With the NBA returning soon, you and the team have been…

With the NBA returning soon, you and the team have been communicating constantly. Obviously, they span various topics, but what’s been the most important aspect for you as Orlando edges closer? Austin Rivers: When can we see our family, when can we hang out with them? That’s my biggest concern. That’s everything for me. So you know, it’s tough but it is what it is. They’re saying we’ll be in Orlando for at least a period of time, anywhere between 30 to 40 days without seeing our family, that’s like a month and some change. Which is no fun, you know what I mean? And I don’t want to do it. Nobody wants to do it, but we all have to sacrifice if you want to have the season, resume and that’s what we have to do.

More on Orlando Bubble

According to league sources, the issue is based on insurance policies taken out by the players that would run out at the traditional end of the NBA year, June 30. Word is there are ongoing talks between representatives of the players and the league, but it’s expected that Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and others will eventually be on the courts at the Disney complex.
Justin Holiday is currently the only potential holdout for the Indiana Pacers when play resumes next month in Orlando, according to a league source. Holiday, 31, is 50/50 on whether to play or sit, the source said. The Pacers aren’t trying to push him into joining them but if he’s not there they’d lose a 40% 3-point shooter who also has been their most consistent wing defender.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said 260 workers at the Orlando International Airport have tested positive for the coronavirus after nearly 500 employees were tested but according to the airport management that’s not the case. “[An]airport in Central Florida had a couple of cases, they did the contact tracing,” DeSantis said Tuesday during a news conference. “They looked [at] almost 500 workers [and] 260 people working close together were positive, 52 percent positivity rate on that one.”
Serena Winters: Tobias Harris just said on #NBATogether, he saw that #Sixers are supposed to stay in the same hotel as the Mavericks in Orlando... which means.... Bobi + Tobi reunion! "I know that @Boban Marjanovic will be communicating with me so might have to have some security!" 🤣
The NBA Coaches Association fears new league standards and guidelines that could bar team staffers in high-risk categories for the coronavirus from attending the season's restart in Orlando could "severely jeopardize" their future employment opportunities.
NBCA executive director Dave Fogel and president Rick Carlisle have concerns that several assistants and three head coaches -- Houston's Mike D'Antoni (69 years old), New Orleans' Alvin Gentry (65) and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich (71) -- could be restricted from leading their teams and some could face considerable challenges in resuming their careers.
"We feel the medical review process is designed to flag only those individuals who pose significant threats of substantial harm to themselves that cannot be reduced or eliminated by the NBA's considerable steps to create a healthy and safe atmosphere in Orlando. "Adam (Silver) and the NBA have created a situation in Orlando that is likely far safer than in our coaches' home markets. Absent a significant threat, we believe a coach should be able to understand and assume their individual risks, waive liability, and coach in Orlando."
Warren LeGarie, the agent for D'Antoni and Gentry, told ESPN on Wednesday: "I hope there is a basketball solution to this issue rather than a legal one." The 113-page health and safety protocols sent to teams late Tuesday outlined a multi-layered process for the identification and potential "protection" of team employees designated as higher-risk. All team staffers will fill out a questionnaire probing for individual risk factors, including: asthma; heart problems; ongoing cancer treatments; smoking habits; a body mass index above 40 as a measure of obesity; kidney or liver diseases; and other indications of a compromised immune system.
Mark Medina: Per NBA's 113-page health & safety protocol: On June 23 each player & essential staff member will take a PCR & antibody test. PCR testing will be repeated every other day & antibody testing will be repeated if there is a positive test.
“Regular” testing will continue in Orlando during Phase 3 (July 1 to July 9-11), increased in Phase 4 (July 9-11 to July 21) and be in place through the Restart Phase (July 30 to the last possible end date of Oct. 13). The NBA will create the “League Health Platform” to register test results and monitor symptoms, temperatures and other screenings for everyone in the campus. Each campus member will be provided a “Smart Thermometer,” which will record the individual’s temperature into the League Health Platform. The NBA will also supply each campus member with a pulse oximeter to take blood oxygen saturation levels on a daily basis and record in the League Health Platform.
Once someone tests positive for the virus, the protocol lays out a several-step process that person will have to go through: They will be placed in "Isolation Housing," which will be a house, hotel or other facility that is different from the individual's previous hotel room, at a location in which no individuals who have not tested positive are residing.
Zach Lowe: The NBA health protocols concede maintaining 6 feet of distance during card games "may not be practicable," and require anyone playing cards indoors wear masks. Players/staff must dispose of the deck at the end of each game/session. "Sufficient packs of cards will be available."
Dave McMenamin: Starting June 23, players who have been working out at private gyms will be prohibited without prior NBA approval. Several Lakers, LeBron included, spent the majority of their hiatus playing on private courts rather than at the facility, where there are restrictions in place.
Teams are encouraged to bring a mental health professional (it can be the team clinician) with their travel party. If they choose not to, teams must make telehealth appointments available, particularly if "any player experiences increased feelings of anxiety and stress upon transitioning to the campus and being away from household family members." As teams advance in the playoffs, they will be allowed to add and swap out members of the travel party. Teams can add two staffers after advancing past the first round of the playoffs and two more after the conference semifinals. That is something multiple coaches pushed the league to adopt, sources told ESPN.
Malika Andrews: In a hygiene section, the league asks that players avoid the following (general ickiness) in games and practice: +spitting or clearing their nose on the court +wiping the ball with their jersey +licking their hands +playing with or unnecessarily touching their mouth guard.
Malika Andrews: The league is exploring the possibility of assigning each player a designated spot on the bench and providing each player with an “individual caddy” to bring them water, towels, etc.
Andrew Greif: Per NBA's health protocols: Though team members must remain at home, self-quarantining from June 23-30, there are exceptions -- visiting team facility, groceries, etc. Another, timely, exception? The rules do not prohibit players and essential staff from engaging in protests. The NBA's protocols state that teams are to invite the individuals who want to take part in protests to consult with a team physician about best practices at avoid COVID-19 while doing so. And to be clear, June 23-30 is phase 2 of the NBA plan. They are also permitted to attend protests right now, during phase 1, as well.
Ramona Shelburne: To minimize interactions within the NBA bubble, housekeeping staff at Disney will service rooms ONCE A WEEK wearing PPE. Disney will assign staff not only to a specific property, but to a specific floor or set of floors! We gonna find out who the messy/neat people are quick.
Shams Charania: Per me and @sam_amick: The NBA will create an anonymous hotline to report potential violations of protocols in Orlando. Kyle Kuzma: Snitch hotline lol.
Legion Hoops: The NBA will operate an “anonymous hotline” where people can reveal if they’ve seen anyone break the rules of the “bubble”. (via @ShamsCharania & @sam_amick) Donovan Mitchell: Oh they snitchin snitchin.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 7, 2020 | 12:45 pm EDT Update
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.”
Home