Tim Reynolds: The NBA is up to 992,000 views for today’s Jr. NBA Leadership Conference in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual was a hit.
Today, owners are championing testing and research studies. Sacramento's Vivek Ranadive has discussed the Israeli breathalyzer test for the virus with his peers, sources said. Boston co-owner Steve Pagliuca is monitoring a Harvard test study on possible saliva testing. And the owners understand something else too. Silver is the best messenger to reach players on the financial strain approaching the NBA. That's why a week ago, Silver was on the phone with players describing scenarios where revenue could plummet, where fans could slowly, if it all, return to NBA arenas as ticket buyers.
Most teams are modeling ways to get fans into premium seating arrangements if social-distancing protocol limits -- or prohibits -- fans in arenas. And one team's already investing in research showing how fans wearing masks and limiting attendance of those in vulnerable age groups and with pre-existing conditions could lower game-night risks to something closer to the flu than COVID-19, sources said.
In basketball, those who play the position of power forward aren't known for their assists. But Philadelphia 76ers standout Mike Scott is out to change that - at least when it comes to lending a hand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott, the Chesapeake native who is in his eighth NBA season, donated meals to hospital workers and first responders working in his hometown.
The injury sidelined him for the entirety of this season, and he was one of four Brooklyn Nets players to contract the novel coronavirus back in March. The 10-time all-star is not expected to play for the Nets if the NBA resumes this summer. “I’m alive,” said Durant, who was asymptomatic when he tested positive. “That’s it. That’s all I can tell you. I’m good. The unknown is always scary, but I had a lot of support. I knew if I needed anything, I could call someone. [As a society], we still haven’t figured this whole thing out, but having more information by the day helps.”
What do you think is the best way for the NBA to resume during the pandemic? Victor Oladipo: I’m not really sure. Thank God we have other people to make those decisions. It is a very tough one to make, if I was in the trenches. I would try to do it the safest way to get it done without anyone being in danger. We will see. I’m not sure how it will end up or happen, but I will be ready for whatever happens.
Scott Souza: #Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: “I don’t see a time anytime soon where we’ll be going back to sports in stadiums as far as fans. But I would like to see, if they could do it, some of our sports teams potentially coming back playing without fans.” #Celtics #Bruins #RedSox
Ky Carlin: Brown brushes off the idea of playing with no fans. He says: “I think everybody’s starved to play.” He did add that it isn’t ideal, but they’d rather play than not. #Sixers
Week by week, through all the White House coronavirus briefings and the Dr. Fauci updates and the NBA’s monitoring of the all-powerful curve, Commissioner Adam Silver and his most trusted associates have been trying to find a way to save this ill-fated season that was suspended on March 11. They have listened to the medical experts, fielded calls from city officials who so badly want the league’s basketball business to come their way, and consulted with the players, general managers and agents whose voices will always play a pivotal part. The confidence in the league’s ability to find a workable solution has been there all the way through.
It’s a delicate balancing act for Silver, this unenviable task of planning for a possible end to the season while showing the proper sensitivity for this situation that is so much bigger than basketball. Sources say this difficult dynamic has been top of mind for all of the league’s top officials throughout the process.
The lost national television revenue from these playoffs alone would be approximately $900 million, according to a source who gleaned the figure from one of the many conference calls with Silver recently. If the NBA can’t find a way to play regular-season games, sources say teams will also lose out on regional sports network revenues that require them to air at least 70 games to achieve the financial threshold that is so routinely discussed in league circles.
In terms of the training component, one source with knowledge of the league’s latest talking points said the time estimates for a training camp have been shortened in recent weeks. Whereas the early discussions involved the possible prospect of needing four or five weeks for camps, the goal now appears to be closer to two or three. The sense, at least as of now, is that the family members of players would likely be allowed to join them in whichever city they wind up so long as they agree to certain regulations.
It remains unclear whether all 30 teams would be involved in the resumption of play, but Silver’s call with general managers on Wednesday might have provided a clue. Per sources, he implored teams that are out of playoff contention to take a holistic view on the matter and remain willing to assist for the greater good, so to speak. While Silver didn’t reference Steve Kerr specifically, participants on the call believed it was a reference to the Golden State coach’s recent comments about the Warriors’ season being unofficially over.
Meanwhile, sources say Silver’s focus remains fixated on the medical component of this quandary. “It’s all based on medical,” one source with knowledge of Silver’s thinking said. From the logistics surrounding testing to possible treatment if and when there is a positive test to the local landscape in terms of hospitals, every aspect is being explored. A player testing positive is not expected to bring the playoffs to a halt, but that player would be quarantined and — barring an outbreak — the games would resume. Thus far, sources say every NBA player who has tested positive and experienced symptoms has recovered in short order while avoiding hospitalization.
Stadium: The Lakers will reopen their practice facility on Saturday, reports our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania.
D.J. Mbenga has long felt a sense of obligation to help his home country. During a recent conversation, the former Laker began talking about his Mbenga Foundation. It helps educate children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, builds clean water wells and advocates for sexual assault victims. He shared the concerns, from orphanages he tries to help, about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the region. He has always felt passionate about these causes, but a recent personal tragedy has made his need to help more acute. Last month, his sister, Yvonne Mbenga, contracted COVID-19. A diabetic in her 50s, she was having trouble breathing. By the time doctors examined her, the virus had done enough damage that they weren’t able to save her. He couldn’t fly to Belgium for her funeral and had to watch online, as did several other members of his family.
NBA star Rajon Rondo, The Rajon Rondo Foundation and Lineage Logistics have partnered in an effort to bring meals to the City of Louisville in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In support of Lineage’s international “Share a Meal” campaign, Lineage Logistics and The Rajon Rondo Foundation announced a donation through Feeding America, to support the local efforts of Louisville's Dare to Care food bank. The donation will help provide 255,000 meals to families in need.
"For the past eight weeks, my Foundation has been supplying and delivering prepared meals, groceries and gift cards to senior citizens and the families of the youth we serve on a weekly basis," said Rondo. "The need in our community is significant and this partnership with Lineage allows me the comfort in knowing that Feeding America and Dare to Care are able to help provide food to people who need it most right now."
Today, the Sacramento Kings announced the first group of organization recipients of the $250,000 committed to help provide essential services and supplies to those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Funding will go to regional nonprofit organizations that are serving diverse and vulnerable populations and working to address three priority areas of need including shelter and housing services for families and youth, food security, and educational and career development services.
What about moving [the Nets] to a neutral site [in order to practice]? Too complicated, said the league source, and it hasn’t been discussed. How soon will the situation be resolved and if it isn’t, could the Nets work out elsewhere? At this point, no one is saying. Stay tuned.
Duane Rankin: “The opportunity to support small, independent restaurants in our community, while also providing meals to those in need, is a huge win for everybody" Devin Booker, #Suns Charities and Local First donate $100K towards downtown restaurants and food vendors to help feed the hungry pic.twitter.com/k0Om0ctd9U
Whether the National Basketball Association will resume its suspended season is still uncertain. But the consequence of not continuing is unmistakable. “We would lose money, period,” Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo told CNBC in an interview. “It’s as simple as that.”
And it’s a fear of massive revenue losses, which can cost the NBA an estimated $1 billion, that keeps league and players hopeful about a possible return, which Oladipo, 28, is staying prepared for during the hiatus. “At the end of the day, I’ll be ready. whatever happens,” he said.
Tim Reynolds: Orlando's Nikola Vucevic, post-workout today: "It felt good to be back here and get some work in. But I still want you guys to stay safe, be smart, listen to the experts. It's still a dangerous time for everybody. But be safe, listen to the experts and I'll see you soon."
As the NBA moves closer to a decision on what do with its suspended season amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Orlando Magic continue to play the waiting game. The Magic did not reopen their facilities Wednesday for voluntary individual player workouts as they had hoped. The team initially had planned to reopen Tuesday, then delayed opening a day as it waited for COVID-19 test results on asymptomatic players and staff who would be present for workouts.
Those pending results kept the holding pattern in place Wednesday, a team spokesman said. While the timetable for reopening remains fluid, the Magic anticipate having results in time for workouts to take place this week, possibly as early as Thursday, according to the spokesman.
During a candid half-hour live chat, Howard said that the mother of one of his sons died during the pandemic. “So much things,” Howard said, “just happening so fast.”
The senator also predicted that Americans are going to see “a lot more monitoring of people who come into public facilities for elevated temperatures, indicating that they have a fever,” along with “more widespread testing to give people the confidence they need.” “You can just imagine with the universities and the professional sporting events, that they need some confidence that what they’re doing won’t get them in trouble, either legally or from a public health standpoint,” Cornyn said. Cuban, while generally agreeing with the senator, disagreed on the point about temperature testing, explaining that “anyone can crush and eat a few Tylenol to beat any system.”
For Jeremy Lin, the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic began to hit him after he was forced to quarantine at his home in California for nearly 21 days. He started noticing how he would get dirty looks while in the grocery store, and heard stories from other Asian American friends about the discrimination they were also dealing with since the pandemic began. Many refused to go to the store, or to even wear face masks, out of fear of getting assaulted or attacked for their race.
“It it hits home seeing just how many Asian Americans are effected by it,” Lin said in the roundtable. “For me, I felt like I had to come out and say something. To not feel welcome, or feel safe physically, is just a different level. That’s something that I really want to make sure I took a stance on.”
He also encouraged younger people to refrain from hate speech online. After President Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus”, Lin called him out on Twitter for “encouraging racism.” “I say this to young people and recently, don’t post a hateful comment or don’t be a troll,” he said. “Take a second to really think about what you’re saying or doing, or even if you know somebody who is acting ignorant, it’s okay for you to call them out. All these things are small steps in the right direction and we’re not asking someone to do something amazing or to start a campaign or donate a million dollars, you can just start with something small, reading an article or something and getting a little more educated.”
The Heat and Ultimate Software are donating $10,000 in an effort to provide relief for Miami-Dade County’s pet owners during the COVID-19 crisis. The pet food distribution event is drive-thru ONLY and exclusively for Miami-Dade County pet owners. Walk-ups will not be accepted.
For a guy like Turner, he’s not counting days either way. His father, David, contracted the coronavirus and was hospitalized for nearly a week at Texas Health HEB before returning home safely. “I’m indifferent about [the league returning]. After seeing how this all affected my family, and my dad, if the season is canceled I understand,” Turner said. “As a competitor, I want to play. My life also means more than a couple of basketball games. Of course I’d love to see it resume, but not to the extent for a life being at risk. There are a few scenarios they are trying to produce that can be viewed as an outcome of a season, and if they do that that’s fine. I just want it to be safe.”
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.
July 3, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Frank Ntilikina’s $2 million contract for next season becomes guaranteed tomorrow and the Mavericks’ intention, league sources say, is indeed to retain the former Knicks lottery pick. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
ClutchPoints: “Brooklyn wants a massive group of draft picks back, first-round picks, pick swaps, and they also want an All-Star level player.” @wojespn on what the Brooklyn Nets want in return for Kevin Durant
July 3, 2022 | 6:31 pm EDT Update
July 3, 2022 | 5:04 pm EDT Update
Kevin Durant’s quest to find a new home as he waits for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets could take him to a place he knows very well. Appearing on ESPN Radio, Marc J. Spears of Andscape called the Golden State Warriors a team to “keep an eye on” for Durant. Spears later took to Twitter to give more context to his report. Spears noted the Warriors “could” potentially offer the best package for both sides, with a deal involving Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman.