The Disney World bubble created by the NBA confined players to their hotel rooms for two days, although for McCollum there was seemingly enough to keep him busy. Witnessing players endure the uncomfortable coronavirus testing process has, meanwhile, been a light note to the situation. “Something that made me laugh, seeing people’s reactions to the swab, the Covid test we’ve been doing for a while but it’s always funny to see grown men shedding tears,” said McCollum.
CJ McCollum: "I've enjoyed my time in the hotel room, it was therapeutic. We've all got cellular devices so we were able to reach out to our loved ones. I've got books, I've got video games, I've got wine, so I'm in a good space. Something that will stick with me. I think perspective. You've got a better appreciation for life, especially after you spend 48 hours in your hotel. You appreciate the little things a lot more. You appreciate relationships and situations you're in. You also appreciate outdoors a lot more."
The five-time All-Star believes the league's resumption will expose those who have not been working behind-the-scenes during lockdown. "I've been seeing guys coming in and out, working out hard in the weight room and pretty much staying ready," he said. "Once they let us know when we were going to be playing and what the whole format was everybody took it up a level there and then. When we got out on the floor nobody was out of shape, nobody was moving slow, nobody was bent over the whole time. It felt like everybody did what they should be doing to be ready to come in and hit the ground and go.”
Ira Winderman: Jae Crowder, on Heat's team room at Disney, "That's our safe haven. That's where we all get together and talk it out." Said team watched UFC there on Saturday night. Said having family photos on walls is particularly comforting.
Marc Stein: After an even 120 nights in a row at home -- personal record since 1993 -- it's time to go Bubble ... Seven consecutive days in quarantine without leaving the Walt Disney World room starts later this evening
Mark Medina: About to enter the NBA campus in Orlando. Will be tested this afternoon and then in quarantine for a week 🙏
Taylor Rooks: I’ve officially entered quarantine - among the media members living in the actual bubble. Can’t leave room for 7 days, testing everyday. I’m a little nervous, but the NBA is taking all necessary steps. This is a historic thing to be a part of. Looking forward to sharing content
Eric Koreen: NBA says Clippers, Wizards and Suns all canceled team practices today. No reason given. Can assume they were just days off until told otherwise.
Andrew Greif: Re: no practice today for the Clippers — it’s an off day for players. Some players might get some shots up individually but there’s no organized team practice. It’s expected they’ll be back on the court tomorrow for practice.
Eric Woodyard: Pacers Coach Nate McMillan says there’s no restrictions on how they’re using Victor Oladipo in practices, although he isn’t playing in Orlando. Victor has been on all the practice teams and still playing regularly. “He’s been going hard,” McMillan said.
The NBA is also supporting testing research through partnerships with the Yale School of Public Health and the Mayo Clinic, among others. MLB said it is offering free COVID-19 tests and antibody tests to health care workers and first responders in its home cities. And BioReference said in a news release it is working with MLS to provide antibody tests for the public in Orlando. Despite those good-faith efforts, sports risk losing the battle of perception as long as athletes are receiving multiple tests in a virtual bubble, while citizens in hard-hit areas wait in their cars or long lines for hours, often in vain, for the same test. "I think sports in general will be an easy target to say, why are we doing this?" said Roberts. "But you could say that about a hundred things. You don’t need your nails done. You don’t need your tacos. But those are obviously part of the economy."
Tania Ganguli: To clarify on the Lakers' testing situation, Dwight Howard needs an extra test because he did not travel with the team so that's why he was not available today. Danny Green's test had an error and there should be more clarity on his situation later tonight.
Coach Doc Rivers confirmed Saturday that the Clippers' All-Star forward did arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort as expected after Leonard was excused by the team to tend to a family matter when the Clippers flew to Orlando on Wednesday. "Kawhi, he is here, he is going through the protocol," Rivers said. He will be quarantining for two days.
Mark Berman: Houston graphic artist Terence Tang (@tinlunstudio)designed special shoes for #Rockets guard @Ben McLemore to wear in Orlando: “I’ve wanted to do sneaker art for NBA players for a really long time..To have it convey such a strong & meaningful message,that’s just icing on the cake” pic.twitter.com/aGR9tBRnun
Ohm Youngmisuk: Denver coach Michael Malone said Nikola Jokic "will be in the bubble very very soon and excited to see him." No new arrivals yet today for the Nuggets among those who have yet to make it to Orlando but Malone said he expects a big arrival from Europe shortly.
James Ham: Two of the Kings players who tested positive early on have had two consecutive clean tests and are heading to Orlando. Walton would not confirm who those players are.
Sean Cunningham: De'Aaron Fox, one of the NBA's biggest video gamers, applauded the WiFi efforts in the Orlando bubble environment that was boosted, despite experiencing several lags while playing and the amount of people using it.
“My wife changed my diet a few years ago, and that was huge,’’ Crawford said in explaining his longevity. “And I’m just staying in love with the game. I didn’t turn 40. I turned 20 twice.’’ COVID-19 research states Crawford could be at more risk than his younger mates. Following NBA rules, he is in the middle of a six-day quarantine in Orlando before he can be cleared for practice Wednesday.
Cayleigh Griffin: Tucker says his hotel room is his home for the next 3 months, so he wanted to make it feel as home, which is why he had the 85 inch TV delivered. He said it's "perfect."
Jonathan Feigen: MDA: "Every coach has to be excited now. It's like training camp again." Earlier said, "I'm excited because I know what we can do. And being around these guys is infectious -- no pun intended."
Jovan Buha: Doc Rivers says he doesn’t know the plan with Kawhi Leonard’s minutes and work load yet. He says everyone is fully healthy now. “I think it’ll be different now because of that,” Rivers said.
Mike Trudell: Frank Vogel said “The NBA has done a great job” in getting everything ready for him to be able to prepare his team to play basketball. All of the facilities are as expected for practice/film/hotel and so on.
Mike Trudell: Vogel on getting players ready: “We still have a lot of time. We have to be intelligent with that. Watching our guys work out last week, we put them through some pretty rigourous 1-on-1 work, and they seem to be in decent shape.” (They’re going to get full-court work in today)
Lakers Nation: JaVale McGee on Orlando experience so far: "I just think it's pretty cool this is our first day out of the rooms. Everybody is in good health, good spirits. We're just ready to get back to it."
Shams Charania: Live DJ sets poolside for players on NBA’s Disney campus for the first weekend, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.: - DJ Nasty at Gran Destino/Corondao Springs - DJ Jay R at Grand Floridian - DJ ET at Yacht Club
Kellan Olson: Jevon Carter said the NBA is allowing them to use the court later on at night if they'd like. Players coordinate with staff and such to get that worked out. In no surprise, Carter said he's going back to his room for a quick nap after practice then he will be back tonight.
Tim Reynolds: LeBron James never considered not playing "this beautiful game" and sitting out the restart, even with all that's gone on the world, he just said.
Lakers Nation: LeBron: "Just getting acclimated. We got here Thursday night, went through all the COVID protocols, security protocols, and tonight is our first practice. Looking forward to getting on the floor with my teammates."
Brandon Rahbar: Steven Adams says he can play a few chords on his guitar to keep him entertained, but he can’t compose music. Also mystery solved on what was in the plastic bags: he brought a couple batches of lasagna.
Kelly Oubre: To all my @NBA Bro’s. Postmates delivers to the hotel !!! You just have to go out and meet the delivery person at the hotel entrance. Security will not hold the food for you or help you. Yeah the food wack but we here for a bigger purpose, hope that helps... #Shhh
Thybulle posted a vlog on Saturday of the Sixers’ trip, documenting their flight to Orlando and early hours in quarantine. The players have since cleared the initial mandated quarantine and returned to practice Saturday for the first time since March 10.
Josh Lewenberg: The Raptors just finished their first practice in more than 4 months. Fred VanVleet said they played a bit of 5-on-5. They were a bit rusty, as expected, and will take some time to get their conditioning back, "but other than that everybody looked good"
Ryan Wolstat: Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was thankful everyone passed their tests. Said team looked pretty good. Obviously some rust, but a "really good jumping off point" as a starting point for his team.
Chris Haynes: Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard indeed arrived in Orlando last night for the restart, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
“What we are going to have is a lot of virtual fans, believe it or not,” Gentry said. “It will help the environment in the arena as far as the players and them playing without real fans in the stands. I think the communication part will be a lot of easier because we won’t have the 20,000 fans in the stands. It will be all new to everyone, so we’re just going to have to see.”
Once play resumes July 30, Lonzo Ball said he felt New Orleans will continue being vocal, in part because the conditions will demand it. “It’s going to force us to talk,” Ball said. “There’s no excuses if you don’t hear somebody when it’s just us out there. I do think it will be a little bit different playing with no fans.”
Chris Grenham: The Celtics will have their third practice at noon tomorrow at The Arena, the same venue as today's workout. The Orlando Magic will practice simultaneously at The Arena's other set of practice courts.
Royce Young: Gregg Popovich (71 years old) on if he had any reservations in making the trip to the Orlando bubble, said he felt very assured after speaking with Adam Silver on the precautions: "I don't know where else you would be as safe as we are right now."
Tania Ganguli: The Lakers are in the process of clearing quarantine and will have practice (!) later this afternoon. Their first real practice in four months.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Wizards' rookie Rui Hachimura said he will try to kill some of the free time on campus in Orlando by learning as much as he can about taxes, citing that he has to pay taxes both in Japan and the US. Smart rookie.
Ira Winderman: Erik Spoelstra says a key in Orlando is to plan for the unexpected, "You better be flexible. You can have a great plan." He does not address specific players missing, but said the pandemic makes it essential to have Plan Bs.
Ira Winderman: Andre Iguodala, on NBA restart plan, "You know the NBA is going to make a way, and if they're going to do it, they're going to do it the right way."
Walton said it is expected that all will pass the NBA protocol in place, which includes two negative COVID-19 test results before rejoining the team in Florida. “We’re still in the protocol,” Walton said during a Zoom media session on Friday afternoon. “I’m not going to get into names, I’ll make that a personal decision, but from the travel party, out of the 35 (member travel party for Orlando), we left four people back. From those four, nobody has passed NBA protocol yet to rejoin us, but we are hopeful that some of them are getting close.” It is known that three Kings players have tested positive for coronavirus over the past several weeks. Buddy Hield, Alex Len, Jabari Parker, as well as a fourth unidentified member of the team.
In the meantime, as the Jazz get acclimated to team basketball once again, both Ingles and Mitchell said they’re trying to find ways to settle into a unique situation. “I mean, honestly, for me, it’s like AAU, really. You know, except for the quarantine part. But it’s been like AAU — I’ve been just relaxing, studying film, and just trying to eat as good as I possibly can,” Mitchell said. “… I’m just staying mentally ready, mentally engaged because I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had practice at 6 o’clock every night. It gives you that feeling of an AAU summer camp or a summertime vibe.”
Upon seeing all this and the execution by the NBA in the first three days, Williams is a full-on believer now. “The NBA has gone above and beyond to give us every chance to be successful,” Williams said. “When you get here and see all the stuff, it’s actually pretty impressive.” The coach said Friday was the first day the Suns saw members of other teams around the complex. Some teams, such as the Los Angeles Lakers, just arrived and are still undergoing the quarantining the Suns have already wrapped up. “Today, you didn’t have to be in your hotel room all day,” Williams said. “I got out, walked around the lake.”
While it’s true that the NBA has a likely ally in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, you never quite know where the political winds might shift. A couple of phone calls shuts the NBA’s business down, as so many businesses have been shut down around the country. I had Henry Abbott of TrueHoop on my podcast and he made a point that few others have made: Silver has been fairly politically neutral of late, despite his reputation as the progressive commissioner. The theory Abbott espoused was that this has something to do with the NBA needing allies in government to make this bubble a reality. Many NBA players (and fans) might hate President Donald Trump, but Silver can’t afford to be seen as a Trump enemy right now. As mentioned before, the federal government has the power to undermine the NBA’s operation.
Eric Woodyard: Jazz's Joe Ingles said the first "48 hours sucked" of being in the Orlando bubble. "When you're in the room for a couple months, it's going to get stanky at times." Says he was with his kids/family 48 hours before this, but the protocol leading up to clearance was "frustrating."
Eric Woodyard: Donovan Mitchell says he continues to rely on Dwyane Wade for advice, but this situation is obviously unique in being away in Orlando bubble. When playoffs begin, he doesn't think the runs will mean as much without fans so that'll be a big difference from his other playoff games.
Erik Horne: Chris Paul on the team being back together: “Zoom calls are nice, but it’s nothing like seeing each other. We’ve got a special team. We genuinely love to be around each other. To get out on the court and hoop with each other was a breath of fresh air.”
Royce Young: Chris Paul said he thought the Mavs' balcony dance party was the best social media post he's seen so far: "To see them outside doing that, having a good time, the more we have those type of interactions and experiences I think the better we'll make this."
Jason Anderson: Kings coach Luke Walton says four members of the team's 35-person travel party did not accompany team to Orlando and have not cleared NBA protocols after testing positive for COVID-19. He would not say who, but Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Jabari Parker all confirmed positive tests.
Brandon Rahbar: Danilo Gallinari says guys brought video games. But the coolest thing was Steven Adams bringing his guitar. He says he plays too so they’re gonna play together sometime. We need a zoom call with the Steven Gallo jam session.
Oleh Kosel: Alvin Gentry on whether all the Pelicans who traveled to Orlando tested negative: "Everyone's here. I don't really know the details of everything, but I know all of our guys are here and they're ready to go."
Mike Fisher: Carlisle on 1st #Mavs practice in Orlando Bubble: 'We're gonna have a great attitude about it. Could go down as one of the unique events in sports history. .. Facilities are great. First practice went really well.' DAL will work again Sat at 2p ET.
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.”
Are NBA players' hearts more at risk? "We have no reason to believe that any athlete is at higher risk for a complication and cardiac complications related to the coronavirus than anyone else," DiFiori said. "There's no reason that we know that would suggest that right now."
Jovan Buha: Doc Rivers says the Clippers are bringing 15 players — not 17. Their two two-way players, Amir Coffey and Johnathan Motley, aren’t coming to Orlando.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Montrezl Harrell might be the leader in the NBA clubhouse of what he brought with him to Orlando. Reggie Jackson says Montrezl somehow managed to bring a "portable sauna" with him while Lou Williams has a personal studio.
Christian Clark: Pelicans had their first practice in four months today. Alvin Gentry said he got the go-ahead from the NBA the day New Orleans left for Orlando. "I wish it would've been sooner. It wasn't. I'm here."
Ira Winderman: Goran Dragic just said Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn are not with the team. "Hopefully Bam can come and KNunn and we can be a whole team and make some damage.” Two Heat players remained behind due to COVID testing. Heat did not identify the players left back.
Harrison Wind: More from Paul Millsap: He says he brought his own food and is on his own diet at Disney World. "I'm on like a sardine diet with crackers. So I'm good. I don't really look at the food or whatever they have."
Chris Dempsey: Malone said that due to the team having to close their facilities last week, they lost some time to get players in better condition, so they’ll work on that a lot in Orlando.
Andrew Greif: The Clippers have cleared quarantine in Orlando, a source told @latimessports. They are scheduled to practice later this afternoon.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What’s your biggest concern with the bubble and can the NBA actually pull off a restart successfully? Mark Cuban: Obviously, it’s dealing with all the little details that are required to make it work. There are a lot of moving pieces, but I know how many resources that the NBA has dedicated to making this work. I truly believe that the players and staff will be safer in the bubble than they would be anywhere but in their own homes.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Given that certain players are wearing social justice words on the back of their jerseys, how big of a distraction do you think that could be from the NBA’s restart? Mark Cuban: None. It will be something that people talk about, but once the games start fans are going to be fans and love watching the games and people who are not fans will want to commentate. Players are used to ignoring commentary on social legacy and social media, so I don’t think they are distracted by it at all. Plus, this is such a unique situation, my hope is that the players will become closer and stronger together.
The entire NBA operation sits on a foundation of daily testing and then processing results of those tests quickly. Early in the pandemic, the NBA was concerned about having enough tests to administer that daily regimen. While supply issues appear to have been resolved, processing those tests is not quite as simple.
Unlike Major League Baseball, so far teams have not seen significant delays or problems receiving test results, according to sources that spoke with NBC Sports. But there have been hiccups here and there. In the 24 hours before departure for Orlando, one NBA team had its tests accidentally sent to the wrong lab, according to league sources. The mistake forced the entire team to retake the coronavirus tests later in the day, delaying their trip to Orlando by several hours. “This is the new normal,” said one official of a team dealing with testing blips.
If the on-site clinic can’t handle an NBA-related emergency, does the NBA feel comfortable about taking a bed from someone in the general public? “It’s not so much that everybody who gets COVID is going to die from it,” Rasmussen says, “it’s that when the hospitals are overwhelmed and there’s no place for people to go, more people are going to die that wouldn't have necessarily died otherwise.
October 6, 2022 | 10:34 am EDT Update
Was there a point where you thought about a possible return to the NBA? Have you had offers or contacts with any franchise? Walter Tavares: No, no. I always try to focus where I’m at. Now I’m very comfortable at Real Madrid. I’m developing a lot as a player, enjoying basketball. Whatever comes, it will come later, but now I am focused on helping Real Madrid to the best of my abilities.
How is it possible that the most decisive center on the continent only played 13 games in the NBA? Walter Tavares: I think it was the lack of opportunity. I was practicing and sweating, trying to prove that I could play and have a place there. I haven’t been as lucky as Rudy Gobert, who ended up in the Utah Jazz that trusted him from the beginning. I was unlucky enough to get into a bad team. I was in Atlanta that didn’t compete for the playoffs, and the coach didn’t trust me that much either. It’s not just a question of timing or the time period. I just didn’t have a chance.
Did you feel uncomfortable being there? Walter Tavares: Yes, I did. All the players want to practice, and then look forward to playing. You’re not there to practice all the time and never play. So, you end up getting frustrated and not liking basketball so much because you feel like you can’t take that step further to be able to play, or prove that you can be in this league.
In recent years, the club seems to prefer players who have tried to play in the NBA to those who are eager to leave. By the way, was there something that Luka Doncic wanted to know and asked you before he left? Walter Tavares: Well, he wasn’t asking much. Luka was too calm. I always said that he was born to play basketball. He didn’t need anyone to teach him what to do. He has an incredible talent. I just told him that in the NBA, things are going to be very easy for him with the court vision and the height he has playing as a point guard. Luka has a similar style as LeBron James, who is physically superior than him. But in terms of how they both control and dominate the game, they’re very identical.
Scoot Henderson is the rare American teenager who is not heavily into social media. So when 7-foot-3 basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama boasted Monday that Henderson would be selected No. 1 in the 2023 NBA draft if Wembanyama hadn’t been born, the G League Ignite star missed it for hours. Henderson’s teammates, however, showed him the quote while attending a reception that also included Wembanyama and his Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 team on Monday night, sources at the event said.
Mere moments after Henderson saw the quote, he was scheduled to swap autographed team jerseys with Wembanyama in a ceremony in front of players and coaches from the G League Ignite, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 and G League officials. The uber-competitive Henderson was stone-faced, gave a quick smile for the cameras, swapped jerseys, and didn’t shake hands with Wembanyama before departing on the eve of their highly anticipated televised showdown, sources said. “I don’t listen to that. I don’t pay no mind to that,” Henderson told Andscape of Wembanyama’s quote before Tuesday’s exhibition game. “You can talk all you want. That’s it. No added fuel. I’ve had the same fuel. I was going to come out and kill regardless.”
“We know Victor is going to be top pick as he possesses generational talent and skill,” one NBA general manager told Andscape. “He moves like a small forward. Many teams will be positioning themselves all season to have a shot at drafting him. But Scoot is a very talented player who is more score-first point guard at this stage. “I really like his competitive spirit and he appears to be coachable, which is important for that position. He seems to embrace big moments and challenge. Very good athleticism and strength for a young player. I would like to see him improve his one-on-one defensive focus, given his physical tools.”
How will being part of the Ignite help you off the court when you enter the NBA? Scoot Henderson: I don’t know too much about how guys are off the court stepping into their rookie year coming from college. I feel like the Ignite program is perfect for me to get ready for that. I may be alone, have my family away, shopping on my own. Things like that. It forced me to grow up. It’s easier for me this year. I am not going to say it’s always easy having my family away, since I grew up with family. But it’s getting easier. I am cooking. I can cook a good turkey burger. But they got Uber Eats here and they give us meals.