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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August 4, 2020 | 8:50 am EDT Update
Spoelstra is almost afraid to say it out loud, but he prefers the polo look. “Pat would be shocked,” Spoelstra said. “There is so much less to think about. I feel more mobile. The thing I hate most about suits is wearing dress shoes.” Several head coaches echoed Spoelstra’s remark about how the casual look simplifies sartorial decision-making — and packing, a constant headache during normal times.
Frank Vogel, head coach of the Lakers, followed the same path out of the video room as Spoelstra. Before his first game as a graduate assistant under Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky, Vogel was scribbling scouting tips on the white board when Pitino approached. “You’re not wearing that, are you?” Pitino asked him. Vogel was wearing his only suit — a graduation gift from his parents. He told Pitino he was going to wear it for each game, and change out shirts and ties to avoid detection. Pitino would not have it. He invited Vogel to his house that night, and gave him 15 suits — Armanis and Brionis — plus the number for his tailor, Vogel recalled.
The coaches’ association has taken periodic polls, mostly recently two seasons ago, and found “overwhelming support” for suits over polos, Carlisle said. Carlisle spent two years as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets under Chuck Daly, perhaps the most fashion-forward head coach in NBA history. Daly had a sponsorship deal with Hugo Boss. On one road trip, he invited Carlisle to a Hugo Boss outlet for a shopping spree. “It was the nicest stuff I had ever had to that point,” Carlisle said.
While not typically a critique levied on the New Orleans Pelicans, a recent story from The Athletic’s Seth Partnow revealed a potential glaring weakness for the franchise. After The Athletic did similar reports for NHL and NFL franchises, Partnow took a look at the size of the analytics departments for each NBA franchise. While Partnow admitted to it likely being an incomplete sample size, the Pelicans not only had the smallest analytics department, they had just one full-time staffer in the department.
Storyline: Pelicans Front Office
August 4, 2020 | 3:02 am EDT Update
He did show off more of a willingness to shoot in the scrimmage games as he was able to knock one down in their scrimmage opener against the Memphis Grizzlies. In fact, he took two 3-pointers in that game. The thing is, he hasn’t taken any shots from deep since then. “I went back and studied the game (against the Indiana Pacers),” said coach Brett Brown. “There was one time where I thought ‘Yep, you could’ve fired a perimeter shot’ and it wasn’t even really a three as I remember it. It’s not on my mind like it is everybody else’s. I think he has chewed up space when people sag in. He’s chewed up space and driven in.”
“I do concede when it’s blatantly obvious and he’s spaced out, for instance, we’re posting Joel or Al Horford as an example, and Jo ends up down in that low zone, we can’t have four people on the perimeter,” said Brown. “So there are times where he could grab a corner, sometimes no, sometimes he can be behind a backboard and playing in that dunker spot as I call it, but it’s old news to me, to be truthful. I feel like his head is in a good place to shoot it and produce, but I don’t see it as trepidation or lack of confidence. I don’t see it like that.”
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, those close to the situation believe the Duke product is clearly not in the right state to play in the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season: “When you watch him play, he clearly is not in condition to compete at the highest level,” said Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast. “As I watched him play two games, I don’t actually think they should have played him at all the way he’s playing. In fact, I talked to a scout who said to me he shouldn’t be out there right in the condition he’s in. He said to me he’s moving worse than he did in Summer League last summer when he got hurt in his first or second game.
One said that the compact comeback could be a true equalizer. Example: Some league insiders see Portland as a threat to upset the Lakers in a first-round series after welcoming back its previously ailing frontcourt pair of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. The other executive, by contrast, described the eight seeding games all teams must play before the postseason as a lengthy runway that will afford the Lakers, the Bucks and the Clippers time to regain their March form.

Chris Smith returning to UCLA

The Pac-12 Conference’s most improved player could become its most valuable. Chris Smith is returning to UCLA for his senior season, putting off the NBA for one more chance to continue his dramatic upward college trajectory. Sean Smith, Chris’ father, made the announcement Monday. “Chris is returning to school due to too much uncertainty on both sides of the coin,” said Sean Smith, alluding to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the cancellation of workouts for NBA prospects and a delayed draft. “He’ll finish his degree and work to improve in the areas he needs to improve on.”
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Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert is withdrawing his name from the NBA draft and will return to the Bulldogs for his senior season, putting them in contention to be the preseason No. 1 team in the country. Kispert was a potential second-round pick, ranking No. 47 overall and No. 6 among small forwards in ESPN’s NBA draft rankings. But he, like teammate Joel Ayayi last week, is heading back to Spokane, Washington, to compete for a national championship.
The NBA on Monday announced the launch of an alternate telecast centered on sports betting for select games, the latest broadcast enhancement for the NBA restart. NBABet Stream will feature overlays displaying point spreads and odds, as well as betting analysis, beginning with the Oklahoma City Thunder-Denver Nuggets game Monday. The NBABet Stream broadcast is available on NBA League Pass, NBA TV via the NBA App and NBA.com through the league’s direct-to-consumer subscription product.
As much as he wanted to be with his New Orleans Pelicans teammates, was going back to basketball worth it under those circumstances? Was it wise to spend months away from his family — Lauren pregnant with their second child — during a worsening pandemic? His actions in the past proved that basketball isn’t everything to him, his family is. One night the answer came to them. When it did, it felt so simple. He would play and donate the remainder of his salary this season, about $5 million, to businesses, nonprofits and higher learning institutions that serve the Black community and communities of color.
“There needed to be a reason why I felt it was worth leaving my family and my pregnant wife to go into this bubble,” Jrue said. “I think that gave me a great reason to go back and play, to feel like I’m doing something for my people and this culture. Donating the rest of my contract was kind of the ultimate decision for why I was going.” The newly created Jrue and Lauren Holiday Fund has committed to donate $1.5 million to organizations and businesses in New Orleans, $1 million in Indianapolis where Lauren is from, and $1.5 million in Los Angeles and Compton. An additional $1 million will be given to Black-owned small businesses in 10 U.S. cities and $500,000 will go to historically Black colleges and universities.
August 3, 2020 | 9:38 pm EDT Update
August 3, 2020 | 9:15 pm EDT Update
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“So on that play, at replay, Olynyk, we judged that he took an aggressive swipe and he made some contact into the facial area of Kyle Lowry,” Guthrie said in the pool report. “At replay, in my judgement, I felt like that did meet the criteria for a flagrant foul. After reviewing that more postgame, and thinking about it a little bit more, to me, it now is more of a natural basketball play going for the ball and that the contact really did not rise to the criteria of a flagrant foul. In both of these instances and cases, though, as always, I know that the league office will review them as they always do all flagrant fouls and they’ll make their determinations at the end of the day on what they think they ended up, in their judgement, that it was. But we had our judgments in the live game.”
August 3, 2020 | 7:05 pm EDT Update
August 3, 2020 | 5:46 pm EDT Update
August 3, 2020 | 5:12 pm EDT Update
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