Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the fi…

Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the first NBA players test positive for coronavirus. From there, multiple potential connection points emerged. Pistons big Christian Wood – who faced Utah in Detroit a few days prior – was diagnosed with coronavirus and has since recovered. A cameraperson who worked that game, including shooting inside the Jazz locker room, was also diagnosed with coronavirus and even put into a medically reduced coma.

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Arash Markazi: "Major League Baseball or NFL football or basketball, none of that's going to happen until 2021, from your perspective, in L.A.?" @MayorOfLA: "It would be very difficult to see that." pic.twitter.com/YVvhXSJKJK
Booker defeated teammate Deandre Ayton in the finals Saturday to win $100,000 to give to his charity of choice in support of coronavirus relief efforts. #FirstRespondersFirst provides "essential supplies, equipment and resources for the protection of frontline healthcare workers" while Arizona Food Bank Network is "a non-profit organization serving five regional food bank members across the state of Arizona and a network of nearly 1,200 food pantries and agencies."
Arizona Food Bank Network is one of the non-profit organizations to benefit from Booker's $100,000 donation through Twitch last month. Phoenix Suns Charities matched for COVID-19 relief efforts. “I had a really great time participating in the NBA 2K Players Tournament,” said Booker. an avid gamer, in a news release about the 16-player tournament ESPN aired. “Winning it was really great for my competitive spirit and I’m glad I could give our fans a little taste of basketball while supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. I hope that our fans stay safe and healthy during this time and I can’t wait to get back on the court soon.”
Los Angeles may hold off on allowing big gatherings until 2021 because of the coronavirus threat, according to an internal Los Angeles Fire Department email reviewed by The Times. Mayor Eric Garcetti raised the issue during his weekly briefing Monday with a group of high-level staff from several departments, including Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. Garcetti indicated during the conference call that “large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events may not be approved in the city for at least 1 year,” according to the email.
Van Gundy was an assistant with the Heat during the NBA lockout in 1998 that shortened the season to 50 games, and he was the head coach of the Magic when the lockout shaved 16 games off the 2011-12 regular-season schedule. He said it’s difficult to compare the coronavirus pandemic to the lockouts when players utilized team and practice facilities. They don’t have the same access amid the pandemic.
“Guys could still work out. They were in the gym. They were playing. It was just sort of an extended offseason for them,” Van Gundy said of the lockouts. “So those guys were going to at least be in good enough shape to start training camp coming in. “Now we’ve got guys at home and they’re doing what they can. But a lot of them don’t have access to a basketball or shooting, so the whole readiness level is really, really hard.”
Van Gundy said he thinks the league’s 25-day plan — where players get 11 days to come into team facilities and work before two weeks of training camp — would work. “I think that sounds OK. But if we’re out another month, if we’re out another six weeks and then they come back [then] you’re going to need more time,” Van Gundy said. “Then you’re talking about needing five or more six weeks total. I think the longer we’re out, the longer time we’re going to need to ramp up or we’re going to see a lot of injuries.”
Athletic sales in the U.S. continue to decline dramatically as store closures hit the big brands hard. Matt Powell, NPD Group Inc.’s senior sports industry adviser, said in a note that for the week ended April 4, sales dropped about 75% compared with the same period last year. The data mirrors Powell’s findings from last week, which revealed that sales declined 76% in the fourth week of March.
In today’s analysis, Powell said Nike footwear sales were down about 75% for the last week of March, and there were similar declines for Adidas, Vans and New Balance. Sales for companies including Jordan Brand, Under Armour, Converse and Skechers took hits of more than 80%. The label that fared best, although still experiencing a drop in sales, was Brooks, with a decline of roughly 55%. According to Powell, the market’s largest category, sport lifestyle footwear, dropped approximately 75%. He noted a similar decline was experienced with skate footwear.
At least one prominent public health expert does not believe sports will be played in front of fans until the fall of 2021. Speaking as part of a New York Times panel discussion about how to re-start America amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who advised the Obama administration on health policy and the Affordable Care Act, said he did not think large gatherings would be possible until after a vaccine is widely distributed in 12-18 months. Emanuel, the older brother of former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel who now chairs the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said the American economy would have to be opened up in stages, beginning with workplaces that can maintain more social distancing practices.
“Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emanuel told the Times. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically, we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.” Emanuel pointed to colleges and universities as potentially one of the areas of society that could re-open more quickly if testing and contact tracing measures are readily available, pointing to the lower virus’ lower mortality rates — “not zero, but pretty damn close,” he said — for people under 30.
Scott Agness: Pacers President Kevin Pritchard on a conference call with local media. Says they’re staying in touch thanks to technology. "We’re preparing like there’s going to be a regular season and playoffs."
Emiliano Carchia: The resumption of Chinese CBA has been pushed back. July is the target date to resume the season. Teams are ready to extend the contracts of their players that will get paid for the extra time. But the amount has not been determined yet, a source told @Emiliano Carchia
Ujiri said that NBA commissioner Adam Silver was thinking about the potential ramifications of the coronavirus on both the NBA and society well ahead of the league having to shut down. He said he was at a meeting at the NBA's headquarters in New York a few weeks earlier for an NBA Africa board meeting when, after the meeting ended, Silver began to speak about it. "After the meeting, Adam started talking about this virus," Ujiri said. "And the way he talked about it, and how passionate he was about where this thing was going, it was incredible to see. “
Eric Woodyard: Pistons owner Tom Gores and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced today that he’s purchased 100,000 masks for deployment and use by the City of Detroit. They’ll be provided to Detroit police officers, firefighters, bus drivers and other city workers serving the public.
For Gordon and his teammates, the season-ending happened quickly. “It actually got postponed while we were in the air flying to L.A., and we heard while we were in the air that a couple of players caught the virus. Next thing you know, we landed, and they said they canceled the season,” explained Gordon, who also said the players immediately knew it was serious. “For a player to get it, it was like, man... if this keeps going... a lot of players are going to get it, or they might already have it and don’t know,” he said.
The Towns family is heartbroken by the untimely passing of Jacqueline Towns due complications as a result of COVID-19. Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, had been battling the virus for more than a month when she succumbed on April 13th.
The Towns family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received during this very difficult time. They would like to thank the medical warriors at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and JFK Medical Center, who fought for Jackie day in and day out, and helped Karl Sr. recover from the same virus that took Jackie’s life. The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning.
Jon Krawczynski: For those who don't know, Jacqueline Cruz made the world go 'round for the Towns family. He was the light. The energy. The beating heart. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed her spirit. My thoughts are with @Karl-Anthony Towns and the entire family.
With the 2019-20 NBA season still on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and Commissioner Adam Silver saying it won’t even consider resuming it any sooner than May 1, I asked 10 NBA-related people, based on everything they knew, if they think the league will finish this season. Out of the 10 in an anonymous poll, seven said yes, two no, and one was uncertain. COVID-19 is the obvious reason to cancel the season. As one source said, the pandemic makes it too risky to finish the season.
Crowning an NBA champion was a rallying cry for one of the polled sources. Reports have the NBA considering the idea of finishing the season as late as Labor Day weekend in September. Another source echoed the talk of playing games in a centralized location like Las Vegas, but again, that risk of one person having the virus and spreading it is why some people are adamant about shutting down the season. The longer it takes to make that determination, the more crunched the NBA will be for time to make that happen, and that could easily impact when next season will begin.
Knowing the seriousness and understanding how COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, has taken the lives of thousands of Americans in less than a month, Curry decided it was prudent to be checked out and find out what was wrong. “I went to get tested Tuesday — they wouldn’t do it,” Curry said. “I didn’t have enough symptoms. That Wednesday, I’ve got a temperature. I mean I’ve got it all. I’ve got no energy. I get tested. They finally test me on March 25th. So in the meantime, it’s so bad I go to the ER one night. So I don’t get my tests back until I’m feeling better. They gave me a Zithromax, like a z-pack. I immediately started to get better. Looking back at it, that’s how I knew I didn’t have it.”
Chris Haynes: Sources: Both players had issues with one another stemming from the developments of the COVID-19 positive results that they ultimately recovered from. There’s more work to be done, but the chat is a good sign they’re working on turning the page.
Phil Murphy: A huge shout-out to the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, which has stepped forward and delivered 150,000 surgical masks and nearly 198,000 N95 masks. These are sorely needed. To Joe and Clara Tsai, and their team at the Tsai Foundation, we cannot thank you enough.
Eric Walden: Rudy: "Adam Silver did a great job by shutting the NBA down right away. … I had a lot of stuff coming at me, but it probably saved thousands of lives."
Ettore Messina addresses the possibility of EuroLeague resuming its action for the 2019-20 season that has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a recent interview with Raisport. “Resuming is unlikely. In Italy, you can move by bus except when you have to play in Sassari or Brindisi. Maybe in a more normal situation, in two to three months. But it is something you can’t plan now. Thinking about 18 European teams flying from one country to another seems unlikely” Messina said as adapted by basketuniverso.it.
The SBL has continued to play through the COVID-19 crisis, relocating games from an arena to the HaoYu Basketball Training Center, according to the New York Times' Marc Stein. All games are held in buildings with less than 100 occupants, with only select training and media personnel allowed along with players, coaches and officials. In theory, the NBA could attempt similar policies. The NBA could directly follow the SBL model in a vacuum, but Taiwan's effective response to the coronavirus outbreak alters the picture. There have been, "fewer than 400 reported COVID-19 cases and only six deaths as of April 10," per Stein. Taiwan, "has coped with the coronavirus pandemic as well as any."
Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond is giving back. Drummond and JBL have announced a donation of headphones to schools in the Cleveland and Detroit area to help students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The donation, through Little Kids Rock, is intended to help kids nationwide with e-learning and will go directly to supporting virtual online classes and free streaming music lessons. Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit dedicated to innovating music education in schools.
Knicks alumni chief John Starks donated scrubs to hospitals Saturday and got a shout-out from Mayor de Blasio at his Saturday press conference. “Thank you to John Starks — he has dished out an assist,’’ de Blasio said. “This time not with a basketball, but with 3,000 scrubs for our health care workers.”
Tough times call for resolute measures and the current pandemic has Senegal center Gorgui Dieng committed to being part of the solution to stop COVID-19 in its tracks and give a hand to the vulnerable in his home country. The Gorgui Dieng Foundation founded in 2015 is providing protective equipment intended for health personnel like protective gowns, masks FFP2, facial masks, prevention products, antiseptic products, hydro-alcoholic solutions and meal kit - groceries.
Dieng, who features for NBA side Memphis Grizzlies, is an established philanthropist who has been at the forefront of using his influence to provide medical equipment, fighting malnutrition, encouraging and educating farmers about innovative agriculture and holding basketball camps with his foundation. "My foundation is here to help people in need. People's needs have increased tremendously over the last few months due to this global pandemic. Now more than ever people are looking to us and others for aid. It is our duty to be there for our people. It is very important to me that we are doing what we can for the less fortunate," he elaborated.
In an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera (via Sportando), San Antonio Spurs' Marco Belinelli expressed his thoughts on Gobert's behavior [related to coronavirus] saying what he did was "terrible." "Terrible. I prefer not to express myself because I don't want to say things that then seem offensive or too serious, but what he did was yes, terrible," Belinelli said.
The coronavirus hit Belinelli's home country of Italy hard. Many died, were hospitalized and the situation impacted Belinelli. He's been urging everyone to remain indoors, and keeping 6-feet apart. He also gave financial assistance to an Italian hospital at the peak of the virus' impact in Italy. "From a distance I see how all our doctors, our nurses, all those who are on the front line against the virus are giving 150% to heal people," Belinelli said.
Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Landry’s restaurant group and Golden Nugget casino chain, said late Friday in a new interview with Fox News that at least some components of the U.S. economy need to reopen in May. [...] During the interview, Fertitta said he initially believed the mid-March shutdown of the City of Houston to nonessential businesses was “premature,” but he now believes it was the correct call.
When they shut down the city of Houston, I thought it was premature. But they were 100% right, and we’ve got to do this to the end of this month, and we’ve got to start opening up in May, not only on the financial side, but the mental health side is huge. I talked with so many people that say, ‘Hey, I just want to come back to work. I’ll do anything, but I’ve got to get out of my house.’ We are all struggling. We are all struggling.
In response, Fertitta said he “did some finances this week” that would take him to the end of 2020. His full commentary: This is what people don’t understand, is we all pay today, yesterday’s bills with today’s money. And when we just got shut down in a 48 hour period, you still have a payroll and severance, $100 million for me because my payroll is $1.5 billion a year. Which is done now, but my cash burn today is still $2 million a day, which is unfathomable, but that’s why we’ve got to stay liquid. I went out and did some finances this week that will take me to the end of the year.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks, a former front-office executive with the Nets, suggested in a tweet that the “best-case” scenario for an NBA return is early July. That is still two-and-a-half months away so it sounds reasonable. But the league would need ample lead time to secure a plan to finish the season and/or start the playoffs, and, according to the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, players would need two or three weeks to get their conditioning up. For early July to work, the NBA would have to get the all-clear to restart around the end of May.
It’s hard to see that happening. Also hard to imagine: Any credible playoff schedule that starts after August 1. As one general manager told Heavy.com, “They’re not coming out and saying anything but I would say that would have to be the end date. So they’d have to know they can restart in mid-June or so for it to work.”
There obviously will be an NBA Draft and it can be a socially distanced event. Problem is, teams like to spend time with a player before investing a draft pick in him, watch him in the workout they designed, interview him, check his body language—all the normal tests and checks. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that teams are imploring the league to push the draft back to August 1, at least.
Agents are doing the same. “We usually have time, a couple of months, to get players in shape, change their diets, work out at our facilities, with our trainers, tailor what they do to what the teams want to see,” one prominent agent told Heavy.com. “We’re not getting that here and I think everyone understands that. But we’d like some time to help these guys put their best foot forward in the process.”
On a 45-minute call with Silver and the heads of 11 other prominent sports organizations, President Trump shared his frustration with the absence of sports and urged the commissioners to resume play as soon as possible, according to multiple sources. People close to multiple commissioners involved said they would continue to follow the advice of the health professionals, as opposed to Trump’s urges.
In public and private moments, commissioner Adam Silver has made it clear that the NBA will not return until health officials and the CDC give full clearance. If and when the NBA is able to resume its season in a “bubble” city, one preliminary plan would be a two-week quarantine where teams can utilize facilities again and players can work out in solo settings, then a two-week training camp followed by an abbreviated regular season and playoffs, sources said. It would all take place without fans, according to those sources. Many team executives are preparing for a delayed NBA draft — as late as September.
One potential scenario also discussed has the NBA entering a play-in tournament prior to the playoffs for the seventh seed and a few teams below, according to sources. But this is all fluid and these are all simply contingency plans, as Silver is well aware that the timetable will be determined by the virus.
In addition to avoiding a quick return, Hayward says attention needs to be paid to how many games they play if they do return. “This is new to everybody, and that’s something that has to be taken into consideration,” he said. “The health of the players and not putting people at risk, and not to rush the season back or play too many games in a short period of time. That’s something that needs to be taken into consideration.”
Red Cross Blood Services: Thank you, @ATLHawks Coach @LloydPierceLP and wife, Melissa Pierce, for helping to maintain the blood supply and for sponsoring blood drives. During the #COVID19 outbreak, we encourage people to make blood donation appointments for the weeks ahead. http://rcblood.org/appt

Amway Center, home to the Orlando Magic for the past 10 years, is about to become home to medical equipment and supplies that AdventHealth will use in treating those who have contracted the coronavirus. According to Florida Health, there were 17,058 confirmed cases among Florida residents of COVID-19 and another 513 non-Florida resident cases as of Friday morning. Of those, there have been 895 confirmed cases and 13 deaths in Orange County, 232 cases and two deaths in Seminole County, 300 cases and five deaths in Osceola County, 115 cases and two deaths in Brevard County, 187 cases and five deaths in Volusia County, 147 cases and two deaths in Lake County and 237 cases and eight deaths in Polk County.
Chris Milholen: The medical supplies purchased by Dzanan Musa have been delivered to Cantonal Hospital in his hometown of Bihac, Bosnia. “We have patients that desperatly need these machines and Dzanan is so happy he can help save lives in this tough moments,” Dzennis Musa said.

NBA players – generally young and healthy – mostly face reduced risk (not no risk) of developing serious symptoms due to coronavirus. But family and friends are still susceptible. Pacers center Myles Turner on C.J. McCollum‘s podcast: “My dad actually got it. He made a full recovery. But just seeing him kind of go through it was huge, because you see all the memes, and it’s funny and stuff on Twitter until something actually happens to you. And seeing my dad get it, he was super weak. He could barely talk.”
Myles Turner: “My dad has underlying conditions as well. He’s 55, 56 years old. So, he has underlying conditions. And he was in the hospital for damn near a week, maybe six or seven days. I think that’s when I kind of started taking it more serious. Like, man, this can really happen to anybody. We don’t know much about it. And that’s when I started doing more research on it, keeping up on it every day to see what I can do to keep myself safe, my sister safe, keep my family safe. Blessed as it may be, he made a full recovery.”
Said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, “We’ve partnered with AdventHealth and the Orlando Magic to transform the Amway Center into a hub for healthcare equipment and supplies that the hospital system will use to distribute needed supplies to its 50 hospitals across our region and in seven others states across the country. We are proud to have partners, like Advent Health and the Orlando Magic, who are helping now and preparing for future needs as we continue to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. As a city, we are happy to help in this effort.”
Sydney Wiese: Got retested for COVID-19 and my results came back negative. Thank you to everyone who has prayed and checked in! May we continue to do our part, think of others, and stay at home Red heart #CallYourGrandparents
The global health crisis has shut down nearly every league on the basketball map, but not Taiwan’s Super Basketball League. So on Thursday night, Metcalf coached the team Taoyuan Pauian Archiland in an 85-77 loss to Bank of Taiwan, which was led by the former Duke guard Matt Jones with 29 points. Pauian played Friday and will again Saturday in its final two regular-season games before starting the playoffs — all of which is scheduled to take place in a small gym with no fans in a modest version of the “bubble” environment that the N.B.A. is likely to try to replicate if conditions in the United States allow the resumption of its suspended season.
“You turn on CNN or go on ESPN’s website and you realize: ‘Wow. We’re really the only people fortunate to still be able to do what we love,’” Metcalf said in a telephone interview. “I guess it says a lot about how Taiwan has taken care of the situation as a whole that we’re still able to play basketball.”
The S.B.L. indeed has some significant advantages over the N.B.A., as well as various leagues in the region that have either stalled in their efforts to relaunch (China) or decided to outright cancel the rest of the season after unsuccessful restarts (Japan and South Korea). Taiwan’s league comprises only five teams — in a country that has coped with the coronavirus pandemic as well as any. Despite its proximity and considerable business ties to China, where the coronavirus originally spread, Taiwan’s successful containment — less than 400 reported Covid-19 cases and only six deaths as of April 10, according to the island’s health minister — has been attributed by many experts to lessons learned and measures adopted after the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. “Life here is pseudo normal,” Metcalf said.
An order from the Taiwanese government nonetheless shut down all arenas under government control on March 19, suspending indoor events with more than 100 people and all outdoor events with more than 500. The S.B.L. initially planned to shut down for two weeks but managed to relocate days later to the HaoYu Basketball Training Center to stage all games there and ensure gatherings in the building never stray beyond 100 occupants. The only people allowed inside, beyond the teams playing and the referees, are camera operators for the television broadcasts, officials found at the scorer’s table, and journalists at a press-row table behind one of the baskets. Many working in those capacities, as well as various team staffers and inactive players on the bench, wear masks — with some forced to watch in socks if they forget that only rubber-soled shoes are permitted inside. Grey curtains hang over the windows behind the opposite basket, covering the glass from an adjacent weight room so it stays hidden from TV viewers.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s remarks earlier this week could be left open to interpretation on whether a decision to cancel the season is growing closer because of the coronavirus pandemic. Silver said nothing will be announced in April, which seemed to leave open the possibility of the NBA nixing the season on May 1.
However, a Players Association memo to players and their agents sent out Thursday night indicated more time may be given to evaluate whether the season will resume. The Post has reported that even if the regular season goes on, it would likely just be a minuscule five-to-seven-game schedule with a shortened one-site, 16-team playoff tournament. Silver also revealed in his remarks to TNT’s Ernie Johnson that last weekend’s commissioners conference call with President Trump felt like something of “a pep talk’’ — with the commander in chief underlining how important the major sports leagues are to society.
The Swoosh is considering holding either one or multiple events for all 36 17U EYBL teams in June that would determine seeding for the Peach Jam in July, sources said. The June event(s) could potentially take place at one central location or at multiple regional sites in the East, South, Midwest and West. The June event would not be a qualifier, and would only determine seeding for Peach Jam. “The June event would be about making sure the Peach Jam pools are balanced,” one source said.
Considering all the efforts the Jazz had taken to educate their players on the matter and to ensure their safety, it’s not hard to see why there would be frustration with anyone who was still downplaying the disease. Now, though, they must find a way to move forward. The Jazz have already begun working on the Mitchell-Gobert relationship, but sources say Mitchell remains reluctant to fix what might have been broken. “It doesn’t appear salvageable,” one source with knowledge of the situation said.
In the two travel days leading into Utah’s game at Oklahoma City, Gobert and Mitchell shared space on a regular basis, sitting near each other on buses and the team plane, according to sources. Still, there’s no way to know if Gobert gave it to Mitchell or if it was the other way around or some other factor. That’s something the team tried to make clear to Mitchell, according to sources. Mitchell also declined an interview request for this story.
The Jazz convened in the lobby of the Residence Inn on Thursday morning, still stunned by the events of the night before. Players milled around, making small talk, laughing and conversing with each other, checking their phones. Soon after, they took a chartered flight back to Salt Lake City, relieved to be going home, even if it was to quarantine for two weeks. Gobert traveled back to Utah on a private flight. Sources said Mitchell went elsewhere: New York, where he could be closer to his family. He wanted to be near his mother, Nicole Mitchell, as the two share a close relationship. He spent the following days quarantined in a basement. The process itself, of getting Gobert and Mitchell on their flights, wasn’t easy, according to sources. Because of the duo’s positive tests, the Jazz had to go through a special protocol for Gobert and Mitchell to be cleared to get onboard flights.
There is hope that the relationship will improve over time, and the fact that there could potentially be a lot of time to sort things out could work in Utah’s favor. “I’m confident our team is going to be totally fine,” Ingles said. “I heard Donovan’s response (on GMA), or whatever it was, to that question, and a part of that is on Donovan and Rudy to sort out if he’s frustrated with him or whatever. But I have no doubt when we go back to training, or when our season starts again, our team is going to be what we have been and what we are. … I’m confident our team will be completely fine. The chemistry will be fine.”
After Silver hung up with the Thunder and OSDH officials, the league arranged an emergency call of the NBA team presidents, with many of the owners who had just gotten off the earlier conference call with Silver on the line again. It was not a very long call. According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, only two teams said during the call that they still wanted to keep playing. Most everyone knew what had to happen next. Reports naming Gobert as the player who’d tested positive for coronavirus were coming out, first via The Athletic and then other media organizations.
As an organization, the Jazz were as vigilant as anyone in regards to coronavirus awareness than most to that point, and perhaps more than most. Head coach Quin Snyder and the front office had top healthcare officials in Utah meet with players and coaches over multiple meetings in an effort to educate, sources tell The Athletic. The team itself had been taking what they thought were preventative measures, even if the players themselves had been a bit slow to. And the league had already restricted locker room access to essential personnel on game nights.
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."
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
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August 18, 2022 | 8:28 am EDT Update
After being traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Clippers last February, Powell proceeded to play three games before sustaining a left foot fracture. His recovery took weeks, which only allowed him to suit up in the team’s last four games including the Play-In tournament. The veteran admitted that it was a tough experience of not being able to have an on-court familiarization with his team in the previous campaign. “It’s kind of a tough hill to climb on, only playing for three games and then coming back for the playoffs, it’s tough,” Powell said, via David Yapkowitz of 213 Hoops. “I really didn’t get a full chance to show what I bring to the table, just a little bit of a spark there.”
Former Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter Freedom explained why the NBA is “really mad” as its hypocritical business ties to communist China are exposed Wednesday on “The Ingraham Angle.” KANTER FREEDOM: Everything the NBA does is either for money or a publicity stunt. It’s been like that for years, so I’m not really surprised. They could care less about the players, about the coaching staff and the fans as long as the league image is profitable.
Enes Kanter Freedom: And finally, they are really mad because someone finally from the inside who played 11 years in this league — [is] going out there and exposing them one by one. And that is unacceptable… What is unacceptable is how they can bow down to the biggest dictatorship out there in the world. So that hurt my heart. I was like, “You know what? Enough is enough. Someone has to call out this hypocrisy.” And I did it.
August 18, 2022 | 2:54 am EDT Update
Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic.