center.
“Our staff who work so hard to make the Target Center experience memorable for fans are the backbone of what we do,” said Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor. “From the people who show fans to their seats, to the greeters at the entrance, I want to do my part to alleviate the financial concern that comes from missing games due to this national pandemic. We will get through this difficult time together and look forward to the day when our players, fans and staff are reunited again at Target Center.”
On Tuesday, the Timberwolves and Lynx organization, led by owner Glen Taylor, has pledged to donate up to $1 million in a relief fund for the part-time gameday staff at Target Center. Throughout the past week the organization has been working with the appropriate parties to bring the plan to fruition. The fund will provide financial assistance to hundreds of part-time employees who are adversely impacted by the loss of games at Target Center.
The NBA is not sure what will happen over the coming weeks, but they would ideally like to play at least 70 regular season games in order to retain 100 percent of the revenue the league receives from their regional sports network partners that air games in local markets. "What they would love to do is to get to 70 games," said Brian Windhorst. "And the reason is it's 70 is a key number is because that is what the deliverable is to the regional sports networks. They are promised 70 games. "Now, just because a team like the Lakers, for example, to get to 70 games... they wouldn't necessarily be able to deliver on that because they've had a lot of national games, but getting to 70 would be helpful in retaining revenue because they wouldn't have to refund some to the local TV."
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.
The NBA was on pause. By the end of the week, every upcoming event at the Moda Center would be canceled or postponed. Inside the break room on Wednesday night, employees staffing the concert were on edge as they wondered how long the shutdown would last and when they would see their next paychecks. “I felt empty inside,” said Jamie Faue, who works as a guest services attendant at the Moda Center and Providence Park. “I felt like my whole life had been taken away from me.”
The Blazers are putting together a plan of their own to help support their part-time employees, but details are still being worked out. Part-time employees received an email last week informing them that a plan was in the works, but they have yet to be given a timeline for when that plan will be rolled out. The part-time employees expect to be paid as usual on Wednesday for the previous pay period, but questions remain as to how the employees will be paid in their next paychecks on April 1.
Some employees that work part-time at the Moda Center and Providence Park hold separate full-time jobs, which should enable them to navigate the coming weeks more easily. Still, one employee in ticketing said that he would still lose 25-35 percent of his monthly income during the shutdown, unless the Blazers’ plan makes up for his losses.
Storyline: Season Suspension
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April 10, 2020 | 7:25 am EDT Update

Wizards keeping Shabazz Napier?

John Wall’s return significantly elevates expectations surrounding the Wizards next season and will make the team’s offseason decision-making process that much more important. In the case of Napier and Bertans, Washington’s general manager Tommy Sheppard talked highly of both in a Q&A with Dave Johnson Thursday. “I think with [Napier and Bertans], when we acquired them not as rentals we acquired them to stay here,” Sheppard said. “I think the players that we acquired, they’re here to show that they can be here for the future. With Davis and Shabazz, they showed enough to us that certainly we would love to retain them. We plan to.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 24 more rumors
Napier started eight games and averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 43.1% from the field and 38.1% from three. Based on production alone, it’s not that surprising Sheppard wants to bring the former UConn star back. However, if the Wizards can re-sign Napier this summer, they’d have quite a lot of viable point guards on their roster going into next season. Wall will be back and Ish Smith will be in the final year of his two-year contract.
He is one of professional sports most-outgoing and charismatic owners, and Mark Cuban doesn’t shy away from offering his thoughts on a wide-variety of topics. The Mt. Lebanon native and owner of the Dallas Mavericks told the PM Team he believes professional sports could have games being played in two months. “If things really go our way, it’s not inconceivable to me–and this is me being hopeful and not being scientific–that we could potentially play games in early June,” Cuban said.
But Cuban’s optimism is rooted in science and medicine. “I think we’re coming back,” Cuban said. “I can’t tell you exactly when, but this is purely a science and doctors thing. My attitude always is it’s not about if the glass is half empty or half full, it’s who’s pouring the water. In this particular case, it’s the scientists pouring the water. All I know from all the science and everything that I’m reading, I think we’re making enough advances that several of them will come through so we can start planning what a comeback would look like. I’m a big believer in American exceptionalism, and everything I’m starting to hear in terms of the science is coming along and the medical advances that we’re making to fight this thing makes me very positive. If I had to bet, and this is more a guess than a bet, I’d say early June is when you see teams start to take the field and maybe play games just for television.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
The NBA has considered a similar setup in Las Vegas. Lakers star LeBron James initially voiced his displeasure about playing games without fans but has since softened his stance. “LeBron is right. It’s hard to play without fans,” said Johnson, who stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations in 2019. “You play one game, you’ll adjust to not having fans there. We’ve all played our whole life on the playgrounds and in pickup games without fans being there. Basketball players will know how to adjust.”
Even if Johnson admitted he is “looking forward to see if the Lakers are going to win the championship,” he seemed more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic than worried if sports will resume. “I hope that happens. But first the players have to be safe,” Johnson said. “The numbers have to be stabilized. America and all of us who live in this great country we live in need sports, especially in a time like this. But only if everybody is safe.”
Pelicans director of mental health and wellness Jenna Rosen has been working with players twice a day with a Zoom of mental exercises and stress-relieving exercises according to Griffin. “We’re trying to be as creative as we can to have constant contact with people and make them understand that we’re still part of the same family, and family matters vitally to this group,” Griffin said. “I think our players are very close individually. I think organizationally, I think if you talk to most of the people in it, they would tell you that ‘family’ is a big focus of what we’ve brought to this, so we’re trying as best we can to connect with as many people on as many different levels as possible.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
When Thursday night’s quarterfinals action in the NBA 2K Players Tournament wrapped up, the four players remaining come from just two NBA teams — the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns. Young guns DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, both from the Suns, won their matchups, while Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell of the Clippers each emerged victorious.
Storyline: eSports
The semifinals begin Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The matchups are Ayton vs. Beverley and Booker vs. Harrell, providing Suns-Clippers undercurrents in both games. Interestingly enough, both pairs were the only tournament participants from the same team among the original field of 16. Ayton faced the toughest test among the semifinalists on Thursday during his battle with Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. Booker cruised by Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards) in the first game and Harrell took out No. 16 seed Derrick Jones Jr., who defeated top seed Kevin Durant during the opening game of the tournament.
“I was 26 at the time, number three pick [in the 2006 NBA draft], a really low point in my life, and I got a text from Robert Lara, the Lakers security and one of Kobe’s best friends. He said ‘Hey, what’s your address, I’ve got something in the mail for you.’” Morrison assumed he was getting a magazine from Lara, whom he had a friendship with during his time with the Lakers. “I get the package, and it’s an autographed jersey from Didier Drogba, who was my favorite player,” Morrison said. “I’m a Chelsea fan. It was from Kobe. A game-worn jersey, signed by Didier Drogba, ‘To Adam, Best Wishes.’”
“The night he passed, I’m scrolling through, reading everything, and I’m emotional,” Morrison said. “And on Chelsea’s Instagram page, it’s him with Didier Drogba holding up a jersey and it says ‘To Adam, Best Wishes.’ So he went up to my favorite player, got it signed for me without me even asking, and sent it to me when he knew I was low. It’s unbelievable. I still have the jersey. That’s what Kobe Bryant was, man. He was just one of those dudes who understood his own aura and could sense when people were down.” Morrison said he was lucky to play alongside Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP and one-time regular season MVP. Bryant was posthumously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Nonetheless, Johnson still drew parallels between HIV and COVID-19 because of the similarities regarding the misconceptions about the respective viruses, the inadequate testing, the lack of available drugs and how the pandemic has hurt the black community. “African Americans are leading in terms of dying from the coronavirus and most of them in the hospital are African American,” Johnson said. “We have to do a better job as African Americans to follow social distancing, stay at home and make sure we educate our loved ones and our family members and do what we’re supposed to do to keep safe and healthy. Then when you add that up, we don’t have access to health care, quality health care. So many of us are uninsured. That also creates a problem, too. Just like it did with HIV and AIDS.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Consider the common perception about HIV when Johnson learned he first had it. “When I announced, it was considered a white, gay man’s disease,” Johnson said. “People were wrong. Black people didn’t think they could get HIV and AIDS.” That partly explains why Johnson went public with his diagnosis. It also partly explains why Johnson eventually raised more than $10 million for HIV/AIDs research and charities through his foundation. Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 2018 black people accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses. USA TODAY recently reported that black people are dying of coronavirus at much higher rates compared to other Americans in major cities. Johnson offered varying reasons that explain such a troubling trend.
April 9, 2020 | 9:12 pm EDT Update
Will the NBA’s indefinite suspension limit what the Warriors do with the checkbook in the offseason? “We’re looking at all of those questions and the possible answers. But I don’t really have a good sense yet because I really have no idea how this is gonna shake out,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Thursday morning. “We don’t know what the salary cap is gonna be, we don’t know what the luxury tax is gonna be. We don’t really know what we can plan on at this point. We just have to look at a lot of different scenarios. That’s what we’re doing right now. It could make a huge difference, it might make no difference.”
Storyline: Season Suspension
As Illinois goes through this together, the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, is proud to be playing a critical role with our city, state and federal response to the pandemic. As announced on March 25, our arena and outside campus will be transformed into a logistics hub where we will be assisting with food storage for hunger relief, first responder staging and the collection of critically needed medical supplies.

Moving forward, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, will be utilizing the United Center as a satellite storage facility in response to the increased need for food. By alleviating space in the food bank’s warehouse, the Food Depository can bring additional volunteers into their facility to build more family food boxes in an environment that adheres to social distancing protocols. These boxes will continue to be distributed to those in need by the Food Depository’s partner network throughout Chicago and Cook County.
Storyline: Coronavirus

April 9, 2020 | 7:56 pm EDT Update

Pau Gasol contemplating retirement

With the league’s current campaign suspended indefinitely due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Gasol, who will turn 40 years old in July, is contemplating retirement at this point of his career. “With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it’s undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement,” Gasol said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, via NBC Sports. “Also, taking into account that I will be 40 years old in a few months. So, [retirement] is definitely on my mind.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 14 more rumors
“It’s something that will come one time, sooner or later,” Gasol said of retirement. “We hope that time hasn’t come yet. But I also take the opportunity to focus on the Gasol Foundation and other off-court projects. And also think of what my next professional stage may be, my next challenges. All this while I’m still recovering, trying to give myself a chance to keep playing. Now, the priority is to overcome this pandemic among all. Everything else is completely secondary.”
In 2011, Jacob Hamilton was a 26-year-old cinematographer looking to expand his portfolio by directing a documentary. He came across a two-minute interview online titled, “The Man Who Invented the Jump Shot.” Four years later, Hamilton was screening his short film in Kevin Durant’s backyard, shocked to see one of the NBA’s best-ever jump shooters geek out over footage he’d gathered of Kenny Sailors from the 1940s. The film was still only halfway to the finish line. “Jump Shot” premiered at South by Southwest in 2019, but still hasn’t been released to the public. That will change next week, when the feature-length documentary will be available online April 16-18. Pre-order is underway at jumpshotmovie.com.
“Jump Shot” got two of its most important assists from NBA superstars Steph Curry and Durant. Hamilton had simply hoped for an interview when, through a connection between an executive producer and a chaplain for USA Basketball, the former Golden State Warriors teammates were introduced to Sailors’ legacy. The crew flew to Oakland and were invited to Durant’s home. Partway through the screening, KD asked for the film to be paused. Hamilton feared the worst, a bored millennial. In reality, the former Longhorns star was mesmerized. “These are moves that I’m doing today,” Hamilton recalls Durant telling them. “I was literally working on this in practice this week, and Kenny was doing this 60-70 years ago? This is unbelievable.”
Curry took his adoration a step further when he told Hamilton he was not only up for an interview, but wanted to get more involved. That’s how basketball’s greatest jump shooter became an executive producer. Both players are interviewed in the film, along with a lineup of basketball legends — from Dirk Nowitzki to Bob Knight, Nancy Lieberman and Clark Kellogg. Their astonishment at Sailors’ pioneering shot, particularly a photograph that appeared in Life magazine in 1946, will resonate with basketball fans.
April 9, 2020 | 6:35 pm EDT Update
When this all ends, whenever that is, what’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to doing on that first day? Dion Waiters: Just trying to hoop. Just vibe out and hoop. I’ve had damn near the whole season off. I’m trying to get back and hoop. I got something to prove at the end of the day. During this quarantine I’ve been dieting, getting my weight down, getting in shape. For me, it’s just playing basketball.
“I am in such debt to the people who worked so incredibly hard on the technical side to make what I believe is still magic — there might be some elves involved, it is Disney after all,” ‘The Jump” host Rachel Nichols told Insider. “I can’t believe that they were able to figure out a way to produce an entire television show with everybody at home, not a single person in our television facility.”
April 9, 2020 | 6:29 pm EDT Update
If nothing else at a time when the Clippers have more questions than answers amid the NBA’s hiatus because of COVID-19, the team is confident in at least one thing to be true. Should the season resume, the same roster that had been dogged by injuries since last summer is on track to be the healthiest it has been. “The Kawhi [Leonard] we’ll see will be in phenomenal shape,” coach Doc Rivers said, adding that Paul George “is another guy that’s goig to be in phenomenal shape. Reggie [Jackson], who was injured when we got him, will now be healthy.”
Since there is a pause on all roster transactions across the league, the 10-day contract Noah signed remains in effect one month later. That has left the former defensive player of the year able to work into shape under the supervision of the team’s medical and performance staffs. “It’s been great for him,” Rivers said. “There are certain individuals who this rest period, or whatever this is called, has been a benefit, and Jo is one of them for sure because he’s got a chance now to get healthy, and to get in shape and that will be a factor for him. He will be a guy that will be able to help us.”
A whopping 72% of Americans polled said they would not attend if sporting events resumed without a vaccine for the coronavirus. The poll, which had a fairly small sample size of 762 respondents, was released Thursday by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business. When polling respondents who identified as sports fans, 61% said they would not go to a game without a vaccine. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.6%.
Storyline: Coronavirus
NBA star DeMarcus Cousins first hired Noordin Said to be his personal security guard in 2015 during All-Star weekend in New York. From there, the two hit it off, and Said worked the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2017 All-Star weekend in New Orleans at Cousins’ side. Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green hired Said to be his personal security guard during the 2018 playoffs, and Said worked this season with Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo at most home games.
Storyline: Coronavirus
April 9, 2020 | 5:21 pm EDT Update
As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, NBA owners are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The league plans to keep all options to resume the season available for the time being, sources told ESPN, but the financial realities of the situation demand near immediate action. That has become clear in talks between the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and player agents, sources told ESPN, as the league tries to get its finances in order in the event the rest of the season must be canceled.
Storyline: Salary Reductions
The league’s CBA includes a force majeure clause, enabling owners to cancel games and recover salary in the event of a pandemic. This clause also gives the league a 60-day window within which it can rip up the CBA entirely — effectively beginning a work stoppage. No one wants to do that. But it underscores the gravity of the situation. Still, in recent years the two sides have worked as well together as ever, and the CBA isn’t set to expire until 2024.
The agreement between owners and players in the last CBA calls for roughly splitting revenue 50/50 and also splitting the coming losses. So, the owners want to hold back a percentage of players’ checks going forward — both giving them extra money they can use now, if needed, and also to help balance the books in the event some, or all, of the remainder of the season is canceled. From an economic standpoint, both sides would prefer to limit the pain of the shutdown to only this season and not start next season with IOUs on the ledger. Setting the money aside now would help do that.
Karnisovas will have full decision making over basketball operations, including the futures of Forman, head coach Jim Boylen, and the entire coaching staff. He was even asked about Paxson, and had the option of having the organization move on from the long-time Bulls executive if that’s what he desired. However, a source indicated that Karnisovas had no issues with the Reinsdorfs keeping Paxson around.
There were multiple reports that the search angered a handful of African American executives around the league, who felt like people of color weren’t involved in the searching process by the Bulls. A source close to the situation, however, indicated that not only did Michael Reinsdorf reach out to multiple minority candidates to try and get interviews – but was denied permission to do so by their current organizations, and in some cases simply turned down.
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