Florida’s Ron DeSantis became the second governor to announce that his state is open to professional sports teams that want to resume activity amid the coronavirus pandemic. “All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and for playing,” DeSantis said at a news conference Wednesday in Tallahassee. “What I would tell commissioners of leagues is, if you have a team in an area where they just won’t let them operate, we’ll find a place for you here in the state of Florida.”
On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that professional sports including MLB, the NBA, the NHL and the NFL may resume in the state -- without fans -- on Saturday, as long as CDC guidelines are followed.
DeSantis specifically mentioned baseball, soccer and basketball in his remarks Wednesday. "Our people are starved to have some of this back in our lives," he said. "I think we can certainly do it in a way that's safe."
NBA opinion-leaders Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal are on-record saying that COVID-19 is enough now to give up the season. NBA opinion-leader Mark Cuban - as cautious as he continues to be about needing a return from hiatus to "be perfect'' - says Barkley and Shaq are off-base. "I love those guys but they're wrong," Cuban said. "Guys want to play, there's still a season to be finished out, I still think we can play a few games and then go into the playoffs and crown a champion... let's go, let's play."
Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, thinks the NBA, because of its relatively small rosters, might be better able to return than some sports. Beyond that, he reiterated the idea that the American public is in need of entertainment. "We need something to get excited about," Cuban said on ESPN's Now or Never. "I mean, watching cornhole on ESPN ain't it."
Prior to the NBA stoppage, Spurs' Jakob Poeltl suffered a right MCL sprain which kept him out for five games. But should the NBA resume play, Poeltl expressed come conflict on a return to the court with his injured knee during an interview with German outlet DiePresse. "On the one hand, I would be happy to be able to play basketball again after the knee injury, if only for a few games. On the other hand, I also wonder how useful it would be to train up just for a few games after the injury," Poeltl said. Said Poeltl: "Not everyone has the best tools to keep themselves fit apart from team training."
Poeltl did address the situation NBA players will face should they make their way to practice facilities. Players will be allowed inside for individual workouts, with limited team staff, and constant individual health checks. "You will arrive with a mask and you will be checked for fever and symptoms. You would come with a ball and go again, there would be no showering, only a trainer would be present, and everything should be disinfected between the units," said Poeltl. "Of course this is not optimal but I'm somewhat used to being alone and can handle it quite well."
Sports Illustrated and the New York Times report the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has offered its facilities to house players and host games in a "fully quarantined campus." “It would be like a bubble, it would be very strict. It would be testing before you got there. There would be testing for the two weeks while you were there for the 'incubation period.' And then there would be nobody coming or going for the entire time. So it would be a sacrifice, guys wouldn’t be able to see their families, their kids, things like that. But it’s what would have to be done because health and safety is the number one priority, so that’s what they’re trying to figure out now and I think that’s the most difficult part," Connaughton said.
July 23, 2021 | 4:44 pm EDT Update
Rod Beard: Cade Cunningham on the city of Detroit: “I love Detroit. I’ve already been listening to Detroit music — way before the lottery … it’s a city that has a lot going on and getting the sports team rolling will be huge for the city.”
“Let me have a large drink, no ice, half Sprite, half lemonade,” Giannis said to a Chick-fil-A employee. “We all know this drink by now … and it officially has a name!” the Pewaukee Chick-fil-A Facebook page stated. “The 50-50 (half sprite & half Chick-fil-A lemonade) is the official drink of CHAMPIONS! Stop by today to snag this winning blend!”
It may not be the Chick-fil-A Giannis Antetokounmpo has been angling for, but another fast food chain is offering the NBA Finals MVP free meals for life. Culver’s says the manager of its Shorewood location in suburban Milwaukee is offering him all the Butterburgers and custard he can eat.
After a stellar first season, the NBA named Charlotte Hornets star point guard LaMelo Ball the 2021 Rookie of the Year. Now, FOCO is revealing a limited edition bobblehead to celebrate his accomplishment. The “LaMelo Ball Charlotte Hornets Rookie of the Year Bobblehead” features LaMelo flexing in his Hornets uniform and holding his Rookie of the Year trophy.