The league has implemented exhaustive testing procedure…

The league has implemented exhaustive testing procedures for its Disney campus in Orlando, and yet NBA Commissioner Adam Silver concedes it’s “not impermeable.” He even allowed that his concern is increasing, owing to the 10,000 cases Florida just saw in one day. “We’re talking about degrees of risk in all these things, and I think sometimes that gets lost,” said Dr. Lisa Miller, a professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “It’s not like there’s a black-and-white line between you’re either over 65 and you’re at risk or you’re under 65 and you’re not.”

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“If you’re in the bubble and you know you have seven percent of people who are PCR positive, that seems concerning,” Miller said. “If it’s pre-bubble, and you’ve allowed the appropriate amount of time for isolation of those people then I think that’s different.” The NBA has, deliberately, not stated what it would take to call off the restart. “This level of testing and oversight is just so many levels more than any other community that I find it hard to imagine that there will be uncontrolled transmission because they’ll be able to identify it so early,” Miller said, while acknowledging some level of risk associated with just playing basketball. “The concerning thing would be if there was identified person-to-person transmission within the bubble, and they demonstrate that all these safeguards are really not preventing that then I think they’ll have to rethink it.”
WHEN FRANK VOGEL has chatted with the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of traveling to the NBA's campus at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, next week, the conversation has mostly been informational. Players want clarity about how restrictive the so-called bubble will be -- for instance, under what circumstances, if any, can they leave? The coach is asking his players to treat such matters as they would best practices for any other element of being a professional.
Returning players need to reestablish peak fitness as quickly as possible, but working into shape too quickly could risk injury. A playoff team must be able to leverage its talents in creative, unpredictable ways -- but being too creative before players have a chance to review the basics might generate more confusion than success. Coaches and players mostly want to return to normality as quickly as possible -- but what if trying to approximate normality only places more emphasis on the abnormal? "We are creatures of habit, and our environment has been shaken up," Vogel said. "It's really going to be a balancing act."
You’re still a free agent right now and you are eligible to be a replacement player when the NBA season resumes in Orlando. Have you had any conversations with teams about the possibility of getting signed as a replacement player? Raymond Felton: I think my agent has, man. But, to me, I’m up in the air about that whole situation because we don’t have this coronavirus thing under control. I have a family, I have kids, and I have other things to worry about. Do I want to play basketball? Yes, I love basketball. I’ve been out for a whole year, so I definitely want to play and I definitely want to be on somebody’s roster. I want to help out, being that leader in the locker room and on the court and playing my role. But it’s kind of hard when six more guys just had a positive test, so we’re talking about more and more guys every week who are coming up positive when tested. Now, you’re going to put everyone together all in one place and play these games? To me, man, it’s just not safe. I ain’t no expert on this. But, in my opinion, it’s not safe. I’m just not 100-percent comfortable with playing right now because it’s not okay. The cases are steady going up. And they’re going to Florida, which is one of the worst places to go at this moment! I don’t know, man. It’s kind of tough for me. I do want to play. I do love to play basketball, and I’m ready to play and want to play. But it’s a tough situation right now, man. It really is.
You’re still a free agent right now and you are eligible to be a replacement player when the NBA season resumes in Orlando. Have you had any conversations with teams about the possibility of getting signed as a replacement player? Raymond Felton: I think my agent has, man. But, to me, I’m up in the air about that whole situation because we don’t have this coronavirus thing under control. I have a family, I have kids, and I have other things to worry about. Do I want to play basketball? Yes, I love basketball. I’ve been out for a whole year, so I definitely want to play and I definitely want to be on somebody’s roster. I want to help out, being that leader in the locker room and on the court and playing my role. But it’s kind of hard when six more guys just had a positive test, so we’re talking about more and more guys every week who are coming up positive when tested. Now, you’re going to put everyone together all in one place and play these games? To me, man, it’s just not safe. I ain’t no expert on this. But, in my opinion, it’s not safe. I’m just not 100-percent comfortable with playing right now because it’s not okay. The cases are steady going up. And they’re going to Florida, which is one of the worst places to go at this moment! I don’t know, man. It’s kind of tough for me. I do want to play. I do love to play basketball, and I’m ready to play and want to play. But it’s a tough situation right now, man. It really is.
From my understanding, his two week quarantine is almost done. Before he leaves Serbia, he’ll need two negative tests. And once he returns, he’ll need to test negative again. If he gets to Orlando on time, he’d have about two weeks before inter-squad scrimmages begin. Those three scrimmages would precede the seeding games.
Brian Lewis: Joe Harris is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. But he said he never really considered sitting out the #NBA restart due to COVID-19, and any risk it presented to his health and next contract, which should be the biggest of his career. #Nets

https://twitter.com/SerenaWinters/status/1278729904494981123
As coronavirus cases rise in different regions across the United States, commissioner Adam Silver has made clear that the league is monitoring the numbers as it prepares to head for Orlando. Silver has described to league executives on conference calls recently that his goal is for the Disney World campus to be the safest place in the U.S. “We have confidence in the plan that we’ve built,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told players and teams on a call this week, according to sources. “It was designed for this.”
Melli was also concerned that if he left the United States, he may not be able to return to America for the NBA’s resumption, due to travel restrictions. Fortunately, he indicated that none of his family members or friends contracted the coronavirus. “Everybody was affected from this virus,” Melli said. “Luckily all of my family and friends were healthy and are still healthy. I feel very lucky about it. It was a tough period (this spring).”
Mike Vorkunov: Patrick Ewing told SiriusXM NBA Radio he's feeling good after recovering from COVID-19. Said he had a fever, weakness, and shortness of breath. "I was doing everything that was being said — wearing my mask, social distance, keep away from others — and I still caught it."
One day in mid-May, the NBA emailed. They wanted to talk. Robby Sikka, vice president of basketball performance and technology for the Minnesota Timberwolves and a physician, sent the note, sparking a month of Zoom meetings and collaborative calls that occasionally stretched into the early hours of morning. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association — busy plotting out the logistics of a potential return to competition — soon hatched a plan with Yale researchers to verify their saliva-based test, which is called SalivaDirect.
Frequent testing — and the infrastructure to support it — presents an enticing research opportunity for scientists. The partnership allows NBA players, coaches and staff who opt-in to supplement their required testing regimen with an extra step that will help bring SalivaDirect closer to public use. Grubaugh said that their team is preparing to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration with the goal of making the test ready for public use by as early as mid-July. Comparing saliva test results to those that originate from the NBA’s regular testing will help validate the effectiveness of SalivaDirect.
When play resumes a month from now at Walt Disney World, NBA players will have the option of wearing an Oura Ring. The rings track heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature and sleep patterns. The hope is that they can be an additional line of defense against the spread of COVID-19.
Axios spoke with Oura CEO Harpreet Singh Rai to learn more about the product and why the NBA sought them out as a partner. How does this technology work? "Put simply, we help people understand and improve their health by focusing on better sleep. Consumers are given three scores: sleep, activity and readiness. And it's that readiness score that's really meant to tell users how they're feeling. The most important data we collect is temperature, which we can capture on the finger, but you don't see it on the wrist. That's one of the key reasons why the NBA isn't partnering with, say, Apple or Whoop."
How will you handle privacy concerns? Harpreet Singh Rai: "We're working with the NBA, NBPA, Excel Sports and CAA to make sure everyone feels comfortable. Think about it — we're tracking sleep, so a coach could ostensibly see that a player only got two hours of sleep the night before a game and decide not to start him. To ensure that doesn't happen, most of the data isn't being shared. The league and union only see something called a Risk Score, which combines heart rate, heart rate variability, temperature and respiratory rate. If the Risk Score is high enough, a team doctor is alerted and can test the player.”
Fournier believes the NBA's safety protocols, which also include regular testing, should offer enough protection. "For the NBA to take such a risk by resuming the season, the measures will be maximum," Fournier said. "They will make our lives easier so that we do not have to ask questions and make us feel safe every day." Fournier is also reassured by NBA pledges to subject Disney World staff to additional testing. "That's good," he said. "Honestly at first, the measures planned for them were nonsense."
Melissa Rohlin: Rob Pelinka said the goal of the restart is: "Can we create an environment there that is safer than an environment just in the real world." He added that the spikes in Florida are "daunting." "But the whole purpose of creating this environment is not have the virus be there."
Harrison Faigen: Rob Pelinka on the central question facing the restart. "Can we create an environment there that is safer than the real world?" He says that he has "a high level of confidence" in the plans from the NBA. He says they'll also continually gauge how comfortable their players are.
Even prior to these positive tests, some Nets players -- like others on several NBA teams -- discussed the possibility of sitting out the restart in Orlando, sources said. As the Nets lose more players, it perhaps becomes easier for other key players to decide that there isn't a compelling competitive reason to travel and play.
Even prior to these positive tests, some Nets players -- like others on several NBA teams -- discussed the possibility of sitting out the restart in Orlando, sources said. As the Nets lose more players, it perhaps becomes easier for other key players to decide that there isn't a compelling competitive reason to travel and play.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Two Brooklyn Nets have tested positive for the coronavirus -- Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie. Jordan has opted-out of Orlando, and Dinwiddie is strongly considering the same. Nets will sign a substitute for Jordan, per sources. Nets are presently the seventh seed in East.
“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive. Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando. “Hindsight is 20/20.”
VanVleet is cut from a different cloth, though, and he cannot fake it, nor does he have any desire to do so. The Raptors are the only team meeting away from their home base, given Canada’s 14-day quarantine rule, and since the league’s restart will take place on the Disney campus in Orlando, they felt it best to meet beforehand in nearby Naples. On Saturday, Florida reported a record 9,585 new cases of COVID-19. “It sounded good a month or two ago,” VanVleet said on Monday about the league’s planned return to play. “Not so much right before we got ready to leave.”
The Raptors have made their settings in Naples as safe as possible, training at Florida Gulf Coast University in small groups and living in a hotel that opened only for the Raptors, and will house only the Raptors for the duration of their stay until next week, when they head to Orlando. VanVleet said he was the first player to arrive, and it was very strange being one of only five or so people staying in a hotel. The Raptors have 45 people in Naples, with only 37 of them allowed in the bubble in Orlando.
Ujiri and VanVleet said everyone is wearing masks indoors when not in their individual rooms. Players and staff are being tested for COVID-19 approximately every other day or so. Routines are different for everybody, but the idea is that those routines will become normal after enough repetition. VanVleet’s currently consists of waking up early — he works out early in morning — and heading back to his room where he plays plenty of video games, video chats with his family, and picks up the dinner provided for him. VanVleet said he is planning to have his family enter the bubble when it becomes possible, after the first round of the playoffs at the start of September, but he will re-evaluate that plan after having been in the Disney campus for some time. “I’ve been gone a week and I miss my kids already,” VanVleet said.
“It sucks. It sucks, man. It’s terrible timing. But that’s been 2020 for us,” VanVleet said. “We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense. But life goes on. We’re all young, Black guys. None of us want to give any money (from their salaries) back. I don’t think that we should. I think that money can be used in a number of different ways. This is not going to end this summer regardless, or over the next couple of months. This issue, racial injustice, social injustice, police brutality, all these things are not ending anytime soon. Our fight is long term. That was part of my decision. But if the league, or more of my guys would have come together and said we didn’t want to play, I would have sat out as well. I wouldn’t have even fought it. I think most of us decided to play. It’s something we’ll have to live with. I trust that my heart’s in the right place and I’m doing enough to make change.”
Cuban: “I hope for the NBA and I hope not for other sports, for obvious reasons. I’ve always been a proponent of starting on Christmas Day because that’s when we go to broadcast television. Whether it’s Christmas Day or possibly a little earlier, because part of the thought process is hopefully there’s a vaccine by then, and I’m one of these people that’s very confident that there will be. The science geek in me just reading it thinks that it’s highly likely that there will be. Now the question is the distribution of it and the more time we buy for distribution of the vaccine, the more likely when we start next season there’s an opportunity to not just have some fans but more fans than we otherwise might expect.”
Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler has informed the team that he is opting out of playing in Orlando, Florida. Chandler cited spending more time with his family -- particularly his grandmother, who raised him, and three children -- as the primary reason for sitting out. The Nets will be allowed by the league to add a player to take Chandler's spot.
Rod Beard: NBPA executive director Michele Roberts on positive tests for 16 of 302 players tested: "I'm relieved the number was not higher." Silver: "I was relieved the number came in roughly where we expected it." He says none of the 16 was seriously ill.
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.
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
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September 26, 2022 | 8:22 am EDT Update

Russell Westbrook: 'I'm not even close to being done'

The Los Angeles Lakers star guard Russell Westbrook is confident that he’s nowhere close to running out of steam. “I’m not even close to being done,” Westbrook said. “I’m super grateful and blessed to be able to go compete year after year, and that’s all I can do is prepare myself, my mind, my body for as long as I play.”
He is set to enter this final year of his current five-year contract that he signed with the Timberwolves back in 2018. During a media day press conference Wiggins was asked about his contract situation going into the 2022-2023 season. “It doesn’t really weigh in a lot. I play basketball and I just let my agents whatever all that. My plan is just to hoop and then whatever happens, happens,” the former number one draft pick said. “I know my agents and the team probably have a plan or something. Right now I’m just focused on the season of what’s coming ahead.”
If Scariolo could bring somebody from his EuroBasket 2022 winning roster, considering how Virtus Bologna looks like this year, he wouldn’t have doubts. “Taking into account the needs and characteristics of our club, perhaps Juancho Hernangomez would be the icing on the cake, the perfect fit”, he said. “Emotionally and technically, any of those players, knowing their ability to make something positive, even if not necessarily all with a lot of talent, I know that they could enter with productivity in a team like ours. But speaking of any need to the role, surely it would be Juancho”, he added about the rest of the current Spanish roster.
In a recent press conference, the 21-year-old got brutally honest about how therapy helped him get through some of his darkest days. He was continuously rehabbing his knee, but at the same time, he also had to take care of his mental health (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter): “Just to be vulnerable for a second… I did go to therapy a lot just to express my thoughts and my feelings and how I felt, because it was a hard time for me, especially going through that injury,” Wiseman said. “I love basketball so much, I just want to be out there with my team. When I wasn’t out there, it was very hard for me.”
Fournier was invited to the show En Aparte on Canal +, where he didn’t mince words on how he felt about the EuroBasket’s outcome for France. “When you work so hard for that gold medal and you get the silver, or the bronze, I take it as an insult,” the captain of the French team said. “When I receive this medal, when I put it around my neck, it sends me straight back to failure. It’s hard and I want to get rid of it,” he added, before clarifying that his gesture “isn’t a sign of disrespect at all.”