NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, a New Jersey native and a mountain of a man whose accomplishments on and off the basketball court are legendary, took the time Tuesday night to call the Critical Care unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/Somerset to extend thanks and encouragement to the staff for their never-ending efforts to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The short 40-second video shows O'neal being driven in he back seat of a car, looking out the side window while he speaks into his phone. There's a lot of chatter, laughter and squeals in the background from the crowd gathered to see O'Neal. Here's what he had to say: "I know you guys are working hard . . I know you guys are tired . . . I just want to say thank you. "I appreciate all you guys . . . keep up the good work and please be safe . . . "I know you guys don't get a lot of appreciation but I appreciate everything you guys do , , , "You guys are great at saving lives."
Chris Grenham: Jaylen Brown on @CNN: "A lot of the guys want to play. The most influential players that were on that call that we speak of, a lot of those guys want to continue the season and that's very important to us." pic.twitter.com/lShZj8x4UW
With Los Angeles County expected to extend stay-at-home orders for up to three more months due to the coronavirus pandemic, a staple of the L.A. summer basketball calendar is shutting down for 2020. The Drew League announced Wednesday that it is canceling its season.
Diamond Leung: What could an NBA game with no fans be like? Bucks CMO Dustin Godsey on today's SportsPro webinar: "I think you're going to see some opportunities w/ virtual fans & whether there's screens in the stands that are piping in fans, everything feels like it's on the table right now."
David Aldridge: The Wizards, Capitals and Mystics announce new t-shirts at $25 apiece to benefit the @MSE “Feeding the Frontlines” fund, which has underwritten more than 7,500 meals to first responders, health care and essential workers, per @MSE. Available at monumentalfoundation.org/tees pic.twitter.com/eBIUisdiDd
How much risk is worth playing for the NBA and its players? Commissioner Adam Silver repeated the phrase from his call with all NBA players on Friday to the Board of Governors on Tuesday, and that message will ring throughout the league over the next several weeks. Here is what you should know following Tuesday’s call with the Board of Governors, which The Athletic has learned via multiple sources.
For owners and executives, the belief is that a decision on whether or not to play out the season can’t be delayed into July. Silver and the NBA want to make the most educated decision, and this timetable allows the league to push off a decision into mid-June, which would make it roughly three months from the league’s suspension.
Ultimately, everyone involved has understood the significant financial ramifications if the season is not able to finish. Silver told players on a call Friday and reiterated on Tuesday to the owners: Perhaps public perception will have changed, but the situation we are dealing with may be the same, if not worse, in the fall or winter.
How would a potential return look? One or two locations — such as Disney World in Orlando or Las Vegas — and this playing grounds environment that Silver described Tuesday: Players/personnel able to move around, but undergo testing upon re-entry. This would mean that people involved in the isolated city environment would be re-examined before any return to the remainder of the pack. It would not be a strict “medical bubble,” Silver said to the players and again on Tuesday.
The Sacramento Kings opened their practice facility on Monday for the first time since the league-wide shutdown began on March 11. There are strict rules in place, including two-hour time slots for no more than four players at one time and 30-minute sanitizing breaks between each session. While the workouts are voluntary, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that a handful of players made their way to the gym under the new protocol and procedures and that everything went on without a hitch.
NBA players want to resume the 2019-20 season with the regular season and a full playoff schedule, “if it is safe to do so,” the National Basketball Players Association told agents in a memo sent on Tuesday. The memo came as ESPN reported NBPA regional representatives reached out to players for an informal survey asking if they want to return this season. While informal, responses were overwhelmingly in favor of resuming the season, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive nature of the topic.
In the memo, “if it is safe to do” was underscored, emphasizing the challenge facing sports as they attempt to come back. The memo briefly recapped Friday’s NBPA players meeting that included a session with commissioner Adam Silver. The memo confirmed that “any such resumption would not include fans in arenas, and would likely take place at a single site, but again, it is far too early to speculate on whether any such plan will be implemented.” The union said it formed a joint committee of NBPA staffers, outside experts and players Chris Paul, Dwight Powell, Kyle Lowry, Jayson Tatum and Russell Westbrook.
Shams Charania: NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Board of Governors today that he is aiming for a 2-to-4 week timetable on the decision about whether to resume season, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Discussions centered on health and safety concerns, including the goal of getting team officials and players comfortable with the idea that a positive test for the coronavirus upon a return would not shutter play.
Silver told those on the call that if a positive test would "shut us down, we probably shouldn't go down this path." The question remains: How many positive tests would be too many, and those are among the questions that the NBA, NBPA and medical experts have to come to terms with in the coming weeks before the league and union can greenlight a resumption of play.
Once the NBA formalizes a return to play, the league indicated to teams that the plan would be to standardize coronavirus testing among the 30 teams, sources said. For now, the NBA is allowing teams to use a variety of tests.
Alykhan Bijani: Coach D’Antoni on face masks: “It’s not for you, I get it, but it’s for everybody else. You can’t do that? Are you serious? It just drives me crazy! That’s the stuff of being selfish...It just takes a loved one to die...Put a mask on when you’re in public” pic.twitter.com/k5YT1VXCTl
Some of the NBA’s biggest superstars formed a united front to resume the 2019-20 season during a private conference call Monday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Toward the end of the call discussing the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, all parties were in agreement to take the court with proper safety measures once the league is given the green light to commence, sources said.
The group’s decision is expected to hold significant weight in the decision-making process for the rest of the league’s players when it’s time to deliberate on whether to restart the season. ESPN reported that players association reps began informally polling players about resuming the season.
In a conference with players on Friday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated that he couldn’t guarantee the safety of the players if play resumed in a city where they would be quarantined, but assured them the league would do everything in its power to make the safest conditions possible, sources said. That didn’t sit well with some players, sources said, with a vaccine not expected to be available for a year or two.
The majority of players who are essentially eliminated from postseason contention would rather the league start back up with the top eight teams in each conference competing in some sort of playoff, sources said. For some players out of the playoff picture, there’s concern a canceled season could negatively affect the next CBA, sources said. Silver said he doesn’t have to make a decision on the season until some point in June.
Jared Dudley: Safety obviously 1st! No where will be as safe as the NBA compound site they determine but, I Don’t think players know the effects of NOT playing does too next year. This is bigger then My team isnt in the playoffs so who cares! No playoffs, no tv money, NEW CBA next year!
Sources: The NBA has canceled its 2020 G League Elite Camp, which has previously served as a scouting event and had five participants drafted in 2019.
“I’m basically doing jail-house workouts,” New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton said with a laugh. “I’m doing a lot of core workouts in my house – little planks, sit-ups and stuff like that. I’ve also been doing some running around my neighborhood and some sprints in front of my house. Other than that, I’m working out inside.”
“It’s been a challenge,” said Los Angeles Clippers forward Patrick Patterson. “I live in an apartment, so it’s difficult to set up situations where I get . I do an hour-long workout in the garage with all of the items that I have. I mix in runs in certain areas in L.A. that have hills. I’ll mix in yoga sessions in the garage; I go on YouTube and type in yoga and then do a yoga session. That’s really all I can do right now.”
“I’ve been having my same workout, really, that I do in the regular offseason,” Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine said. “I work out pretty much every day, get my shots up and lift a lot. I’m still lifting to try to keep my body in shape. The main thing me and my dad have been working on right now is just staying strong and not putting on too much weight. I like my frame right now; I’m about 205 lbs.”
“I fear the injuries that could possibly happen if guys aren’t staying prepared,” said one NBA strength coach. “That’s a big thing I’m worried about. It’s hard for guys to mimic what they do in games, but they need to somewhat try. The guys who don’t are going to have a hard time. The league could decide to jump right to the playoffs just to finish the season quickly and that’s when the intensity is at its highest. You’ll have some guys who haven’t done much for a while trying to play their way into shape. Well, couple that with playoff intensity and there will be a lot of injuries that come with that, unfortunately.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: National Basketball Players Association regional representatives started texting NBA players today with a 'yes or no' question it says will be kept confidential: Do you want to try and play again this season? The union's trying to gauge broader sentiment of its 400-plus players.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Some teams received the question as part of a group text that included the entire roster. One rep asked a team's players: "Do you want to try and play this season, yes or no?" Another rep worded to a different group: "Do you want the season to start again?"
While the regular season typically starts in mid- to late October, the league would push back the 2020-21 campaign until Christmastime. It’s unclear if that means next season would be shortened to get back on its normal schedule or not. What I find especially interesting is the NBA appears intrigued with competing more against MLB and less vs. the NFL, according to a source. That would seem to be a favorable trade for commissioner Adam Silver and the league.
One potential concern for the NBA could be the warm summer temperatures resulting in some condensation in arenas such as the Wells Fargo Center, where the hockey ice sits beneath the basketball court. The season wouldn’t coincide with college basketball as much, plus the NBA draft and start of free agency would have to be pushed back to accommodate the later end of the pro season, but none of those should be deal-breakers. Players wouldn’t have their summer off, which would be an adjustment.
Ira Winderman: The Heat already have conducted pre-screening tests with the players participating in Wednesday's opening of training facilities, including antibody tests but not COVID-19 tests, with the local supply not considered ample enough for such usage. sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
Jeff Zillgitt: In phase two of Jeremy Lin's "Be the Light" COVID-19 campaign, he is raising money for Love Beyond Walls, Mobilize Love and the Center for Family Life. He has donated $500K and matching donations up to another $500K. covid.jlin7.com
Christian Clark: Jaxson Hayes is working with Krispy Krunchy Chicken to donate 500 meals to Oschner Health staffers, the Pelicans say. It's been cool to see the young guys doing their part to help.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: One thing we could use right now is a passionate rallying speech from our president that inspires us all to do the right thing, not just for ourselves, but for our country. It is the speech Trump should deliver, not because he wants to be reelected, but because it would address the country’s major concerns, end the political squabbling, provide a reasonable plan going forward, and give Americans confidence that their government is working to protect their health and economic concerns. It needs to be the speech of a statesman not a, well, Trump. If I were Trump’s speechwriter, using the lessons I learned from great talks I heard in my basketball career, this is what I would give him to deliver:
Mark Cuban: I don’t know. But there’s a bigger collective goal here as well. People need sports, and could you imagine a different league that has an opportunity to come back and if your team, even if you’re in last place, didn’t want to play? That’s not going to be a good situation to be in, whether you’re a fan of that team or anybody in that organization. I think people will play. Guys realize there’s something bigger at stake. And that’s the best way to put it. NBA players are smart. They recognize there’s something bigger at stake than, you know, the aggravation of playing five, six, seven, whatever-it-may-be more regular-season games even if they’re completely out of the playoffs.
Following up on your comments to Mark Followill and Brian Dameris on our podcast, where you said the Mavericks facility won’t open until testing is widely available: What specifically does widely available mean to you and what’s the importance of it? Mark Cuban: I’ll use the White House protocol. The way the White House protects the president and vice president is the way that I want to protect our players and employees, you know? We’ll just try to just copy what they do as a means of knowing when the time is right. As of now, for all we know, for all we’ve been informed, anyways, they’re testing everybody. And they test their top people on a daily basis. And so they have access to the best science, the best information, and so it just makes sense to me that we just copy them.
The Orlando Magic will not reopen team facilities Tuesday for voluntary individual player workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic as they had tentatively planned last week. The team now plans to reopen Wednesday, but even that is subject to change, according to the spokesman. The Magic continue to await COVID-19 test results for players and staff who will be on hand for workouts, according to the spokesman.
Zhang Duo: The application to resume CBA season on June 15th is already approved by General Administration of Sport of China, reported by Chinese basketball columnist Su Qun.
Among Utah Jazz players, Ingles' situation is far more common than Conley’s—just one reason Jazz officials were thrilled to allow players to enter the team’s practice facility Monday for the first time since the Coronavirus outbreak shut down the NBA on March 11. Jazz officials confirmed “a handful of Utah Jazz players participated in voluntary, individual workouts” at the facility on Monday. The workouts were done in accordance with Utah Department of Health and NBA regulations.
Ira Winderman: The Miami Heat have been cleared to and will move ahead as planned for individual player workouts at AmericanAirlines Arena starting Wednesday. Still out of town are Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill, who all are in California. No COVID testing, but temperature checks.
“We have to get to that point where the White House standard becomes the national standard, I think, in order for consumers to feel safe going out, in order for employers to feel completely safe bringing people back to work,” Cuban said on “Squawk Box.” “I think we can get there, I just don’t know when.”
During an interview Monday with ESPN 103.3 FM, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said members of the organization have recently discussed changes to operations and technologies in the AAC if fans can return in limited capacity before treatments and preventions for the coronavirus are created. The AAC norm might start with staggered fan arrival.
The Mavericks could request fans sign up for an arrival time at a specific parking spot, Cuban said, where they’ll then receive a predetermined path to walk to their gate. Upon passing through AAC security, a guide could lead fans to their seats, separated from other guests. “We may do that almost like Disneyland, do it like there’s a procession and you have people guiding you to your seat,” Cuban said. “Or the example I use is more like a haunted house where you wait in line and you go through the haunted house, but you’re not allowed to touch anything, and everybody just is guided to their seats at the right time. It may take a little bit longer for everybody to get into their seats to start the game, but we’ll accommodate that and go from there.”
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus via contaminated surfaces, Cuban highlighted potential artificial intelligence, such as a service tool similar to Amazon’s Alexa, to allow fans a way to verbally request needs, rather than moving around and touching items. “There’s just so many things that we’re trying to deal with. There’s a lot of natural [decontamination] and sterilization tools that we can use to keep the arena clean,” Cuban said. “There’s all these things that have to be considered, and we’re trying to put together a list now.”
The Hawks’ practice facility in Brookhaven’s Executive Park officially reopened Monday. The facility was shut for 54 days, originally closing March 18, one week after the NBA suspended play when Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.The team will do temperature checks before players enter the building, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, and is not seeking the testing of players/staff who are not exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus as of now.
The NBA has reached an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association to extend until September the 60-day window that preserves the league's right to terminate the collective bargaining agreement in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN. Pushing back the deadline allows for the NBA and union to gather a clearer picture of the economic losses and bargain on a number of crucial financial issues.
The NBA had the ability to terminate the CBA under the force majeure event provision for the two months starting on the March 11, when the season was suspended. There's optimism that the NBA and union can work through these issues and agree on how the league's financial landscape will be recalibrated on a number of issues, including the 2020-21 salary cap and luxury tax thresholds, sources said.
This extension allows the league and union to continue trying to resume the 2019-20 season this summer, salvaging some regular-season games, carrying out the playoffs and recouping some lose revenue. Commissioner Adam Silver told the players on Friday that expenditures by fans -- through gate receipts, concessions and other game-night receipts -- constitute approximately 40 percent of the league's revenue, according to audio of tape obtained by ESPN.
The Knicks finally made it official that there will be no more games at the Garden for the 2019-20 season. The Knicks emailed their season-ticket holders Monday morning informing them they will get a full refund on the eight postponed regular-season games — or have option of rolling it over to next season with a gift for doing so.
The Post obtained a copy of the letter, stating if fans rolled it over, they’d receive a bonus of either a food and beverage credit, MSG Store credit or an RJ Barrett authentic jersey. “As a season-ticket member, we would like to offer you the option to receive a refund on the 2019-20 postponed game if you so choose,” the letter stated.
The NBA still hopes to play out as much of its remaining schedule as possible, but Commissioner Adam Silver is now signaling those games will be played in a centralized location without spectators, if they are played at all. The league could incur major financial losses as teams receive an increasing volume of calls from restless ticket holders who want their money back. A league source told The Sacramento Bee the coronavirus shutdown has already taken a huge financial toll on the Kings, who are bracing for what might be tens of millions of dollars in uninsured losses. The source said the stoppage in NBA play and live events at Golden 1 Center is having a “tremendous impact to the bottom line,” saying “over half of the team’s revenue is generated from hosting ticketed events in the arena.”
Team and league officials explain it is difficult to calculate the average price of an NBA ticket due to multiple factors, but some have attempted to do the math. Barry’s Ticket Service, Inc., an online ticket broker, estimated the average cost of a ticket on the secondary market was $89 during the 2018-19 NBA season. Using those figures, the NBA could lose more than $400 million in regular-season ticket sales. In March, a high-ranking team official told Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports the NBA could lose nearly $500 million if the remaining regular-season and playoff schedule is canceled. Just last week, Statista.com, an online portal for statistics, estimated the NBA could lose up to $450 million in gate revenue and $200 million in non-ticket revenue.
Ontario-born Dr. Leslie Bottrell, a Raptors superfan who works at hospital New York is unable to spend Mother’s Day with her children this year. Instead of keeping her kids in their tiny New York apartment, she sent them back to her childhood home in St. Thomas, Ontario as she continue to gear up to fight COVID-19 at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, just north of Manhattan.
Despite being apart, Botrell was greeted with a heartfelt message with her hometown. A suprise greeting from her favourite NBA player, Kyle Lowry, over video call on Sunday. “Oh my god,” Botrell said, as she saw Lowry pop-up on the video call. “That’s incredible.” Lowry said it was his “honour” to be on the call with Bottrell. “You’re really on the frontline, and it’s my pride and joy of being on this call with you, it’s just like my heart is racing right now.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on a conference call with representatives of the league players’ association, discussing restarting the season. His stance about one issue was clear. If the NBA was going to resume play, it would commit to staying on course even in the face of a positive COVID-19 test, or, depending on the circumstances, even a few of them. He didn’t know at the time that the leader of another major sports enterprise was already dealing with similar circumstances.
A UFC fighter and two of his cornermen had tested positive ahead of Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Jacksonville. Hours later, when the situation became known publicly, many people assumed the show would not go on. After all, the NBA immediately shut down in March when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first of its players to test positive. A zero-tolerance policy is understandable, then and now, but what Silver and UFC President Dana White came to realize is there is also likely no realistic pathway for the return of major sports competition if that is the benchmark.
Even if leagues create a “bubble,” as the UFC did this week in Jacksonville when it took over a hotel, tested everyone upon check-in and held all events at an adjacent arena, there is a good chance someone will test positive, especially when some people are asymptomatic, as Ronaldo “Jacre” Souza and his cornermen were. Without a vaccine, the question isn’t if someone will test positive, it’s what is the plan when someone does.
It’s something Silver has reportedly addressed with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, and an issue Silver spoke with players reps about Friday: Quite simply, resuming the season will not work if it has to be postponed indefinitely again when a player or staff member tests positive. If and when that happens, the player or staff member would be removed, quarantined offsite and tested before he could possibly return.
Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets star and now president of the Chinese Basketball Association, says the league has three options for resuming the season that has been on hold since Feb. 1 over the coronavirus pandemic.
Yao said the league might play out the full schedule; play a shortened season with some games dropped; or end the regular season and go straight to the playoffs based on teams’ current rankings.
Yao told state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday that he hopes as much as the season can be played as possible, but that public health and fairness were the key considerations. A tournament to restart the season was also being considered if not all scheduled games could be played. Teams would also be isolated in hotels and fans barred from stadiums, he said.
In formulating a restart plan, the CBA received advice from a unique source, Yao said. Zhong Nanshan, who heads a national virus control team and is married to a former national player, provided “many useful suggestions,” Yao said. “With their help, we are more confident of the CBA’s return.”
Ira Winderman: Miami-Dade clears opening of Arena for Heat workouts: "Effective as of 6:00 p.m. on May 8, 2020, Emergency Order 15-20 is amended so as not to preclude the use of facilities owned or leased by a professional sports franchise, solely by employees of such franchise . . . " (1/2)
The Lakers Review: “I don’t think there is a drop dead date. I think the folks I’ve talked to have said ‘we can go as long as we need.’ I mean, they can be playing until Labor Day.” - Ramona Shelburne on the latest with the NBA during her appearance on The Mason and Ireland Show on @ESPNLosAngeles Jared Dudley: I heard even Oct from Adam Silver today...
Yao told state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday that he hoped as much of the season can be played as possible, but that public health and fairness were the key considerations. A tournament to restart the season was also being considered if not all scheduled games could be played.
In formulating a restart plan, the CBA received advice from a unique source, Yao said. Zhong Nanshan, who heads a national virus control team and is married to a former national player, provided "many useful suggestions," Yao said. "With their help, we are more confident of the CBA's return." As in most countries, professional sports in China has been largely put on hold during the pandemic. The national football association said last week it would be mandating a temporary 30% to 50% pay cut for all players and hoped to restart competition on a staggered schedule.
Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki put on gloves and a mask to do his part in handing out food boxes Saturday to honor mothers ahead of Mother's Day. His foundation, along with the Mark Cuban Foundation, the Heroes Foundation, Center Table and the city of Dallas made it all possible. "What we wanted to do today was take care of mothers," said Trina Terrell general manager of Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center. "Our primary focus is to just show a little more love to the moms that have been going through a couple of tough times during this pandemic just to give them some support."
When Ontario premier Doug Ford was asked Friday about how the testing of NHL players and related staff would be handled if Toronto became a hub for the six other Canadian teams should play resume, he had an answer ready: “From what I understand all tests would be supplied by MLSE, the costs will be absorbed by (Leafs and Raptors owners) MLSE or the NHL, whoever it might be,” said Ford. “And through that, whenever they set it up then they’ll actually donate some of the time at the testing area as well, so they are giving back to the public on top of testing their own players, which I thought was very thoughtful of them, for doing that.”
Could the NBA follow a similar path, where instead of waiting for widespread testing to be available to the point where they wouldn’t be seen as a drain on resources, they could be the source of more testing? It’s something that’s been contemplated in NBA circles, although no specifics are available. But it seems like something that could be easily viewed as a win-win, if say, for every 1000 tests the NBA uses they “sponsor” 20,000 tests in communities where there was a need.
In Germany where the Bundesliga is poised to become one of the first major sports leagues to return to play, the league has promised to cover the cost of the additional testing they’ll need – an estimated 20,000 tests spread among 36 teams – as well as provide any surplus tests to front line health-care workers. “Along with the NBA, we are all following that and I think if they are a couple of weeks in front of us, it will be hopefully useful and directional for us to look at,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told reporters on a conference call when asked if the NBA is studying the German model. “Everyone is looking at that. “
Love was screened when he arrived at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio before entering at a designated side entrance. The 31-year-old five time All-Star was asked questions regarding any sick symptoms and his temperature was taken to make sure he didn't have a fever. Only four players were allowed at a time – to follow social distancing practices – and once in the facility, players had their own half courts to work out with an assistant coach who was wearing a mask and gloves to pass and rebound. "I feel like anybody who needs an escape or in everyday life is looking for any type of normalcy back doing something they love," Love told ESPN. "For me, I played 25-ish years of organized basketball and this is the longest I've ever gone without touching (a basketball) And it's something I really, really enjoy doing. "So for me, it definitely was a big dopamine hit, and it just felt great to get in there and sweat outside of doing my workouts at home or getting on a treadmill. Going out there and having some sense of normalcy and getting on the court and actually shooting was pretty uplifting."
Love said he could see a blueprint for what practices could look like if NBA play returns. "It's just going to change the way, at least for the foreseeable future, of not only how we interact but how we live in our daily lives," Love said. "So for me, was it weird? Yeah. I had (Cavs assistant coach) Dan Geriot at my basket and having him rebound and pass me the ball with a mask and gloves on. It's just odd. It's just weird."
According to sources, with the pandemic creating an economic crisis for the NBA, teams might be eager to unload their giant contracts. Because the cap won’t be as high, the luxury tax looms larger. OKC has been fearful of the luxury tax, having once dumped James Harden.
There is so much uncertainty with the coronavirus pandemic, but one thing is for sure: the salary cap will be lowered, according to league sources. On the surface, that makes it advantageous to build around younger players on cheaper contracts. That said, if Rose has young assets to tempt the Thunder this offseason, sliding Paul into cap space will be easier than fitting in a top free agent. That’s because the Knicks would have to give up pacts such as those of Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox to make the trade.
In municipalities where coronavirus testing has become readily available to at-risk health care workers, NBA teams opening facilities for voluntary workouts will be allowed to administer tests to asymptomatic players and staff, sources told ESPN. The Orlando Magic have been approved and plan to administer testing to players prior to a Tuesday reopening, and the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams expected to be allowed to conduct coronavirus tests of all players and staff members entering facilities for individual workouts -- regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms.
“I’m worried, because you should be,” Rivers told me and co-host Wos Lambre on this week’s “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast. “I’m not smart enough to know what this virus is or does. We do know it affects most people when they’re in a group setting, and it doesn’t affect you at all when you’re by yourself. You know? We already know that. Listen, I’m not young (58), but I guess I’m young enough … I don’t know. Would I say I do it without fear? Of course not. You’ve got to have some fear in all this … until (there’s a vaccine), no one can tell me they’re going to do anything and feel comfortable doing it. I just don’t know how we get there.”
July 6, 2022 | 11:21 pm EDT Update
The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Devin Booker to a contract extension. “Devin has had a truly special impact on our organization, our fanbase and the Valley community since he first arrived in Phoenix,” said Managing Partner Robert Sarver. “We are grateful for all his contributions and we are thrilled to ensure that he will remain in a Phoenix Suns uniform into the future.”
“Devin, with his work ethic and commitment to excellence, has established himself as one of the league’s best players, elevating himself and our organization,” said General Manager James Jones. “We are beyond excited to extend the mutual commitment between Book, the Suns and the Phoenix community. He is just getting started.”
Michael Scotto: Sources: Bobby Portis has a 15 percent trade kicker in his four-year, $48.5 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, @hoopshype has learned. The deal also includes a player option on the fourth year of the deal.
Bobby Marks: The Tyus Jones contract in Memphis starts at $15M in the first year and declines to $14M in year 2. $1M in additional team performance bonuses Jones earned $8.4M in 2021-22 and will come close to doubling his salary for the upcoming season.
Tom Orsborn: Spotted Joe Wieskamp wearing a walking boot on his right foot while sitting near courtside at the Aces game. He said it isn’t anything serious. “I’ll be good,” he added. Will try to get a full report on Wieskamp from Mitch Johnson when Spurs practice Thursday.
Nick DePaula. Next month, @Damian_Lillard is launching “Formula Zero” in Portland, an annual invite-only elite skills camp & year-round mentorship for 20 top High School & 20 top College players. The camp will “provide the highest level of development both on & off the court,” says Lillard.