Still, it’s telling that only 80-plus players logged …

Still, it’s telling that only 80-plus players logged on for the call after an invitation was sent to the entire playing body. According to Charania, NBPA president Chris Paul (of the Oklahoma City Thunder) was among those on the call. “We have a responsibility to start making more conscious decisions,” the invitation that was obtained by The Athletic read. “The choices we make not only affect us as individuals, but everyone as a whole. We are fighting together to change the system and stand by one another in solidarity. Especially during these times of civil/social unrest. Because of our competitive nature, there has been an unnecessary division amongst us. In joining together we have the ability to empower one another. We reach out to you because we want all of your voices to be heard.”

More on Season Resuming?

Meanwhile, Irving – who sources say approved the plan when it was agreed upon on June 5 only to reverse course later – has suddenly positioned himself as the most notable spokesman for players who don’t want the season to be resumed in Orlando. It’s worth noting, of course, that Irving was still expected to miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder surgery that took place in February. According to our Shams Charania, Irving made it clear on the call that he sees great value in bringing an end to this season: “I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform),” he said. The meeting’s host, as it were, was identified as “Ky Birving.”
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving organizes inspiring, galvanizing conference call that led to players opening up on a season restart. Irving: "If it's worth the risk [to play], then let's go do it. If not, we've got options for both ways." https://t.co/O87fYMCX8x
For James, there are potential basketball ramifications on the Lakers front here too. According to Charania, Lakers big man Dwight Howard was among those players who spoke about possibly sitting out and Lakers guard Avery Bradley was known to be on the call and vocal as well.
Were you part of the call with Kyrie? Green: "No. I tried to get on the call. I couldn’t get in. I didn’t know there was one (Friday). I thought it was (Saturday). So I don’t know about a call (Friday). If there was one (Friday), I was invited to one and couldn’t get on. But somebody told me it was (Saturday). There was a call today?
So with that said, did you sense most of the guys were in favor of resuming the season as opposed to feeling there’s too much risk involved? Green: "I think most guys wanted the season to come back. I didn’t think guys were against the season coming back or wanting it to be canceled. We’re all for it and didn’t want to lose out on the season. They didn’t want to lose out on winning a championship. They didn’t want to lose out on maximizing their dollar. If we lost the season, we would’ve lost a good portion of our checks."

http://twitter.com/tomhaberstroh/status/1271458858440032257
In the days leading up to Friday's call among dozens of NBA players to discuss the plan for the restart of the 2019-20 season, a significant number of players on an Eastern Conference playoff team expressed strong concern about playing in Orlando, sources told SNY.
According to multiple players, agents and executives, the belief is that the season is not in serious peril — not yet, at least. But fueled by several concerns, perhaps most prominently that a return to play would serve as a distraction from the Black Lives Matter movement and steps toward racial equality and police reform, there are players considering the possibility of not returning when the season reconvenes.
Other players have concerns about returning to play in Orlando, where it’s not clear how much freedom players will have once they’re on the Disney campus. Sources said the plan is for players to have access to shared spaces like outdoor pool areas, but things as simple as dining with friends on other teams might not be feasible.
According to sources, Disney workers will wear masks any time they share space with anyone who is part of the NBA campus. Those workers also will always maintain at least six feet of distance. Employees also would receive temperature checks.
It is unclear what the league might do if a team suffers an outbreak that removes enough key players at once as to render it unrecognizable. The current calendar -- Game 7 of the Finals on Oct. 13, next season beginning in early December -- offers little to no wiggle room for an extended delay of any playoff series. The NBA could push next season back, but it is wary of infringing on the 2021 Olympics (should those proceed), sources said.
Where do things stand right now with talks the NBA and NBPA are having? Green: "It’s very up in the air right now. There are still a lot of moving parts. We’re trying to figure that out. We have 80 percent knowledge of how Orlando is going to be. There are still moving parts to figure out, which teams are going to stay where, how they’re going to do it and how they’re operating in the bubble. Right now, the bubble doesn’t seem as effective as they would like or as lenient as we would like. We’ll have to figure it out." What are the main concerns about the bubble? Green: "The biggest concern is for most teams is hotels, who is staying where, the space, friends and family visiting, seeing how they are going to quarantine them, if we’re going to be quarantined and for how long if we leave the bubble. How often testing is going to be?"

http://twitter.com/hoopshype/status/1271683364504965124
Bobby Marks: Players have the right to do as they choose. However, the economics on not playing are devastating: 💰$1.2B in lost player salary (35% of total pay) 🏀NBA now having leverage to tear up the CBA and negotiate a new one. 💰$2B lost in revenue to the league
Jared Dudley: I’ve done interviews taking about this, Ive talked to over 30 young and vet players about it... Huge financial implications if we don’t play.. Saliers cut in half and possible no season the following year
"I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all" Dr. Fauci spoke with @michaelkimHD on his thoughts with the NBA's return to play plan. ( @WatchMarquee )

http://twitter.com/Stadium/status/1271238286468624384
Donovan Mitchell: Stop it......

https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1271629526603370501
As the NBA nears the resumption of the 2019-20 season on July 31, a new reality is beginning to emerge. The NBA’s Board of Governors approved a 22-team return format for the season last week, followed by the National Basketball Players Association ratifying it the next day, beginning seemingly inevitable momentum toward a return to play out the conclusion of the season that was halted in March. However, there is now a group of players looking to take a stand by not playing in the league’s intended resumption and their primary reason for doing so would be in support of the nationwide movement fighting for social justice reform.
Sources tell The Athletic that a group consisting of 80-plus players — including NBPA Vice President Kyrie Irving, NBPA president Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Donovan Mitchell and Avery Bradley — discussed finding unity and a way to attack a cause amid the nationwide unrest stemming from racial injustice, systematic racism and police brutality as well as what the world continues to face during the coronavirus pandemic.
Irving and several players on the call, including Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Donovan Mitchell, spoke out about not supporting the restarted season because of ongoing social injustice, racism and coronavirus concerns, according to sources. Bradley, the Lakers guard, was the second person to speak on the call behind Irving and was vocal throughout, urging players to take a stand and utilize this moment to “play chess, not checkers,” those sources said.
ESPN reported on Wednesday that players had been on conference calls, discussing a variety of concerns that included conditions inside the Disney World bubble. The Athletic can confirm that was part of the conversation and the growing concern among players, but sources say the chief concern and impetus behind this growing movement surrounds social justice reform. Several notable players started discussions on the movement within the past two weeks, starting with rank-and-file players and supported by the star power of Irving and Durant. It has led to several virtual meetings with many players.
Over the past several months, the United States has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, which suspended the NBA season on March 11, followed by protests throughout the country after the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Several NBA players have led protests throughout the nation, such as Boston’s Jaylen Brown, Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon, Golden State’s Curry, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Houston’s Russell Westbrook, San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan and Harris among others.
Paul and Nets guard Garrett Temple, who are with Irving on the NBPA leadership board, provided insights on Friday’s call. Several points were made on the call, according to sources: — Anthony stressed unity, having a sole message and allowing the young players in the NBA a voice. At one point, Anthony suggested having all 80 players on the call donating $25,000 to a cause that they wanted.
McCollum stated that players must be prepared for the financial dip if they choose not to play, and owners completely ripping apart the collective bargaining agreement. — The NBPA’s leadership stated it is believed no fans will be permitted into games for the entire 2020-21 season. — Howard stressed to players that playing in Orlando will become a distraction from the issues the country is facing, and that they need to unify and use this moment to create a change.
Irving and Bradley have led the communication efforts of this group. Sources said Irving has been extremely vocal on NBPA calls during the suspension of the season, challenging executive director Michele Roberts and president Chris Paul last Friday about what efforts are being made to align the players and league for sponsorship and endorsement money — or whether it should be solely the players’ responsibility. This was Irving’s way of questioning the norms set forth by the NBPA, sources said.
According to sources, the players’ union said on a call Monday that “any player who doesn’t want to play, doesn’t have to” with no financial loss, as long as said player has an agreement with his franchise and/or a medical excuse. Sources said commissioner Adam Silver reiterated that sentiment on Thursday’s call with 30 general managers, making it clear that those who do not want to come to the Orlando bubble, do not have to.
When the National Basketball Players Association conducted a conference call and vote on restarting the season a week ago, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was an active participant -- although his questions were of a mundane nature. Sources say Irving asked, as an injured player, if he would count among the Nets' allotted 35 people should he want to join the Orlando bubble. Could he sit in the stands to cheer on his teammates? Use a sauna for his rehab?
He had a question about NBA sponsors on campus, and whether they would be supplying players with products. A union official asked him for an example, and Irving mentioned a popular adult beverage -- before insisting that he had indeed simply shared an example; and wondered what food might be provided to players under league partnerships. All in all, his inquiries weren't of weighty consequence.
There were two dozen-plus team representatives and several more executive committee members on the call, and Irving's stature as one of the NBPA's six elected vice presidents, in addition to his credentials as an NBA champion and All-Star Game MVP, elevated him among those peers voting on the call. The final tally: 28-0.
Looking back, the call itself was much less a discussion on the merits of restarting the season, and much more a Q and A with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and president Chris Paul on the mechanics and rules expected to govern teams, players and the bubble environment, sources said. So, yes, it surprised several of his NBPA colleagues that Irving -- lost to the season with shoulder surgery in March -- was simultaneously lending his voice to a different discussion with rank-and-file union members on upending the league's plans for a 22-team restart at Disney World in Orlando, sources said.
Irving is expected to be a significant voice on a call Friday night that's predicted to include a large percentage of the league's players, sources said. Irving has been a leader in sharing his thoughts on race and wealth in America, asking how precisely a predominately black group of NBA players should proceed in this climate of racial transformation in the country.
"I'm not as interested in him as the messenger than I am in the message," one Western Conference player told ESPN on Friday. In some instances in the past several days, Irving has assured some in the NBPA that he's aligned with the broader plan surrounding the league's return in Orlando -- and then directed a far more skeptical tone to players he has engaged with within the Nets and across the league, sources said.
In recent days, Irving has been one of the prominent player voices tapping into the hearts, minds and ambitions of his peers in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody. Players are discussing everything now -- from the limitations of freedom in the proposed bubble, the value of the remaining season for many teams and players, the risk of sickness and injury, and yes, the pain, anguish and determination of communities throughout the country on the issues of police brutality and racial inequality.
While many players are arguing that these discussions benefit from the global stage a resumption of play would offer, with the eyes of the world turning to Orlando, the argument hasn't been so simple for some players. "Once we start playing basketball again, the news will turn from systemic racism to who did what in the game last night. It's a crucial time for us to be able to play and blend that and impact what's happening in our communities," one widely respected NBA player told ESPN. "We are asking ourselves, 'Where and how can we make the biggest impact?' Mental health is part of the discussion too, and how we handle all of that in a bubble."
The limitations of the NBA bubble form a significant part of players' uncertainty too. There appear to be players who will choose to stay home, but how many? And for what ultimate reasons? Several players who have participated in these recent calls and conversations tell ESPN that they're still leaning toward playing in Orlando but want to keep listening and talking about a number of the factors that concern them.
As they're talking to each other, many players are hearing stern warnings from their agents -- especially on the financial implications of a lost season. Agents have spent the latter stages of this week delivering foreboding warnings on the short- and long-term financial impact if the season gets blown up.
Players are already losing an estimated $300 million in salary, and terminating the rest of the season would cost another 25% of salary with owners exercising the force majeure provision. That's on top of losing an additional 10% held in escrow that would be lost to the league too. NBA players would stand to lose $1.2 billion in salary this season. There exist larger fears for next season. The NBA has the ability to terminate the collective bargaining agreement that already includes a mutual opt-out in 2022-2023. Already, the NBA and NBPA have to negotiate a long list of financial and competitive items to account for the loss of revenue, but agents expect that the league would react to the cancellation of this season by blowing up the CBA, locking out the players and moving to implement a more unfavorable financial share of basketball-related income, which is now essentially a 50-50 split.
The NBA has its superstars on board for a resumption, but it needs a broader base of its players to be fully committed to Orlando. For now, there's restlessness and uncertainty and a Friday night call with Irving on the line. The NBPA's vice president has become far less communicative with the executive committee and leadership and far more engaged with the rank-and-file membership. For a superstar who counted himself out of the season, suddenly, the clock's ticking down and the ball's in Irving's hands again.

https://twitter.com/kylekuzma/status/1271544305564307456
Several high-profile players have been communicating with others en masse about the financial and practical implications if they don’t play, sources said. If there are no more games, the owners can and will likely activate the force majeure clause and re-open the collective bargaining agreement, and the players would have little leverage with the owners because of how the economy has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s no bigger platform than playing and being able to get your message out there,” a high-ranking black executive told Yahoo Sports, but he was not aware of the players’ specific plans to spread their message. “It’s understandable to have concerns, especially the guys who are parents and may have their kids during the summers because of custody arrangements. I can see players being against some of the restrictions of the bubble.”

https://twitter.com/HowardBeck/status/1271495858471796739

https://twitter.com/tomhaberstroh/status/1271458858440032257
Evan Fournier: Wait what?

https://twitter.com/tomhaberstroh/status/1271458858440032257
Sopan Deb: NBA players beginning to go public! pic.twitter.com/wV95jyUkDy

https://twitter.com/SopanDeb/status/1271505693082882049
There is a significant number of NBA players who are disappointed that everyone wasn’t given the opportunity to vote on whether to restart the 2019-20 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Last week, the National Basketball Players Association executive committee and its board of representatives approved the league’s 22-team, return-to-play format to be held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, in late July.
Shams Charania: Sources: NBA's expected restart dates: - July 30-Aug. 14: Seeding games - Aug.15-16: Play-in tournaments - Aug. 17: Playoffs begin - Aug. 30: Family/guests of teams arrive - Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Conf. Semifinals - Sept. 15-Sept. 28: Conf. Finals - Sept. 30-Oct. 13: NBA Finals
Adrian Wojnarowski: Players traveling outside of the U.S. need to report by June 15 to team markets -- rest of players need to arrive by June 22, per sources.
Shams Charania: Health and safety: The NBA's required coronavirus testing window for teams: June 23-30, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Now that the NBA has planned to resume at Disney, there are now more specific questions about fully sequestering the location. Will the food servers be tested every day? The housekeepers? The custodians? More broadly: What’s the point of quarantining for several weeks and doing daily tests for 22 NBA teams if Disney staff won’t be doing the same? “This isn’t a bubble. This is a mesh hat,” says one high-level NBA executive who has been briefed on the NBA’s plans but isn’t authorized to speak publicly. Disney workers have not been told to quarantine on campus, according to Eric Clinton, president of Disney’s labor union, United Here Local 362, which represents custodians and ride operators. Clinton told NBC Sports that it was “unlikely” that staffers would be subject to daily testing and quarantine measures like NBA players and team staffers.
Some executives and players have expressed concern about the double-standard of being held to such strict standards while Disney staffers are free to go home to their families and live at their residences. Some team officials have even suggested allowing teams to fly in and out on charter. If Disney staffers are free to come and go as they please, why can’t NBA players?
It’s not just those head coaches that fall in that age range. New Orleans assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik (67), Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins (66) and Houston assistant coach John Lucas (66) will be facing those CDC-issued concerns along with referees Ken Mauer (65) and Michael Smith (65). A source close to the situation told NBC Sports that older NBA referees have not yet been given word about whether they will be going to Orlando.
“What everyone wants to know is how likely is it that an athlete would suffer long-term lung or other organ damage that jeopardizes their career,” Binney says. “My response to that is nobody on planet Earth, that we know of, has had this disease for more than seven months. It’s literally impossible for me to tell you that. I literally can’t tell you anything about what this disease does in a human body after seven months. That knowledge doesn’t exist in the universe.”
As the NBA firms up its 22-team Orlando restart schedule, 14 of the teams will be eliminated within 53 days of arriving -- and only four teams will remain after 67 days, sources said. The NBA has been working to make clear to players that the actual commitment of time for most teams in Orlando, Florida, may be less daunting than originally perceived, especially once seen in the context of the timetables constructed into the league's revised schedule.
The NBA is preparing to resume its season next month at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, after a more than three month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, however, believes there are several players who are legitimately considering sitting out when the play resumes. “I’ve talked to a few guys that are super interested in sitting out possibly,” Brogdon said Thursday on The JJ Redick podcast. “At the end of the day, I was actually talking to Chris Paul the other day and he said, ‘Man, this is an individual decision that every man has to make for himself.’ I think that’s exactly what it is. I think it depends on your perspective.”
According to Brogdon, it also has a lot to do with George Floyd’s death in police custody last month in Minneapolis and the massive protests and movements that have come from it. “Some guys are going to say, ‘For health reasons, and COVID, and the long-term effects that we don’t understand about COVID, I want to sit out,’” Brogdon said on the podcast. “Other guys are going to say, ‘The black community and my people are going through too much for me to basically be distracted with basketball. I’m not going to prioritize this over the black community, I’m going to sit out.’ And then there’s another group of guys … who are going to say, ‘No, this is the most amount of money I’m going to make in my lifetime. It doesn’t make sense to hand this money back. I can do so much good in my community if I have this money.’ “I think it’s a matter of perspective. I think guys are gathering to really talk about and dive deep into the idea of not playing.“
As protests and social justice movements have taken place across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death, NBA players have discussed what role returning to play has in furthering or distracting from the cause. The Nets' Garrett Temple, a vice president for the National Basketball Players Association, told ESPN that he believes playing games and earning a paycheck is actually one of the best ways players can combat the systemic oppression of black people.
The 34-year-old says he believes that players have the opportunity to reinvest some of the money they earn into black communities, citing LeBron James and his I Promise School as an example. "So, when people bring up not playing -- we are a few black men that can make a little bit of money," Temple said. "It is not a lot of money when [you] think about it in the grand scheme of America. But we can start having a little bit of money, create a little bit of generational wealth. "But the fact that us not playing will hurt our pockets, I don't think that is the right way to go about it."
Storyline: Season Resuming?
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 7, 2020 | 11:57 am EDT Update
July 7, 2020 | 11:43 am EDT Update
“Bradley did everything possible to be ready to play, but after closely monitoring his individual workouts we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to sit out the upcoming games in Orlando and avoid the risk of further injury,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “Although he was able to play through the majority of the season with the injury, the layoff from March until now did not leave any of us feeling comfortable that he would have enough time to be ready to perform at the extremely high level we are all accustomed to seeing and agreed that not participating in the games in Orlando was the right decision.”
Beal experienced discomfort with his shoulder early in the season and worked with the team’s medical and performance staff to manage the injury. The symptoms worsened over the course of the hiatus and he began to rehabilitate the injury with the intent of returning to play. He will not travel with the team to Orlando and will continue his rehabilitation process over the summer. “This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” said Beal. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made.”
July 7, 2020 | 11:21 am EDT Update
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is joining rapper Common and others for a TV special calling for action following the death of Breonna Taylor. Irving is producing “#SAYHERNAME: BREONNA TAYLOR,” which will debut Wednesday at 7 p.m. EDT on the PlayersTv digital and broadcast network. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician, was shot eight times in Louisville, Kentucky, by plainclothes officers serving a narcotics search warrant without knocking at her apartment on March 13. No drugs were found. Louisville has seen weeks of protests over the shooting and demonstrators around the country have chanted her name.
Irving, who has been outspoken about social justice issues, says as society is calling attention to police brutality and systemic racism, it is “critical to magnify how these unjust behaviors and practices are directly impacting Black women.” Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and journalist Jemele Hill are among the others appearing in the program.
Adrian Wojnarowski: First team in The Bubble: The @Orlando Magic are departing for the bus ride to Disney. Aaron Gordon, DJ Augustin, Jonathan Isaac, Steve Clifford and Nik Vucevic. pic.twitter.com/f1kqiQUIHV

Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Once the NBA resumes its season in a controlled environment, players will have more to worry about than winning. They will have varying concerns about how the resumed season could affect their mental health. Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will be away from his pregnant wife, Robyn, and children until she is due to give birth sometime in September. “It’s definitely a stressful time for us,” said Hayward, whose wife and children are moving to Indianapolis to be near family while he is with the Celtics as part of the NBA’s 2019-20 restart at the ESPN Disney Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said players are concerned about being isolated on a campus where their leaving is discouraged. If a person on campus leaves, the person is subject to more testing and additional quarantine time. “We can’t just leave,” Beal said. “We can’t just order whatever food we want. We can’t just do activities which we want to do. We can’t go to our teammate’s room. There’s a lot of (expletive) we can’t do. It’s tough. I get it from a mental wellness standpoint.”
Storyline: Mental Health
July 7, 2020 | 8:52 am EDT Update
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that he’d “love” to see Pau Gasol wearing the team’s jersey once again. Gasol has mentioned that a return to Barcelona is an attractive option for him to spend what may be the last season of his career. “I would love for Pau Gasol to play for Barça. I never rule anything out, but European basketball doesn’t have the mechanisms or resources that the NBA has,” Bartomeu said to Catalan radio RAC 1, per Marc Mundet.
There had long been friction between the two, the kind typical with NBA duos, particularly if those star players are relatively early in their careers — and especially in a roller-coaster season such as this one for the Jazz, who have basically played .500 ball aside from a 19-2 run in December and January. One high-ranking Jazz source categorized the pre-pandemic issues between the 28-year-old Gobert and Mitchell, 23, as “a 2 out of 10 on the NBA drama scale.”
“You know, I tried to put myself in his shoes,” Gobert told ESPN. “There was a lot of fear, and I think more than anything, he reacted out of fear. That’s why I don’t really blame him. We all have different character; we all react differently. When it’s something like that, when he tested [positive] for a virus that we don’t know a lot about, it’s scary. It was scary for me, and I’m sure it was scary for him. “The most important thing is what you do from there.”
The Jazz wanted to start virtual team meetings and workouts, but Gobert told teammates in early April that he wouldn’t feel right participating until he had a discussion with Mitchell. A month into the NBA hiatus, Gobert and Mitchell talked. “We told each other what we had to say to each other,” Gobert said. “We are both on the same page. We both want to win. We both think that we have a great opportunity, and we know that we need each other. We talked about a lot of things, but the main thing was that we are on the same page and the fact that our team needs us. We can win together. That’s the most important thing.”
As a smiling Mitchell sneaked up from behind and made some silly sounds, Gobert looked over his left shoulder and delivered a one-liner into the microphone: “Hey, pass the ball, god damn it!” Mitchell, who had 28 points on 21 shots and two assists, laughed and turned toward the tunnel to the Jazz locker room, altering his path to give high-fives to a couple of kids in the courtside seats who were wearing his No. 45 jersey. It was a moment that made many within the Jazz organization uncomfortable. They knew Gobert’s quip contained a lot of truth about his feelings on Mitchell’s passing.
Storyline: Mitchell-Gobert Dynamic
Gobert rarely hesitates to let teammates know if they miss him when he is open around the rim. He’ll occasionally point up during play in animated fashion, sometimes as he is running back on defense, to note that a lob should have been thrown. He’ll often air his gripes verbally, during games and again in film sessions. Mitchell hears it the most, simply because as the Jazz’s go-to guy, he has the ball in his hands the most. That, according to several Jazz sources, has been the primary irritant in an overall successful partnership.
(The Bucks) had to shut down their facility over the weekend because of positive test. How much of a concern is that for the team that is right now the favor to win at all? Malika Andrews: I checked in with a source with the Bucks and they just told me that they are mostly bummed about the timing. They are not expected to open the facility again before they traveled to Orlando this week. And for a lot of guys, these last two weeks they’ve actually been able to be inside the practice facility is the first time they’ve been able to touch a basketball in a while.

July 7, 2020 | 2:23 am EDT Update
There are varying levels of trust in the NBA’s bubble, but most everyone agrees this is the best the league can do amid the conditions. NBA sources have insisted the plan, while exhaustive, isn’t cemented and that the league is ready to adjust if necessary. Between June 23 and 29, 25 players tested positive for the coronavirus. An additional 10 staff members also tested positive. Seven of the 22 teams heading to Orlando, including the Clippers, have closed their practice facilities after learning of positive tests.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has had Zoom calls with close to 20 NBA teams, including the Knicks. The 6-foot-10 native of the Republic of Georgia is testing the NBA Draft waters ahead of the Oct. 16 NBA Draft, and said he’s still undecided about his future plans. The NBA withdrawal deadline is Aug. 3. “I’m taking my time and evaluating all of my options,” he said Friday. “I had a lot of interviews and I want to think about my plans.”
When Kidd got rebuffed, he jumped to the Bucks, run by opportunistic New York-based owners, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. “I wouldn’t hire Jason Kidd if he was the last coach standing,’’ said an NBA source who has worked with Kidd. “It would be a terrible choice. There’s a reason Milwaukee is in the place where they are right now — coaching.’’
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
Philadelphia 76ers forward Mike Scott said players being given a list of phrases they may put on the backs of their jerseys when the NBA season restarts in Orlando, Florida, later this month, rather than choosing what they want to say themselves, was a “bad miss.” “They gave us some names and phrases to put on the back of jerseys. That was terrible. It was just a bad miss, a bad choice,” Scott said Monday during a conference call with reporters. “They didn’t give players a chance to voice our opinions on it; they just gave us a list to pick from. So that was bad, that was terrible. “I’m all about just doing, instead of saying and posting, or putting something on the back of your jersey. I don’t think that’s going to stop anything, you know?”
Speaking on a separate call Monday, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown had a few other suggestions that he wished the league would have allowed players to use. “There’s a lot of stuff. I know everybody has different reasons they’re playing for. … Four hundred and fifty guys, or however many will be there, are sending in whatever they feel like would add to that list and encompass the group that’s going down there,” Brown said. “What I’d like to personally see on there? Maybe ‘Break the Cycle,’ putting that on the back of your jersey. ‘Results,’ that’s what everybody is really playing for. ‘Inequality by Design,’ maybe. Things like that might have a deeper impact than some of the things that were given to us. I think it was a little bit limiting.”
The WNBA announced Monday that seven of 137 (5.1%) tested players were positive for COVID-19, and that 11 of the league’s 12 teams will report to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for its season start-up by the end of the day. The one exception in that travel schedule is the Indiana Fever. After sustaining two positive tests in their organization, the Fever’s travel will be delayed at least five days “in an abundance of caution due to the CDC’s close contact self-quarantine requirements,” according to a statement from the league.
Storyline: Coronavirus Infections
Vinsanity cited that he was going to do a one-step, 180-degree dunk under the basket (which sounds hella impressive by the way) but decided to go on a different route to increase his chances of winning. “It was ‘ooh-ahh’ for a lot of people but it didn’t feel right. It didn’t have the ‘wowing’ factor. That’s not what I was looking for. I just didn’t have that feel so I just scrapped that dunk,” the NBA icon revealed. “The dunks that I originally had planned, I was like this was not going to win. So I scrapped it right there on the spot. I’m just trying to pull things that I’ve done from times past that I felt would win or present the wow factor.”
July 7, 2020 | 2:21 am EDT Update
There are varying levels of trust in the NBA’s bubble, but most everyone agrees this is the best the league can do amid the conditions. NBA sources have insisted the plan, while exhaustive, isn’t cemented and that the league is ready to adjust if necessary. Between June 23 and 29, 25 players tested positive for the coronavirus. An additional 10 staff members also tested positive. Seven of the 22 teams heading to Orlando, including the Clippers, have closed their practice facilities after learning of positive tests.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Spencer Dinwiddie: Protocol only calls for 7 days and negative tests not the 14 day standard. Yep, the plan would be to fly to Orlando after workout. For players that show up late, it might make it difficult to resume season at all due to more rigorous testing requirements.

Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has had Zoom calls with close to 20 NBA teams, including the Knicks. The 6-foot-10 native of the Republic of Georgia is testing the NBA Draft waters ahead of the Oct. 16 NBA Draft, and said he’s still undecided about his future plans. The NBA withdrawal deadline is Aug. 3. “I’m taking my time and evaluating all of my options,” he said Friday. “I had a lot of interviews and I want to think about my plans.”
When Kidd got rebuffed, he jumped to the Bucks, run by opportunistic New York-based owners, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. “I wouldn’t hire Jason Kidd if he was the last coach standing,’’ said an NBA source who has worked with Kidd. “It would be a terrible choice. There’s a reason Milwaukee is in the place where they are right now — coaching.’’
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
Philadelphia 76ers forward Mike Scott said players being given a list of phrases they may put on the backs of their jerseys when the NBA season restarts in Orlando, Florida, later this month, rather than choosing what they want to say themselves, was a “bad miss.” “They gave us some names and phrases to put on the back of jerseys. That was terrible. It was just a bad miss, a bad choice,” Scott said Monday during a conference call with reporters. “They didn’t give players a chance to voice our opinions on it; they just gave us a list to pick from. So that was bad, that was terrible. “I’m all about just doing, instead of saying and posting, or putting something on the back of your jersey. I don’t think that’s going to stop anything, you know?”
Speaking on a separate call Monday, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown had a few other suggestions that he wished the league would have allowed players to use. “There’s a lot of stuff. I know everybody has different reasons they’re playing for. … Four hundred and fifty guys, or however many will be there, are sending in whatever they feel like would add to that list and encompass the group that’s going down there,” Brown said. “What I’d like to personally see on there? Maybe ‘Break the Cycle,’ putting that on the back of your jersey. ‘Results,’ that’s what everybody is really playing for. ‘Inequality by Design,’ maybe. Things like that might have a deeper impact than some of the things that were given to us. I think it was a little bit limiting.”
The WNBA announced Monday that seven of 137 (5.1%) tested players were positive for COVID-19, and that 11 of the league’s 12 teams will report to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for its season start-up by the end of the day. The one exception in that travel schedule is the Indiana Fever. After sustaining two positive tests in their organization, the Fever’s travel will be delayed at least five days “in an abundance of caution due to the CDC’s close contact self-quarantine requirements,” according to a statement from the league.
Storyline: Coronavirus Infections
Vinsanity cited that he was going to do a one-step, 180-degree dunk under the basket (which sounds hella impressive by the way) but decided to go on a different route to increase his chances of winning. “It was ‘ooh-ahh’ for a lot of people but it didn’t feel right. It didn’t have the ‘wowing’ factor. That’s not what I was looking for. I just didn’t have that feel so I just scrapped that dunk,” the NBA icon revealed. “The dunks that I originally had planned, I was like this was not going to win. So I scrapped it right there on the spot. I’m just trying to pull things that I’ve done from times past that I felt would win or present the wow factor.”
July 6, 2020 | 11:14 pm EDT Update
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