Gallinari likes the idea of restarting the season but i…

Gallinari likes the idea of restarting the season but insists precautions must be taken to prevent players from being infected by the deadly virus, which can also impose lasting debilitating effects. “At the thought of going back and playing, I’m very excited,” Gallinari said. “At the same time, as a player, I want it to be as safe as possible. Everybody knows this virus is no joke. If we do it, we need to do it in a safe environment.”

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Ingles will take a wait-and-see approach to playing games if the season does start. "It's not worth it," Ingles, discussing practice at the Jazz facility, told Utah radio station 1280 The Zone last week. "I have a gym, I have everything I can do. As for basketball, it's a bit more difficult, but I think that as we go ahead and find out more information about it, it will be easier to make a decision. But I am in no way willing to risk my children, and Renae, and everything else, to go play basketball."
When a masked Rajon Rondo dropped off groceries to those in need back home in Louisville, Kentucky, the socially distanced recipients always said thank you. And those who recognized him often asked the same thing. “The first question was always, ‘When is the NBA season going to come back?’ ” Rondo told The Undefeated. “I got a lot of those. I told them, ‘I will know the same time you find out.’ ”
There has been some optimism over the possible return of the NBA after many teams recently reopened their practice facilities. The Los Angeles Lakers reopened theirs May 16, and while Rondo said he has yet to return, he hopes the league will return to action in a safe and healthy fashion soon. “I want to play. As a competitor, you want to play,” Rondo said. But he also wants to protect his family and the people around him. “Safety first, understanding that life. We can’t take it for granted, even though we are athletes who are some of the best people in shape as far as body and heart condition. But all it takes is one case where a body can’t fight off the virus.”
Rondo and numerous other NBA players have been helping the less fortunate during the pandemic, with Louisville being his main focus. The Rajon Rondo Foundation joined with Lineage Logistics, a provider of temperature-controlled food logistics, and Louisville food bank Dare to Care to deliver more than 250,000 meals. Rondo spent three weeks in Louisville in April packing and delivering meals, as well as distributing gift cards and exercise kits to senior citizens and families with kids involved in his youth foundation.

http://twitter.com/Stadium/status/1263507168298438656
Renata Burigatto received a text message from her husband, NBA referee Mark Lindsay, 30 minutes after the scheduled tip-off of the game he was assigned to officiate between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder on March 11. “I texted him, ‘Oh no, you OK? Did you get hurt?” Burigatto told USA TODAY Sports. “He replied, ‘No, they stopped the game and are going to test us for the coronavirus.’ ”
That began a stressful 12 hours for the couple, who were already operating under great stress because Burigatto is a frontline COVID-19 doctor specializing in acute in-patient care at Penn Medicine’s Chester County (Pennsylvania) Hospital. “It was a very powerful night for us both on a personal and professional level,” Burigatto said. “I very busy in the hospital, working seven days in a row, 13 hours a day. Trying [to] balance that with trying to convey safety was challenging. We also have three young children at home. We were trying to keep them safe and consider whether we were going to keep them in school at that time. There was a little of uncertainty and there was a lot of anxiety about what choices we were going to make to keep all of safe.”
In their own way, Lindsay and Burigatto are at the heart of COVID-19 – Lindsay being on the court when the Thunder team doctor ran on the court to inform referees of the unfolding situation of a player testing positive and the idea that other players could be infected and Burigatto caring for patients on the East Coast. “The anxiety of her or one of us becoming infected is very real,” Lindsay said. “That thought is never too far from my mind especially when she’s at the hospital. We experience that anxiety, isolation and uncertainty.”
It sounds like the NBA has made some progress towards a return to play and maybe salvaging the season. What are you hearing from the players association and does it seem like it’s realistic? Fred VanVleet: “The crazy part is that everything we hear is out, you know what I mean? Like, there are no secrets really. There’s not much that you guys don’t know that we know. Obviously, we probably have a little bit more candid conversations in private. But, yeah, as of now what’s out there is about Orlando and Vegas and trying to get back and see what that would look like, try to get teams a couple weeks to get ready to play and then see what happens."
Fred VanVleet: "So, I think the optimism, there’s some credence to it, but obviously we all know the challenges that we’re facing. I just think that the combination of there being so much money involved and 450 guys who live and die basketball, I think there are a lot of reasons to get back to playing. So, I think the motive is there, the want to play is there, the resources are there. It’s just a matter of figuring out how we can put it together in the right way where it’s safe and efficient. There’s gonna be risk regardless. There’s risk if you cancel the season and there’s risk if we get back together. But I think the league is just trying to assess those risks and make sure we’ve got all of our bases covered.”
What would you need to see implemented or changed for you to feel comfortable going back? Fred VanVleet: “If I’m there by myself I think I’m okay with it. Now, if my kids were there, or things like that, I would be a little bit more on guard. That’s just me speaking personally. I’m pretty at ease with it. I’m not letting it freak me out but I also, to my knowledge, don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions or anything like that. So, there are guys in the league that are probably going to have real concerns about the virus itself and I understand that, but I think for me personally I’m not in that boat, so to speak.:
Fred VanVleet: "I think as long as they’re doing their due diligence and it’s not just a money play, where it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s get back to play because we have all this money we need to make up.’ I know that’s probably one of the factors but as long as there are real guidelines in terms of what we’re doing from a health standpoint, which I feel there is, I think that I’ll be okay with it. And if not, I’ve accepted it. I think we’ve been on break long enough to where I’m pretty open-minded to any idea that gets us back playing, you know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t be heartbroken if they cancelled the season because I understand all of the things that go into it, but I definitely wanna get back out there.”
While NBA sources insist there are still many logistical issues to be worked out before the league can resume its games, there are team executives frustrated that the process has been slowed by the lack of widespread COVID-19 testing.
But there is another hurdle for the league to clear, and it’s one that became quite clear when some players were tested in the immediate aftermath of the suspension of play on March 11. According to sources, just three teams were tested for the coronavirus by public entities — the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder, because they were the teams on the floor as Rudy Gobert’s positive test was returned, and the Toronto Raptors, because … Canada and its universal health care system (Toronto had played at Utah on March 9).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXb4bC2l7_g
I had heard that they were they were looking at a five-game series for the first round. And then they would eventually get to seven games but you're you're refuting that with your information. Adrian Wojnarowski: All of it was based on how many days do we have to play with here? How many days do we have? But the goal is to do it in seven-game series. But that doesn't mean they haven't discussed it, they discussed everything. And I do think that was one of the conversations, what would that look like? I know their preference is to try to keep those playoffs best of seven all the way through.
Eric Walden: Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley, to the media on a Zoom call, on why he made his $200K donation now: "Immediately, my knee-jerk reaction was to do something right away," but he wanted to research where his money could ultimately provide the most help.
NBA agent Erik Kabe on how COVID-19 may affect the 2020 NBA draft: "I think it will have a major effect on it. Every year, there are a couple guys who work their way up draft boards - either they have an impressive Combine showing, or they crush a workout with a certain team and get called back for a second workout and they crush that too and then they get drafted in the first round. That happens every year. On the flip side, there are always guys who don't perform well during pre-draft and then they fall in the draft. It's hard to see that happening if there's no Combine and no in-person workouts."
NBA agent Erik Kabe on how COVID-19 may affect the 2020 NBA draft: "How are teams currently making their draft boards? All of these teams send scouts to different college games and tournaments to watch these players, so I guess [their draft board] is based on scouting reports and film and then the interviews. It's going to be the most important interview of each guys' life because it could have a huge impact on their draft status. I think the NBA is still trying to figure everything out, but it's definitely going to be a very unique process (and hopefully something we never have to deal with again). It's up in the air how teams are going to deal with it, how they're going to evaluate guys, how agents are going to market guys. It's definitely going to be interesting."
Barring an unforeseen turn of events, many NBA owners, executives and National Basketball Players Association elders believe commissioner Adam Silver will greenlight the return to play in June -- with games expected to resume sometime before the end of July, sources said.
The NBA is in serious discussions with Disney about the property, which has gained clear momentum over cities such as Las Vegas, sources said. It remains unclear when the games would begin, but multiple sources say the prospect of players fully training in mid-June and playing by mid-July has been the most popular and possible scenario discussed. NBA commissioner Adam Silver told the Board of Governors on May 12 that he aims to decide on the season in two-to-four weeks, and that he wants to wait as long as he can to make final decisions.
While the league has explored the possibility of holding games in multiple cities, it appears likely that Orlando would be a sole host. Sources confirmed that Houston has also received serious consideration as a host city, but Orlando is on track to win its bid so long as final details regarding testing and hotel use are resolved. For the NBA, Orlando/Disney World’s controllability as a playing site — with a private property having the necessary complexes, hotels and amenities — has been the most appealing of all the possibilities all along.
As I reported two weeks ago, the NBA prefers to have teams play at one or multiple neutral sites; Disney World in Orlando and MGM Grand in Las Vegas are the most likely possibilities. Other locations are also under consideration, including Houston, multiple sources say. In downtown Houston, Toyota Center, the Rockets’ home arena, neighbors the George R. Brown Convention Center; combined, they have the facilities necessary to serve as a neutral site to host games. It remains possible that teams could play games in their own arenas. On Monday, governors in three of the country’s most populous states—California, New York, and Texas—signaled they are open to having sports games without fans. MLB and the NFL plan to do just that. But playing games at a neutral site makes it easier to control variables—the more people involved, the greater the risk. With travel comes the inclusion of pilots, drivers, and hotel workers.
Players and staffers would be living with family members or roommates, all of whom can’t be tracked by the league. Hosting the rest of the season at a neutral site would create less risk, though it remains to be seen what the league and players union will agree on. No matter where games are played, thousands of swabs and tests for players, coaches, and other personnel will be needed. Sources around the league and medical professionals agree that a quarantine with each person staying by themselves for multiple days or longer would be the most effective way to reduce the chances of an outbreak.
The league has researched various ways to bring basketball back safely, sources say, including the use of a sampling procedure called “group testing,” which aims to examine a large number of people with just a few tests. The league is also contributing to a nationwide antibody study at Mayo Clinic that involves an innovative new fingerstick test kit. Based on my conversations with sources at the league office, team executives, and medical professionals, here’s what the NBA is working on now, and what the testing process might look like if games were to resume.
The NBA has been looking for ways to support research of the pandemic since March—including recommending players who have successfully recovered from coronavirus to donate blood to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which is also run by Mayo Clinic. So far, close to 400 people from about half of the league’s teams have voluntarily participated in Mayo Clinic’s antibodies study. Portland, Minnesota, Cleveland, and Boston are among those teams, and more teams may join when their facilities open, league sources say. According to Sampathkumar, over 1,000 total people have contributed to the Mayo Clinic’s study. Participants from the NBA receive both a vein puncture and a fingerstick blood draw at their respective team practice facilities using supplies that the Mayo Clinic shipped to team doctors. In addition to helping the research of antibodies, the tests help the league get a read on COVID-19’s spread amongst the NBA population.
NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told The Ringer that players were fully on board with providing samples. “Our players have embraced the opportunity to contribute to this important public health study that will help researchers better understand the prevalence of COVID-19, potentially improve care for patients, and promote long-term efforts to develop a vaccine and treatment for the virus,” Roberts said.
The NBA still doesn't know whether it will resume the halted 2019-20 season in some form, but Mike Bibby already knows his first shot at coaching at the professional level will have to wait. Bibby's employer BIG3 officially canceled its 2020 season on Monday, nixing his pro head coaching debut. "It's upsetting that it's not gonna happen," the 14-year NBA veteran said. The BIG3 basketball league was shut down to ensure the safety of fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will return for its 2021 season.
The initiative, which is supported by the league office and the players' association, is expected to have the participation of all 30 teams. "We are learning about this disease," Sikka said. "We have learned a lot in two months. So if we can take the next two months, learn on the fly, mitigate risk, then we can move pretty quickly to do the right things to have safe play." As practice facilities begin to open around the league, NBA officials are continuing to seek information about best practices to mitigate risk of infection for players and staff. Sikka, one of 10 people on the NBA's sports science committee, has become one of the league's resources.
In just one season with the Wolves, Sikka and Rosas became close to Towns' parents, who attended almost all of their son's games. "It very much hit home for us," Sikka said. "I am never going to forget that experience with Karl. It changed my life, it changed his life, it changed our organization's history. It was extremely challenging for everybody." Prior to his mother's death, Towns donated $100,000 to assist Sikka and the Mayo Clinic's coronavirus research. "We took a cue from KAT and his family," Rosas said. "We took that cue and looked for ways to be good teammates to the NBA and the 29 other teams by connecting with Mayo Clinic to try to find strategies to fight the virus."
Gasol mentioned that he understands the concerns of his colleagues regarding the resumption of the season but once play begins there’s no use holding back anything. “There is no need to be afraid to play again. Yes, I respect it, because it is a virus that has proven to have a very negative impact, but once we start playing we have to do it 100%,” he said.
Of course who knows how COVID-19 will change that timeline. Calabro called coronavirus the “huge x-factor” in this equation. And he’s right. We don’t know what the financial landscape in professional sports will be like one year from now, let alone five. The collective hope is that this will end up being a minor bump in the road. That’s exactly what Calabro envisions. “Having calculated the x-factor, I still think within five years, yes, we’ll see NBA basketball in Seattle,” Calabro said.

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http://twitter.com/IbakaFoundation/status/1262813319905361922
In CloseUp360's “Hoopers Meet Heroes” series, which connects NBA and WNBA players with healthcare professionals on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus in their respective cities, Magic guard D.J. Augustin chatted with Dr. Sarah Barbour, an infectious disease physician in Orlando. After treating gunshot victims from the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016—the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11—she's now helping COVID-19 patients.
What is also uncertain is how many games they will play before launching into the postseason. In fact, there is the question of whether teams outside of the playoff picture should return at all. Fizdale thinks it might be beneficial to limit the remainder of the season to the teams that still have a shot at the postseason. “Is it worth risking the employees that you need to show up to the games to make a game function? Is it worth the players health? The coaches’ health? The trainers’ health?”
Vasquez believes the NBA should be the first major American sports league to return from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown. "We're missing the game of basketball. I want to see LeBron. I want to see the best players out there. Even if I'm able to watch it on TV. It's not gonna be the same. You're gonna have to figure out ways to motivate yourself and perform [without fans]. But imagine winning a championship. I heard Shaq was saying, 'Everyone pack it up and go home, we'll see you guys next year,'" he said. "Whatever it is, it's gonna be a tough decision for the NBA. But at the end of the day, I'm telling you, whatever league comes out and starts playing right now, everyone at home is gonna watch because there's nothing else to do. So we're missing basketball. Let's be the first league to get back to work.”
They not only focused on building strength back up in Williamson’s right knee. They also worked with him to become more flexible so his body could better withstand the incredible force his 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame generates every time he jumps. Even the way Williamson lands was a point of emphasis. Williamson ended up missing the first three months of the season, a total of 45 games. The Pelicans took steps to reduce the risk that he will ever again have to miss such an extended stretch of time. And the rehabilitation never stopped — even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Griffin said the Pelicans received special clearance from the NBA so Williamson could continue receiving treatment at the team’s practice facility in Metairie while it was closed down. Reserve forward Kenrich Williams, who missed more than two months with a back injury, also rehabbed at the Oschner Sports Performance Center when its doors were otherwise shuttered.
Brett Brown is curious. The 76ers coach ponders an ideal way for the NBA to resume the season. He believes anything that equals a realistic timeline where players aren’t put in harm’s way would be best. “Forget the virus standpoint, just the injury standpoint,” Brown said. “There are stats ... Look at the stats after lockouts, the propensity of injuries is significantly increased if you just try to cram stuff in.”
That’s why he’s curious to see what the league’s return-to-play process will look like if the 2019-20 NBA season resumes. Wednesday marks the 70th day since the league suspended the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. It will take the players a minimum of three-to-four weeks to get back into playing shape. “I’d be curious to see if that includes some way to have a preseason game. I don’t know,” Brown said.
Marc Stein: Among NBA return-to-play scenarios being discussed, league sources say, is a template calling for teams to conduct Training Camp 2.0 in their own practice facilities before heading to one or two centralized sites to resume play, with Orlando and Las Vegas still vying for games
The preference to play basketball while trying to safeguard against COVID-19 infection was repeated. “They all want to play,” Stevens said of NBA players. “I’ve heard nobody say they didn’t want to play. But safety is a priority.” A moment later, Stevens acknowledged the risk in playing. “I think safety has been the priority and will continue to be the priority,” he said. “But that doesn’t make anybody less antsy to play.”
Kings President of Business Operations John Rinehart informed employees Monday that more than one-third of the team’s full-time workers will be furloughed for four months beginning June 1 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Rinehart made the announcement in an email to employees, a copy of which was obtained by The Sacramento Bee.
A league source told The Bee the furloughs will impact about 100 employees representing approximately 34 percent of the team’s full-time workforce. Essential basketball operations functions, including front office, health and performance, and scouting/analytics positions, will not be impacted, the source said.
Sneakers worn by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Scottie Pippen while they played for the Dream Team are being auctioned. The sneakers, each signed by the Hall of Fame wearer, are part of the Lelands 2020 Spring Classic Auction that runs through June 19. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the sneakers will benefit COVID-19 relief efforts.
The BIG3 has officially announced that it will cancel its 2020 campaign, a traveling summer tour that would have tipped off in just over one month. The league will resume in 2021 for its fourth season. A press release from the league itself cites concerns over delivering an ideal fan experience amid current world events.
Extending a partnership to protect public health and safety in the Sacramento region, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Sacramento Kings today announced the lease for the Sleep Train Arena and practice facility which housed Alternate Care Facilities have been amended by reducing the rental rate from $500,000 per month to no cost. The arena, which the state opened in April for medical surge capacity in the region, will remain under state control through October 31.
With this agreement now in place and local hospitals no longer facing an immediate threat of being overwhelmed by COVID-19, the arena will be placed in a warm shutdown status effective the end of May. The arena site will then remain available through the Fall to support hospital surge capacity should there be a need. The practice facility will continue to remain operational to support COVID-19 patients through at least June 30.
Justin Sink: trump now asks what he’s doing with his nba players making millions (and conceded harden and westbrook are good players) trump asks about if and when the nba is coming back, says he supports them playing some games before heading straight into the playoffs
The Sacramento Kings said Monday they’ll stop charging the state of California rent for using their former arena as a COVID-19 field hospital, but will pocket the $1 million they’ve been paid so far, representatives of the team and the state told The Sacramento Bee. The new arrangement comes three weeks after The Bee revealed the Kings were charging the state $500,000 a month for a three-month rental of the Natomas facility, despite statements by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Kings chairman Vivek Ranadive in early April that implied the old arena had been lent for free.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. is one of the NBA players with a pre-existing condition that could make him more vulnerable to COVID-19. He's hoping people like him will be considered if the league attempts a re-start in the near future. Nance has Crohn's Disease and uses a therapy that has enabled him to have a successful basketball career but also suppresses his immune system.
"We're young and you know the kind of shape players are in, you'd like to think (the virus) wouldn't be what it could be for others. But you don't know," Nance said. "I'm still scared and don't want to get it." Nance's fears have been calmed in recent weeks as he's learned more about the virus and he's consulted various gastrointestinal specialists. The drug he's been on for the last 10 years via periodic IV infusions has shown to be helpful in fighting off the infection for some with his condition.
He's been one of about seven Cavs players who have returned to the team's facility to do individual workouts over the last two weeks. He is hoping the conditions will allow him to return to play if the NBA is able to re-start and finish the season. "I'm paying super close attention to everything that is going on. I was watching the German soccer league over the weekend and seeing how the players were interacting with each other and still seeing them make a lot of contact," Nance said. "I can't even imagine being on one of those calls trying to hash this out. There's so many ways to spread this."
Utah Jazz forward Georges Niang told reporters a few days ago that every NBA player he has spoken to since the season went on hiatus is eager for games to start up again, for the schedule to be completed and a champion to be crowned. In the same conversation, Niang gave some intriguing insight into how he is preparing to return to action should the season indeed be restarted.
On May 8, the league granted teams the ability to reopen their practice facilities to players for individual, voluntary workouts, provided that the locale in which those facilities are situated have correspondingly eased stay-at-home restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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May 25, 2020 | 9:30 pm EDT Update
Teammates with the Lakers for two seasons from 2014-16, Tarik Black had a front-row seat for some of the most memorable moments of the final days of Bryant’s Hall of Fame career. But none of them can top April 13, 2016. That was the date of Bryant’s last NBA game. And the former Jayhawk said he remembers every detail of that night at Staples Center. “Allen Fieldhouse was one of the most electrifying places I’ve ever played been in my life,” Black told the Journal-World during a recent phone interview from Los Angeles. “But everything else pales in comparison to that night of Kobe’s last game. I’ve never experienced a feeling or been a part of a sports moment like that in my life.”
Black remembers being with Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson the afternoon of that game when he first saw Bryant arrive at Staples Center. Together, they approached the man they affectionately called “O.G.” and gave him a simple message. “We walked up to him and said, ‘You’re going to take every shot tonight,’” Black recalled. “And he was like, ‘No I’m not. Just play basketball.’ And we were like, ‘No, O.G. You’re going to take every shot. If we get an offensive rebound, it’s coming to you.’”
During his two seasons as Bryant’s teammate, Black and Bryant became close. As luck would have it, an injury during his 2019-20 season in Israel sent him back to Los Angeles earlier than normal and he was able to see Bryant one final time just a week before the helicopter accident. It was the first time the two had seen each other since their days as teammates. And Black, unaware of what fate lied ahead, made sure to make the encounter count. “I actually got a chance to thank him for what he meant for my life,” Black said. “And he just kept saying, ‘I’m proud of you.’ So it rocked me to my core when I heard about his passing.”
Storyline: Kobe Bryant Death
May 25, 2020 | 5:30 pm EDT Update
Roc Nation Sports has signed a large class of highly regarded NBA draft prospects, including point guard LaMelo Ball, a projected top-five pick. The agency recently signed Ball’s brother, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, away from CAA Sports. Roc Nation NBA agent Raymond Brothers is representing both of the Ball brothers. LaMelo Ball, who played last season in Australia on the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League, is ranked No. 3 overall by website nbadraft.net. Brothers is also representing No. 12-ranked Memphis forward Precious Achiuwa.
Roc Nation signed Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey, who is ranked No. 24: Washington power forward/center Isaiah Stewart, who is ranked No. 26; and Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley, who is ranked No. 35 by nbadraft.net. Additionally, Roc Nation signed Temple forward Quinton Rose, American University guard Sa’eed Nelson and Indiana guard Devonte Green, brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward Danny Green. Agents Brothers, Drew Gross and Sam Permut are representing the players.
Tandem Sports + Entertainment has signed Northwestern guard Pat Spencer for representation in the NBA draft. Matt Laczkowski, Tandem director of athlete and talent representation, is representing Spencer, who transferred to Northwestern after playing lacrosse for four seasons at Loyola-Maryland. Spencer was drafted No. 1 in the 2019 Premier Lacrosse League draft, but chose to spend the next year pursuing basketball as a graduate transfer at Northwestern.
Storyline: Draft Agents
Ty Lawson posted a cryptic message on his Instagram story Monday in which he seemed to call out UNC head coach Roy Williams. “Who talks s— about someone who won them a championship …” Lawson wrote in his Instagram story. “(You’re) weird… I got messages from 10 NBA GMs that said it came out your mouth … That’s why I don’t f— with Carolina or support anything y’all do.”
May 25, 2020 | 4:32 pm EDT Update
Turner Sports analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley didn’t feel the need to hedge in a Monday appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show. “We’re gonna make a decision in the next week,” Barkley said. “I’m 100% sure we’re going to play. I know my friends in Major League Baseball are going to play. I know that the (NHL) is going to play. … I do know this, talking to my bosses at Turner: We’re going to play basketball. It is gonna be in Florida and Vegas, or just Florida.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
“The key is gonna be the players,” Barkley said. “I mean, listen — big basketball players pushing on each other in the lane, fighting for rebounds and post position, there’s no way they can social distance. You got to worry — they say they’re gonna put them in a hotel for two or three months, I’m like, ‘Well are the maids gonna be in the hotel for two or three months?’ The maids are gonna go home every day. What about the people in room service? They’re gonna go home every day. So it’s just a lot of unanswered questions.”
The Department will work with the professional sporting groups to identify the specific athletes, essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents covered by this exemption, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the National Hockey League, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association.
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the swift development of vaccines and effective treatments for COVID-19 are priorities towards achieving the Tokyo Olympics next year. Abe says recovery from the coronavirus pandemic only in Japan would not be enough to hold the Games because it involves spectators and athletes from around the world. He reiterates that the government hopes to hold the Tokyo Games “in a complete form” with spectators as a proof of human victory against the coronavirus.
Part of VICE TV’s VICE VERSA series of documentary specials, One Man and His Shoes essentially serves as an expanded version of what Episode 5 (and to some extent, Episode 1) of The Last Dance touched on: The cultural phenomenon of Nike’s Air Jordan shoe line. Director Yemi Bamiro doesn’t have to tell a larger narrative (though his film eventually goes there), so he can zoom in on this aspect of Jordan’s story.
May 25, 2020 | 4:26 pm EDT Update
How optimistic are you that the NBA will resume play at some point? Carlisle: “I am optimistic. It feels like things are moving in what I would characterize as a generally good direction, in terms of our ability to test and control an environment. I have no absolute knowledge of anything, but I do know there’s a great desire of the players to return to playing games and get into a playoff format of some sort.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Rick Carlisle: “I think if you look at the big picture, it probably sets up even better for the start, if the new season’s going to start in December, which a lot of people are speculating. It’s kind of like the elongated All-Star break. And some of the good things that’s brought for the remaining part of the regular season you’re coming off of an eight or nine-day break instead of a three or four-day break, as in the old days.”
Isiah Thomas: “I think in Ja we are watching the next generation of the great point guards that have been coming through our league. You have that group of Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, John Wall and so forth, but for the younger generation of point guards, I think Ja – who is projected to win the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year award – is going to be leading that evolution of great point guard play.”
In leading the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons to back-to-back NBA titles (1988-89 as well as 1989-90), Thomas consistently compromised his private numbers to guarantee group success. It is a high quality he likewise sees in Morant. “That is a unique gift,” Thomas claimed. “Team- friends will certainly like you for it yet analytics will certainly despise you for it. Sharing the basketball as well as obtaining everybody entailed, being prepared to make the ‘hockey’ aid instead of keeping the round to obtain the aid on your own … you see Ja doing all of those points in the program of a basketball video game.
Mike Bibby sat down with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith and talked about his run with Sacramento — a fit that was comfortable for Bibby right away. Even though trading for him meant bidding farewell to Jason Williams, a guy Kings fans were in love with. “The guys treated me like I was there for five, six, seven years,” Bibby said. “I got there and Jason Williams was a prized possession in Sacramento and when I got traded for him, I just wanted to fit in, I didn’t know if the fans would like me or if the team would like me. In my first year we had the best record in the West. I had the best time of my life and my career playing in Sacramento with those guys. I think Sacramento is the best team I played on.”
May 25, 2020 | 4:09 pm EDT Update
Tobias Harris hasn’t shot a basketball since the 2019-20 season was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But he has been working out every day in his garage gym at his Philadelphia home to stay ready should play resume. He’s also been talking to his teammates on Zoom. “Everybody wants to be safe, so that’s the key thing,” Harris replied when asked if he has any concerns about a return. “If we can find a venue and it’s safe and we have the proper protocols in place for guys to feel comfortable, then I’m fine with it.” Harris described the idea of playing actual games in an empty gym as, “Kind of like a practice setting. But guys are competitive, so we’re always gonna go as hard as we can.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Hearing Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance”, crying on the locker room floor following his Father’s Day championship in 1996 — MJ’s first title since his dad, James, was murdered — caused Harris himself to become emotional. “I ain’t going to lie, I was shedding a tear when I saw Jordan crying,” Harris told Yahoo Sports in a recent telephone interview. “I thought they should’ve just stopped the episode right then and there. It was touching. I’d seen the photo a whole lot, but I was probably too young to understand. And now you can really see all the emotion that’s in it. I did some research after the show ended. You hear about his father passing away, but then you dive in and it’s a pretty crazy story.”
Harris, a Long Island native, was fortunate enough to see Jordan play at Madison Square Garden when he was a kid alongside his father, longtime NBA agent Torrel Harris — founder and CEO of Unique Sports Management — and his older brother, Tyler Harris. It proved to be a memorable evening. “We kept asking my dad if we could meet him after the game and he was just telling us maybe,” Tobias recalled. “But it ended up happening and it was unbelievable. As we were walking away I realized I didn’t get him to sign my card. So my dad had to pull him back and get him to sign our cards. Tyler and I were so excited on the train ride back. I kept thinking my dad was so cool because he knows Michael Jordan. I ended up losing the card on the way back, but it didn’t matter because I had gotten to meet him. It was an unforgettable experience.”
“When I was given the checkbook, I went to put in the tip & information to close the table and I couldn’t believe it,” the message read. “From a $160 check, the tip read $1,000.” The restaurant noted that the waitress was “shaking and had tears of happiness” while saying many employees had been suffering due to closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

May 25, 2020 | 1:18 pm EDT Update
The Sun-Times has reported that Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have already had detailed discussions with players and retained personnel, and were getting enough mixed feedback of what’s gone on the last year that they were leaning toward starting with a new coach of their choosing. Ownership and former VP of basketball operations John Paxson have given support for Boylen, but a source reiterated that COO Michael Reinsdorf was by no means influencing the front office’s decision on the coach and would allow Boylen’s dismissal if Karnisovas wants to go that way. No questions asked.
Storyline: Bulls Front Office
Doc Rivers may have the largest All-Time starting five squad ever. Austin Rivers joined his father on the GO OFF podcast, where the two talked about All-Time starting fives, Kobe stories, and their player/coach dynamic. When it comes to an All-Time starting five, Doc Rivers is in favor of size. “I’m going Kareem at the center,” Rivers said. “I’m going Tim Duncan at the four, because those both are two-way players. I’m going Michael, and Magic at the one and two. This may be the biggest team ever. And then LeBron at the three.”
Coach Rivers had a top-five shooting squad as well. “Dirk at the five,” Rivers said. “I would put Durant at the three. Steph at the point, because that’s what you’d need. I would put Kobe in there because of his ability to drive. Now the whole team changes. At the four I couldn’t even come up with one.” Austin contested that Ray Allen should be on his father’s top-five shooting squad, but Doc believed Kobe’s ability to drive superseded the argument. In addition to Kobe’s driving ability, the elder Rivers believed Kobe’s shooting would improve significantly on a squad of good shooters.
May 25, 2020 | 10:34 am EDT Update
“Everything is pointing toward a return of the NBA this season at a single site in Orlando at Disney World,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s Get Up. “Teams expect the league to tell them to start recalling their players as soon as next week. There will be a two-week quarantine back in markets. Some teams might go directly to Disney to start training or somewhere in-between. But the league has started to not only put the plans in place for return in terms of testing and safety, health-wise. But really digging this week into what that format is going to look like.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
They were close to hiring Steve Kerr before he decided to take a job with Golden State. The Knicks also reached an advanced state of negotiations with Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer before hiring David Fizdale. Discussions between the Knicks and Budenholzer in the 2018 offseason advanced to a point where some people who would have come with Budenholzer to New York were talking about places to live in the city because they felt Budenholzer was close to taking the job, per SNY sources. Prior to Budenholzer’s interview with the Knicks, the New York Post reported that New York was Budenholzer’s top choice entering the offseason.
He proposed a photo that would have her looking like a pin-up in the style of a mermaid, and Buss was on board. “It was kind of like I was like a mermaid underwater with a blue backdrop,” Buss said. “They used to show mermaids holding pearls … and so instead of the pearls I got basketballs. And I’m not naked but I might look like I’m naked. I get people [who say], ‘How dare you put a naked picture of you on Twitter. It was in Playboy.’ And it’s not. It was from Sports Illustrated! “Yes, do I have to talk about the Playboy and the decision [to pose]. Yes, I’m still explaining it 20 years later. They want to judge and put me in a category.”
Then she told a personal story about another star. When her dad, Jerry Buss, bought the Lakers in 1979, they drafted Magic Johnson and became the NBA’s premiere franchise. It ended suddenly when Johnson had to retire in 1991 because of an HIV diagnosis. “I prayed to the skies above and I said if we ever get a player on our team like Magic Johnson again, I will never ever, ever take that player for granted,” Buss said, her voice catching. “And then we got Kobe. As heartbroken as I am, one comfort that I have is that Kobe knew how much we loved him and we told him and we retired his numbers. He never doubted that we were behind him 100%. That gives me some comfort. We never held back the celebrating the greatness that was Kobe.”
May 25, 2020 | 6:47 am EDT Update

James Wiseman the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick

In an anonymous poll of 35 NBA executives conducted by Stadium, James Wiseman has emerged as the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. The 7-foot-1 center, who played just three games at Memphis this past season prior to withdrawing from school amidst an NCAA suspension, received 20 of the 35 votes (57 percent). “I wouldn’t even want the No. 1 pick,” one NBA general manager told me. “If I have it, I’m trying like hell to trade it.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 403 more rumors
Karl was treated for prostate cancer in 2005 and then in February 2010 announced he had neck cancer, which forced him to take a leave of absence from the Nuggets for treatment and miss the postseason (a first-round loss to Utah). Years later, he revealed he was diagnosed with melanoma of the eye. He received the Melanoma Research Foundation’s Courage Award in 2019 for recognition “of the bravery he has shown in facing ocular melanoma.” “I don’t wake up worrying about cancer,” Karl said. “But if my back hurts, I think it’s cancer. If my shoulder hurts, I think it’s bone cancer. The first thing I think is cancer. “Once you have cancer, you have a higher risk of getting another cancer. I know that. But my health is probably as good as it’s been in about 15 or 20 years.”
Storyline: George Karl Health
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