Jared Weiss: Chris Paul says that while the health conv…

Jared Weiss: Chris Paul says that while the health conversation has been on COVID and injuries, “mental health is the thing a lot of players think of first.” Goes on to praise Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan for breaking the ice on enabling players to speak on this.

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Jared Weiss: The NBA is going to have an onsite clinic in partnership with Advent health to treat anyone getting sick and they will work with local hospitals to coordinate care if someone needs to be hospitalized.
Jared Weiss: Chris Paul says the NBPA has agreed on a number of initiatives on social justice issues when asked if he expects any further division on the matter within the players group.
Kyle Goon: Chris Paul said the events of recent weeks have led to a lot of hard conversations between players and team governors about social and political issues: "(Players) want to know how someone feels, especially if we’re putting their jersey on."
Brad Townsend: Andre Iguodala: "We understand the risks involved, but everyone is ready to make a sacrifice. A lot of people in America don't have jobs right now." Says players realize the importance of utilizing platforms to voice views and concerns on social justice.
Jason Anderson: If a star player tests positive: “We would continue. That team would be down a man. We would treat that positive test as we would an injury during the season, so it would not delay the continuation of the playoffs." -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
Jared Weiss: Andre Iguodala: “We have a great group of players who are well-informed and have been doing their homework on the health situation. The players have been doing a great job of voicing themselves and using their platforms to be well informed."
Ryan Wolstat: NPBA president Michele Roberts says about proposed return "we needed to make sure we could mitigate as much as possible ... a lot of hard work (went into it)." Credits everyone for hard work including Kyle Lowry and Canadian Dwight Powell, amongst others.
David Aldridge: More Roberts, on player desire to advance social justice in Orlando after George Floyd’s killing: "We were all shook. Our players were shook. Not surprising that our players wanted to take action…but this time, we had to do something we actually believed would have an impact."
“Going into a hub, I think the hardest part for me is I know I’ll do the right thing and I’m assuming my teammates will, but we’re all relying on 22 teams, 17 players per team,” Ingles said before the league last week distributed an 113-page guidebook of health precautions needed to make the resumption work. He worries that a player contracting the virus is inevitable. “I want to be there to play the games with my team, but I’m definitely not 100 percent comfortable going.”
Players and team staff members are expected to remain on the premises nearly at all times and cannot enter other people’s hotel rooms, among other regulations while in Florida. Ingles prioritizes his family’s safety at such a precarious time, but acknowledges that he does not want to let his team or fans down by not playing. “I know people aren’t paying money to come watch me play — they’re coming to watch Donovan play,” he said, referring to his teammate Donovan Mitchell. “But if I’m healthy and can get out there, then I should play.”
As announced on Wednesday, the NBA and the NBPA have agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart will be to find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country. Leaders from the NBA and the NBPA have also discussed strategies to increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities, and form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community. In recognition that long-term change can only come from an informed and sustained commitment, conversations regarding these efforts will continue and additional details will be released at a later date.
“We have worked together with the Players Association to establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections.”
“It is very exciting to officially announce the restart of the 2019-2020 season,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “It has taken true collaboration between the League and the Union – special kudos to our Executive Committee and several other team reps – along with the continued support and assistance from medical experts, public health officials and many others. Additionally, our platform in Orlando presents a unique opportunity to extend the ongoing fight against systemic racism and police brutality in this country. We will continue to work with our players and the League to develop specific plans in Orlando as well as long-term initiatives to bring about real change on these issues.”
“We’re glad to be able to provide a unique venue where the NBA can resume its season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “We look forward to welcoming the players, coaches and staff to Walt Disney World Resort as they prepare for the exciting return of professional basketball.”
“It’s strange,” Nurse said. “It feels good to be back on the floor. Just walking out there and hearing the balls bounce, that’s a good feeling on one hand. And, yeah, it’s some, a little anxiety around. We’re going into such an unknown territory here. Every day you get tests (and) you think, ‘Man, I hope I pass. When do I get my results back?’ is kind of on your mind.
Mike Singer: After the first round in Orlando, teams will be provided the option to reserve up to 17 guest rooms. Now, subject to the team's overall room limit, each player may have up to two rooms for his guests, according to a league source.
Jeff Zillgitt: (League officials) just feel real confident in their ability to isolate themselves in this pseudo bubble or campus environment that they're calling while understanding that they have to take some risk if they want to play and acknowledging that you know, in all likelihood, either players or staffers, essential personnel are going to test positive and, and they're just banking on the idea with the amount of testing and procedures they have in place for health and safety, that they're going to minimize those cases and avoid any kind of serious outbreak that impacts lots of players or lots of players on one team or a handful of starters on one team.
Injured Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant said if he were fully healthy, he wouldn't participate in the NBA's season restart in Orlando. "I feel, me right now, I probably wouldn't have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases," Durant said during a recent interview with "Dawg Talk." "It's just so unpredictable. It's easy for me to say right now because I'm injured, but I probably wouldn't have went down there (to Orlando)."
"If the guys feel safe enough to go play, that's cool, I'm with them. If they don't feel like they should go down there and play or don't feel safe, I'm with them too. I'm all about what the group wants," Durant said, before elaborating on why he'd decide to sit out. "Obviously, I would have talked to my teammates and consulted with my guys and actually really went over it for the last month and a half, but me, my gut would have told me nah, I probably wouldn't want to go down there, especially after three months off."
Shams Charania: Sources: Travel dates for 22 NBA teams to Orlando: - July 7: Nets, Nuggets, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Wizards - July 8: Celtics, Mavericks, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, Thunder, Kings - July 9: Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Bucks, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Raptors
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA has modified its dress code for 2019-20 restart: - Players not required to wear sport coat on bench - Can wear short/long-sleeve polos for team/league business - Male and female coaches: short/long-sleeve NBA polo shirts
Brogdon, who spent a lot of time at St. Vincent Center rehabilitating from a thigh/hip muscle injury during the NBA's hiatus, also has been active in leading social protests after the death of George Floyd. Multiple league sources aren't clear on the league's directives, or if there even is one, regarding positive tests before players arrive in Orlando where they'll go into the "bubble" before resuming play.
The NBA, which hopes to restart the season July 30, says it is offering players a ring whose maker claims it can track a user's health data and might even predict if users are about to show symptoms of coronavirus infection. But there's not much information yet on how well the device, which has embedded electronics, works. The $299 Oura ring is designed to monitor sleep, pulse, movement, heart activity and temperature, according to the company's website.
Long says the potential to study large groups of people to see if there is useful data that can be collected is interesting. "But it does not replace any of the other things we should be doing, and the other steps that the NBA should be doing in terms of protecting their players, protecting their staff," Long said. They should still be doing pools of testing and regular testing -- all of those other things. Just don't let it give us a false sense of security. Don't stop wearing your mask because your Oura ring says you're OK. You know, don't skip testing because everybody's Oura ring says they're fine."
The NBA has shared with its players a comprehensive security plan to help enforce the health and safety protocols it announced last week and secure its campus at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, league sources told ESPN. The league will use local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as experienced venue and contracted security professionals and team security professionals.
NBA locations in Orlando will also feature secured perimeters, technological security deployments and a "fusion center" approach to threat intelligence. In addition, league security will ensure all venues and team hotel campuses are closed to non-credentialed individuals, and there will be secure checkpoints, credential control and roving security inside and outside the perimeter of every location that is visited.
Any off-campus movement would have to be either for a preapproved emergency, or a planned movement NBA security would support. For any off-campus events that are organized for leisure purposes, league security will be supplemented by former special operations forces personnel in order to "provide a scalable safety bubble," while on-campus activities will be handled by individual team security.
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry said the National Basketball Association would continue with the plan to restart games in Orlando next month, despite the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in Florida. “We’ll see what happens over the course of the next two weeks,” Lasry said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” on Thursday. He added that for “players that don’t want to go, I fully respect that” but also said of his team that “every single one of our guys is going to be down there.”
All staff members of Finals teams, mind you, will go approximately three months without seeing their families. If nothing else, it’s quite the culture shock to each family’s system after these past three months where they were home so much more than ever before. A source said Boston coach Brad Stevens has consistently pushed the league to reconsider its ruling that the families of staff members will not be allowed.
The state of Florida reported 11,365 new coronavirus cases over three days this past weekend — its three worst days on record. Orange County, home of Walt Disney World, reported 437 on Saturday — more than entire countries once considered epicenters of the pandemic. Test-positive rates topped 15 percent. Seven-day averages surged. And all of that, for an NBA attempting to finish its season at Disney in Orlando, is problematic, experts say. “Extremely concerning,” says Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University. “Absolutely,” says Bill Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.
The state of Florida reported 11,365 new coronavirus cases over three days this past weekend — its three worst days on record. Orange County, home of Walt Disney World, reported 437 on Saturday — more than entire countries once considered epicenters of the pandemic. Test-positive rates topped 15 percent. Seven-day averages surged. And all of that, for an NBA attempting to finish its season at Disney in Orlando, is problematic, experts say. “Extremely concerning,” says Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University. “Absolutely,” says Bill Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.
When the NBA travels to the Orlando bubble to resume their season, the league is providing players and staff with a smart ring that can help as an early predictor of coronavirus. But the Oura health tracker ring was not originally intended to detect coronavirus and it happened almost by surprise, the company’s CEO told CNBC on Tuesday.
As the NBA heads to Walt Disney World in Florida, the league is making available a host of technological bells and whistles to both players and staff including the Oura ring. Rai said the league has ordered more than 1,000 Oura rings. “They felt like giving the players and staff an added rate of protection and frankly peace of mind,” he told CNBC.
On Wednesday, Forbes reported a group of Pelicans executives and city and state officials had put together a “strong bid” to host the remainder of the NBA season. The bid included plans to house teams in the Hyatt downtown and hold games at Smoothie King Center, Forbes said.
The NBA said Wednesday the Pelicans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation worked together on the city’s restart bid. “New Orleans has a rich history of hosting world-class sports and entertainment events — including NBA All-Star Games in 2008, 2014 and 2017,” NBA executive vice president Kelly Flatow said. “The New Orleans Pelicans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation collaborated to propose a safe and healthy environment for the NBA’s return to play. We’re appreciative of their leadership and support.”
Some Disney World workers are pleading with theme park executives to reconsider plans to reopen in July, following days of record-number cases of COVID-19 infections that have pushed the statewide total past 100,000. Reopening would mean bringing back tens of thousands of workers who were furloughed April 19 and since then have struggled to navigate Florida’s broken unemployment system. Still, workers who signed the petition said it’s too soon to welcome back guests.
“I think it (the NBA season) is going to get off the ground,” Fertitta said. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay. But we’re going to do whatever. You’re going to follow the protocols. It’s no different from one of our businesses. If somebody’s sick, you send them home. Everybody else watch themselves. Sanitize the establishment, and you have to move on."
“If you’re not willing to say, ‘Oh my gosh, (hypothetically) three people tested today for the Houston Rockets, and three people tested today for the LA Lakers. Those guys go home, and we’re going to play the games” — if we’re not willing to recognize that that’s going to be what happens, then we’re not going to complete the season, not in football, baseball, basketball or whatever.”
According to people with knowledge of the situation and the NBA’s health and safety manual that The Times reviewed, Lakers doctors could “protect” McGee and any other players they deem to be at high risk. A week ago, players had to complete a three-page medical questionnaire and team doctors must evaluate them by Thursday. Among the questions for players and traveling staff was whether or not the person has or had suffered from moderate to severe asthma.
Some are terrified, not only for the people who could spend up to three months in COVID-19 ravaged Florida starting in mid-July but also for the incredible damage the league could incur for years to come if too many players test positive and it all comes crashing down. “If the cases keep spiking in Florida, things are going to happen,” one GM told The Athletic on Monday. “I’m really, really concerned for the league big-picture wise in many, many ways.”
Others are mildly concerned, trusting of Commissioner Adam Silver and his staff that shared their 113-page “Health and Safety Protocols” memo with teams last week but also wary of the physical risks and mental health challenges that this unnatural environment will present for players and staff members alike. And that was before the positive tests of players such as Denver’s Nikola Jokic started rolling in on Tuesday. “It’s the hindsight of ‘Was it worth it?’ that worries me,” another GM said. “If something happens, it’s (the question of) ‘Was it worth it?’ If everything goes great, it’s historic, and it’ll be remembered throughout history. ‘Remember the Bubble?’ or whatever they’re going to call it. It’ll be a special thing as long as we can make it through.”
The NBA and NBPA are both committed to fostering an environment that encourages candid conversations between players and league and team leadership and finding tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country. The group that met yesterday agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart in Orlando will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice. Conversations also covered strategies to increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities, and form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community.
“The issues of systemic racism and police brutality in our country need to end,” said Paul. “As a union of NBA players and as a league, it is our job to use our collective platform to both put a spotlight on those issues and work to effect change. As players, we have taken a leadership role when it comes to using our voices and implementing practical solutions, but there is much work ahead both in Orlando and long-term to continue the momentum and bring about real, long-lasting change to our society.” “The league and the players are uniquely positioned to have a direct impact on combating systemic racism in our country, and we are committed to collective action to build a more equal and just society,” said Silver. “A shared goal of our season restart will be to use our platform in Orlando to bring attention to these important issues of social justice. We look forward to engaging in ongoing conversations with the players and their Association about our joint leaguewide initiative and thank Michele, Chris and the other players for their leadership toward creating meaningful, long-term change.”
In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.

https://twitter.com/jareddudley619/status/1275531290255568897
Adrian Wojnarowski: Remember too: Even among the six teams trying to reach the playoffs via a play-in, none believe this restart is worth risking injuries on players that could carry into next season. For some, Orlando will be an extended summer league to develop young players and protect veterans.
Cousins could have an opportunity to officially be part of an NBA team again this week. He has not ruled out signing with a team to finish out the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla., according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz. But it would have to be a situation in which he feels comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab.
Adrian Wojnarowski: As coronavirus testing for players heading to Orlando starts today, teams are bracing for significant numbers of positive tests. One Western Conference playoff team had four positives in past few weeks, per sources. Full training camps start on July 11 at Disney. It's a bigger concern for non-guaranteed playoff teams to lose players to extended quarantine before Orlando. Playoff teams worried less about needing key players for seeding games in August have more time to get players back to shape. All are worried about soft-tissue injuries.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 7, 2020 | 10:50 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
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
Antetokounmpo will be a free agent in 2021. When Kidd joined the Lakers as assistant, the scuttlebutt was he would succeed Frank Vogel when “The Greek Freak’’ became free. Antetokounmpo was said to be “devastated’’ when the Bucks fired Kidd. “LeBron loves Kidd,’’ one team executive told The Post. “But Giannis swears by him.’’
Nick DePaula: In a video to fans in China, Klay Thompson says, “My mind and body are 100% ready to get back on the court.” His new Anta KT5 sneaker launch is inspired by his trip last summer to a 400 year-old Chinese medical center in Shanghai and the treatment he received there.

July 6, 2020 | 7:59 pm EDT Update
“We are extremely encouraged with the progress Darius has made in his recovery process,” Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin said. “The work he has put in both prior to and during these limited mandatory workouts has been remarkable. We look forward to seeing him back at full strength heading into the 2020-21 campaign.” The Pelicans will not be granted an additional roster spot pursuant to the rules the NBA has set forth for signing replacement players for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
Former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet has re-entered unrestricted free agency after a teammate in The Basketball Tournament tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of the month. Thabeet, 33, was set to compete with the “Playing for Jimmy V” team during the annual tournament, but event rules mandate that any team who receives a positive test be disqualified from competing in the bracket any further. Thabeet tested negative for the coronavirus, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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