“If there is one bastion of hope that we have as fans…

“If there is one bastion of hope that we have as fans, it’s please take our mind away from what’s happening currently in the world,” Williams added. “And if the hard part for players is to play in an arena with no fans, then we have to do that. We need to do that, because us as fans, we need our superstar players to lead the effort to take our minds away from this horrific place that we’re in as a society right now.”

More on Season Suspension

Former Chicago Bulls/Duke guard Jay Williams believes the NBA should start up again in empty arenas to give fans a mental break from the coronavirus. “As hard as it is to manufacture your own energy if you’re playing in an arena without fans, I would think and ask every NBA player, every athlete, implore them to be reflective of the times that we’re in,” Williams said Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”
Matt Thomas should be preparing for the homestretch to the NBA's regular-season right now. Instead, he's stuck at home, like the rest of the league's players and coaches. The Onalaska High School graduate's season is on hold because of the COVID-19 virus. "Just staying positive and just trying to make the most of it. It's crazy though," Thomas said during a phone interview Thursday.
Thomas said all the Raptors were tested and all came back negative for the virus. But due to the quarantine, Thomas hasn't been able to work out in a gym in more than two weeks. "Not shooting a basket or being in a gym, it's been, it's hard to remember. I would say 10 or 11 years old, I'd say 5th or 6th grade when I really started to have that passion and love for the game, I've never been one to take time off. Even after seasons."
The team has delivered food to Thomas and provided some workout equipment as well with the hopes they will re-start the season at some point. "It's so hard to predict. What that looks like, I don't know. Are we going to be playing games in front of fans or not? Are we playing in arenas? I've heard people talk about at team practice facilities if we are able to finish the season. It's so hard to say right now."
As COVID-19, the coronavirus, spreads across the U.S., the NBA is preparing for the possibility of playing a summer schedule for the first time in league history. There is resounding ownership support for finding a way to finish the season, NBA officials told SI.com, even if that means re-starting the season in late June, even if that pushes the Finals into September. Some estimates have the NBA losing as much as $1 billion in a lost season, an eye popping number team owners desperately want to bring down.
The NBA could also test elements of its planned in-season tournament, which Silver said he “strongly” believes will be incorporated in the coming years. NBA sources told CNBC the league has already floated the idea of using Las Vegas as the final location for a possible in-season tournament.
LeBron James doesn’t want to hear any more about how a break in the schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic might be good for his 35-year-old body. “It’s actually the opposite for me,” James said. “My body when we stopped playing was like ‘what the hell are you doing?’
“The only timeline that we’ve been given as far as training is that I will be allowed to work out with Mike Mancias again on Monday, which will be the two weeks away from the quarantine they put us on after we all got tested after the Nets had four guys who tested positive,” James said. “… I’ve just been training. I’ve been training five days a week and staying ready. What they always say. Stay ready when your number’s called.”
For nearly 28 minutes, Curry asked Fauci informed questions about COVID-19, testing and social distancing. Fauci gave precise answers to all of them. Fauci explained the difference between the flu and the coronavirus, which he considered "much more serious." Although young people are not as vulnerable to COVID-19, Fauci argued they should still follow social distancing rules because of the rare chance they could become ill and the likely chance they could pass the virus to someone older. Fauci predicted that large events, including the NBA season, will not take place until "the country as a whole is turning that corner."
On what Derrick White is doing to keep in shape during an NBA hiatus stretching into its third week: “I’m doing a lot of at-home workouts. We’ve got an assault bike I’ve been on. I’m trying to do as much as I can to stay in shape. It’s been hard to do as much to stay in shape for basketball because you don’t have a gym. I’m doing as much as I can to be ready when that time comes.”
Ainge and the Celts have no choice but to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. “I try to get outside,” he said over the phone as he took in the fresh air. “The weather’s been pretty good. But I’ve been going into the office. I’ve been the only one that’s at the facility, and mostly just watching film and walking inclines on the treadmill and walking the back stairway and doing some exercise.”
Ainge, who was out scouting college tournaments in Las Vegas when the NCAA and NBA games were stopped, hasn’t been tested for the coronavirus. Actually, around the Celtics, just the players and a few support people have. But only Marcus Smart has tested positive, and all others are doing well and are practicing proper social distancing. “I feel great,” said Ainge, whose medical history includes two mild heart attacks — one in 2009 and another during last year’s playoffs. “I feel fine. There’s been no symptoms at all, so that’s good. And I haven’t had contact with anybody from our team since, like, March 1st or 2nd.”
“I’m in communication with people in the organization, including players, every day,” he said. “I think they’re doing really well. I mean, guys have their workouts. They’ve requested stationary bikes and weight and weight vests and bands so they can do all sorts of their workouts that our trainers are giving them. So, yeah, I think everybody’s following all of the rules, staying quarantined, and just keeping to themselves. It feels like, in my conversations with everybody, that they’re all doing well. They all seem pretty upbeat. I’m just trying to keep them motivated.”
"We stay in contact with our guys. We’re trying to help them as far as if they need equipment to work out with, weight training and that type of stuff," McMillan said. "Everything is closed down." The coaching staff isn't huddling about Xs and Os, or pondering more wrinkles for a defense that has grown progressively better by mixing in zone concepts and switching more often. The Pacers keep the players up to date on developments with the organization and league and what it means.
Plenty can change, for better or worse. "Of course you think about it. You wonder when we’re going to play again," McMillan said. "When we do start back, everybody will be off the same amount of time. It'll be like starting the season over. Most, if not all, of the gyms around the country are closed. If you don't have a gym in your home, that’s somewhat of a challenge.“
Kentucky coach John Calipari, who coaches a group of NBA Draft picks every single year, says he expects that the date of the NBA Draft will move due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that players, therefore, should have more time to make decisions about entering the draft. As of now, the NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline is at 11:59 p.m. on April 26 and the Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline is at 5 p.m. on June 15. The Draft is slated for June 25 at Barclays Center.
There is no timetable on when teams will be able to have players in for individual workouts. And even when those workouts begin, what kind of shape will the players be in? “My worry is for guys,” Calipari said. “If they spend two months and don’t do anything and then try to go work out for an NBA team, it isn’t going to work out for them. There are no gyms, no health clubs, unless they have a gym in their house, none of them do. Unless they have a workout area in their home, none of them do, how are we doing this? So my worry about is more about that.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday he expects the NBA will resume play before fans are allowed back in arenas due to COVID-19 concerns. “We have to be very cautious, particularly as we try to come back,” Cuban said on CNBC’s “Markets in Turmoil” special. “I think at first though we’ll play a lot of games without fans and then figure it out as some of the available medicines ... become available, we’ll go from there.”
Cuban also said he believed it would be “feasible” to take the temperature of every fan who tried to enter a venue. A fever, along with a cough and shortness of breath, are among the most common symptoms of COVID-19.
“People need something to rally around right now. People need sports,” the billionaire entrepreneur said. “We need something to cheer for, something to get excited about and there’s nothing better than our sports teams to do it.” Cuban said he was just “guessing,” but believed “the NBA is going to try to come back as early as we can without spectators, just on TV and streaming, and just give people something to celebrate.”
Rubin also commented on the Sixers having planned to institute salary reductions of up to 20 percent for full-time, salaried employees making at least $50,000. In a statement Tuesday, managing partner Josh Harris reversed course, saying all employees would be paid their full salaries and apologizing to staff and fans. “To me, if you don’t get something right, the biggest thing you need to do is recognize it and fix it," Rubin said. "Whether I’m involved or indirectly involved, I screw things up all the time. The most important thing is if you don’t get it right, you’ve gotta fix it immediately and I’m proud of the way the organization said, ‘You know what? We didn’t have it right and we’re going to get it right.'”
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.
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."
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.

https://twitter.com/Sportando/status/1241329719259402240
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.
Storyline: Season Suspension
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