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He’s an NBPA vice president, but he’s also one of the players who has to figure out personal logistics of getting ready to play and stay in Orlando, for what the Blazers hope will be a long time. “You’re trying to get your life in order while still working out, while still training, and figuring out like what do I pack? Despite all the logistics, McCollum feels confident the NBA is trying to do everything they can to protect players as they return to play. “I think the NBA is trying to make it as safe as possible, trying to cross their t’s and dot their i’s and this is as smooth as it can be.”
McCollum believes the impact the NBA and it’s players, about 70% of whom are black or people of color, can return to play and create the change they want to see in the world. “I think there’s a way in which we go about it that we can impact society, more specifically black people and people of color in a positive light,” McCollum said. “Being able to use our platform, understanding there’s going to be millions and millions of people watching and that’s going to give us a great opportunity to put light on things, like voter suppression, like the inequality a lot of blacks are facing right now.”
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 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.
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.

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Storyline: Orlando Bubble
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July 10, 2020 | 9:00 pm EDT Update
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As NBA teams get situated in the Orlando bubble, one question that has persisted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is not only what happens if a player tests positive for the virus but also what lingering effects might follow. “There are unknown effects it has on lung capacity, unknown effects it has on cardiac health,” said one NBA general manager of a team entering the bubble, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “What if a 24-year-old catches it in Orlando and, in 14 days, he quarantines and is fine, but then he has these everlasting heart problems? [Or he] gets winded so easily, or he becomes a little bit too susceptible to fatigue. …These are all the unknowns.”
Each case will be handled based on its own needs, but John DiFiori, the NBA’s Director of Sports Medicine, told ESPN that the timeline for any player to return from a confirmed positive case is at least two weeks. “Everyone needs to understand that if someone were to test positive, it’s quite likely that they won’t return to the court for a minimum of two weeks — minimum,” said DiFiori, who is also the Chief of Primary Sports Medicine and attending physician at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery. “It may be even a little longer than that, depending on the individual circumstances, and then you need some time to get reconditioned.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot and killed by Louisville police executing a search warrant on March 13. Nearly four months later, the three police officers involved in Taylor’s death haven’t been arrested. Athletes across the country have been calling for justice for Taylor, including Warriors superstar Steph Curry. On Friday, while playing in the American Century Championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Curry wore special shoes that honored the memory of Taylor.
Curry was asked about his tribute to Taylor during NBCSN’s broadcast. “Obviously not to forget to Breonna Taylor in terms of finding justice for her,” Curry said. “As life goes on, we’re all using our platform to shed light on the injustices going on and I wanted to use this opportunity to celebrate her life and try to continue the impact everyone is trying to have in terms of continuing this meaningful conversation of how we make change for ourselves, the next generation and our kids.”

July 10, 2020 | 7:26 pm EDT Update
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July 10, 2020 | 5:18 pm EDT Update
Woodson, 62, the former Knicks head coach, is among several candidates who’ve met with team brass via video conference. Woodson, like frontrunner Tom Thibodeau, has a connection to team president Leon Rose and top Knicks executive William Wesley because they represented him at CAA as agents. It’s possible that Woodson, who owns the highest winning percentage of a Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy, is hired as an assistant if he’s bypassed for the top job.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
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