While the Pacers have been more than generous with Oladipo by allowing him to govern his recovery from right knee surgery, the NBA, a league source told IndyStar, has taken issue with the optics of a seemingly healthy player sitting out while in the “bubble” as other players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Trevor Ariza, Avery Bradley and Davis Bertans have forfeited salary by opting out because of COVID-19, child care issues and injury concerns.
A league source told IndyStar two months ago that Oladipo wouldn’t participate in the restart. That changed, however, as the opt-in date grew closer. Another league source said he’d “definitely” play. That quickly shifted again when Oladipo voiced concerns about re-injury while McMillan and president Kevin Pritchard gushed over how good he looked in individual workouts when the team regrouped in Indianapolis following a four-month stoppage.
Spending an extended stretch away from home during the summer, while unprecedented as part of an NBA season, isn’t exactly a foreign concept for those with USA Basketball experience like the Olympics and the World Cup. Plenty of players and coaches at Walt Disney World see parallels between those experiences and this challenge. “I had that opportunity to work with the Olympic team and preparation was very similar to what we’re going through here,” said McMillan, who was an assistant under Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski on the USA Basketball staff from 2006 through 2012. “Having a training camp, basically, at a hotel and getting ready for a 45- to 60-day season. … We’re going to have three scrimmage games, eight so-called regular season games and then we’re in the playoffs so it’s very similar to preparing to play for the gold medal.”
Pacers center Myles Turner was with the U.S. team that competed in China last summer at the World Cup, a group that spent more than seven weeks together between training camp, exhibition games in the U.S. and Australia, and then the tournament itself. The Pacers have clinched a playoff spot, so they’re assured of spending at least seven weeks at Disney this summer. It’s another long summer for Turner, and he’s not complaining. “There is a lot of similarity in how it’s set up, but for me personally, I just think that it’s a great time for everybody to kind of stay focused,” Turner said. “There’s no distractions. Everybody’s locked in and focused. So, there’s really not a lot that can go wrong in a basketball sense.”
Players who have been through the World Cup or Olympic grinds agree that there’s a level of familiarity with this sort of schedule and situation. “It helps tremendously,” said Toronto guard Kyle Lowry, who was part of the U.S. gold-medal-winning team at the Olympics in 2016. “In Rio it was a lot more strict and tighter because we were living on a boat. That experience was pretty awesome. … But living on a boat, to be in a smaller room and not have as many amenities it really kind of prepared me for this.”
Amid concerns among teams over the potential for false positives impacting players returning from COVID-19, the NBA on Wednesday updated its protocols to add an antibody test for players and staff who have recovered from the virus, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. Because people who have recovered from COVID-19 can still have dead virus cells in their system be detected by tests, the league has now included the antibody test as part of its protocol for players and staff returning from the virus, according to the memo, obtained by ESPN.
As the league has resumed play inside the league's bubble at Walt Disney World Resort, teams have worried about the potential for prominent players to have false positive tests -- particularly during the postseason, sources told ESPN. On a recent call with the league's general managers, the question of what would happen if a false positive test takes place on a game day was raised to the league, sources said. At least one player who contracted COVID-19, recovered and was subsequently cleared to travel to Orlando had registered several negative tests in Orlando and cleared quarantine upon arrival but later tested positive, sources said.
In the latest ‘What's In Your Glass,' comedian and actor Mike Epps joined Melo to talk basketball, movies, the state of the world, how basketball has evolved, and how Melo has returned to play feeling good. Epps is just like the rest of us: He wanted to know what the vibe has been like in the Orlando Bubble. "We can't call it a bubble no more, it's a campus," Melo joked.
It's like a Summer League... It's like a big ass AAU tournament down here. It's like an upscale AAU tournament down here. But, it's good because everybody – all the players is all on one campus. Even though we can't go to other hotels at the moment, but we making it due. The first couple of days was tough because we had to quarantine… But now you practicing, you playing, you're going through the day-to-day grind. -- Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony on what it's like in the Orlando Bubble
Anthony mentioned that having a four-month layoff due to the global pandemic actually has him feeling a certain way: Your body feels fresh. Your body and your mind feel fresh. Other than that everything else is – it is what it is… As long as you keep working and doing what you're doing, just sharpening your craft, you've got to keep your mind and your body right at the end of the day. -- Carmelo Anthony
Ira Winderman: Breaking Heat news from Disney quarantine from Erik Spoelstra, "Staff's been doing a lot of fishing." Says he plans to join in soon.
The policy will protect the NBA from interruptions like weather-related or structural problems that prevent buildings from operating. It will also cover incidents involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from services and operations, CNBC has learned. But the policy will not cover the cost of expenses associated with the bubble, which amount to more than $150 million. The estimated to cost for a league-approved individual to attend the bubble is $60,000, according to a person will knowledge of the NBA’s planning.
If the NBA insured a league event in normal times, like a general policy valued at $100 million, it would pay a premium of roughly $500,000 or more, experts tell CNBC. But during this pandemic, premiums have increased.
Lori Nickel: Brook said that these are unique and abnormal circumstances. But the team chemistry is so good with the @Milwaukee Bucks that they want to hang out with each other / doesn’t sound like guys need to reach out to other guys in the week during downtime. 2
Lori Nickel: Of course, BroLo are the leading sources for the bucks on giving advice of where to go out and where to go on campus. Working with an NBA liaison to check for availability. The twin brothers - as we all know - are huge @Disney fans
Lori Nickel: Most interesting to me was Donte DiVincenzo saying he wouldn’t use that NBA hotline/snitch line. He trusts the NBA, the protocols and the self policing and really doesn’t want to get into reporting on other teams. Florida is of course seeing high numbers of hospitalizations 4
J. Michael Falgoust: Oladipo on why he made an announcement prematurely that he was out: "I didn't feel as if I would be capable of playing. I was always going to come to the bubble." #Pacers
J. Michael Falgoust: Oladipo on discussions with league about his getting paid if he doesn't play in Orlando: "I haven't talked to them. I don't have any control of that. I'm just focused on my knee" #Pacers
Pete Pranica: Gorgui Dieng says he's very confident with how the @Memphis Grizzlies are playing in camp. He also thinks the bubble is safer than the country at large.
Marc J. Spears: Blazers hosting a 30th birthday party in the bubble to celebrate @Damian Lillard big milestone tonight. Sources say there will also be other bubbles in Cristal as well as Crown Royal and the bday menu includes such favorites as lemon pepper wings and short ribs.Others surprises too
Tim Bontemps: Nate McMillan says Victor Oladipo has been clear from the beginning that he wanted to come to Orlando and continue working with the team. "That's the plan, and that's what we're doing now."
J. Michael Falgoust: McMillan on Oladipo: "He's been looking good. He's been working extremely hard ... He's a guy that just puts in his work, his time. ... He's been working hard." #Pacers
Marc Stein: Orlando's James Ennis III disclosed that he recently tested positive for the coronavirus but has recovered and, after gaining clearance, practiced today for the first time with the Magic
Josh Robbins: On a Zoom call with reporters, James Ennis III said he was the Magic player who tested positive for COVID-19. Ennis said he had a headache for 4-5 days and some nausea. Ennis said he's feeling well, and he practiced today for the first time in the bubble.
The Suns denied the notion that Oubre was out for Orlando as previously reported and spoke on him continuing to rehab back from meniscus surgery in early March. Oubre spoke for the first time since the surgery on Tuesday and said from Orlando his status is not up to him. “Health status is up to the staff,” he said. “I feel fine.
Head coach Monty Williams elaborated on where Oubre’s currently at. “There’s so many benchmarks for a guy like that coming off of a surgery,” he said Tuesday. “He’s totally healed, his body looks great but there’s still some things he would have to be comfortable doing. We would have to be comfortable based on our medical staff giving him the OK. But he looks great.”
Malika Andrews: Per league memo to teams obtained by ESPN, the NBA is addressing concerns about players who have recovered from COVID and continue to test positive. Teams have been concerned about false positive tests possibly sidelining healthy players.
Josh Robbins: Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz has arrived at the NBA bubble at Disney and has begun his quarantine, a league source said. Fultz did not join his teammates when they entered the bubble on July 7 in order to attend to a personal (non-COVID) matter.
So it should come as no surprise that the Miami Heat forward didn’t let quarantining in his hotel room upon arriving at the NBA’s Disney World bubble get in the way of his practice routine. TNT and Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reported that last week, when there was a complaint about thumping coming from one room in the Heat hotel. When security found the room and knocked on the door, there was “Jimmy Butler, drenched in sweat with practice gear on from head to toe. He was dribbling a basketball throughout his room.”
Marc Stein: James Harden has arrived at Walt Disney World tonight and will have to isolate and register three consecutive negative tests for COVID-19 before he is cleared to join the Rockets
Mark Berman: Mike D’Antoni on James Harden arriving at the NBA’s 2Bubble in Orlando: “Really happy that James is here. Now we’ll just wait for the team to be completely whole with Russell (Westbrook) & Luc Mbah a Moute (arriving).Good 1st step.I’m just really glad that James is here.” #Rockets
Eric Woodyard: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert on using anonymous hotline: “I don’t know if someone’s gonna use it.” He says it’s more about respect and making sure guys socialize while respecting each other’s space.
Eric Woodyard: Jazz guard Mike Conley also says guys have went through enough training in regards to safety precautions in the Orlando bubble, so he hasn’t thought about using the anonymous hotline. “At this point, we’ve got to trust each other,” Conley says.
Royce Young: Blazers guard Anfernee Simons on the so-called "snitch line" getting some recent tips: "Me personally, I didn't see anything. So I'm not going to tell on nobody ... If I see somebody trying to sneak out I wouldn't say anything."
So, how is the former Warriors forward approaching the "bubble" at Disney World? "It's not really a different type of environment," the 2015 NBA Finals MVP said Saturday after practice. "The majority of the league comes from low to middle-class income families. We played in worse conditions. Obviously the NBA and every team should be giving all the players all the resources they need. "It's just getting the mental side right, making the most of the moment and putting forth the mental and physical effort to keep our game in a healthy place ... we're doing it as a collective. We're competing on the court, but hopefully the players are getting a chance to interact and keep each other in a good mental space."
Marc Stein: I am scheduled to be here until early September, before a handoff to my colleague Scott Cacciola. Of course, as we all know by now, planning in 2020 tends to be futile. So especially in these early stages, for me as much as anyone, bubble life is probably best approached day-to-day.
Marc Stein: According to the rules in the N.B.A.’s corner of Disney World, no one is allowed inside the 314-square-foot room I am restricted to through Sunday. So I slid a chair up to the doorway to receive a swab of each nostril and my throat. The sticks were snapped and placed in a tube, then stored in a crate to take back to the lab. The swabs, roughly five hours after I checked in, took less than a minute. I took my second coronavirus test Monday night, nearly 24 hours later, even before I had a result confirmed from the first. But the end goal remains unchanged: I need a week’s worth of negative results from daily tests to gain full entry into what everyone refers to as the N.B.A. bubble — even though league officials, as Commissioner Adam Silver put it last week, acknowledge that it is better described as a campus because it is by no means “hermetically sealed.”
Mark Medina: Luke Walton's message to Richaun Holmes for leaving the bubble: "There are strict rules and we know what they are. If we mess up, it doesn't just affect the individual, it affects the whole group. Hopefully we learned our lesson once, and it doesn't happen again."
Salman Ali: Austin Rivers on difficulty of being in the bubble: "I'm losing my mind a little bit. This has been very difficult for me. I'm 20 minutes from my home... That's where my girl is, my family is... It feels like I'm home, but I'm not home."
Shams Charania: Multiple tips have been placed into the NBA’s anonymous hotline to report protocol violations on campus, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Shams Charania: Kings forward Harrison Barnes says he has tested positive for coronavirus, is in quarantine and will join the team in Orlando when he clears.
Anderson went on the Virginia basketball podcast “J Willy Show” on Monday and accepted congratulations on joining the Nets. Granted, they haven’t signed him yet; but considering he gets daily practice updates from Joe Harris and is reportedly the replacement for Wilson Chandler, it strains credulity to think a deal isn’t in the offing. “I just got to Orlando (Sunday), following protocol. I had a negative test, waiting on the next result. I have to get another one,” said Anderson, 27, currently quarantining in an Orlando-area hotel.
“Very strict protocol, but it’s all worth it just to make sure entering the bubble everything is clean and clear for everybody who’s already in there, and myself as well. So I’m back in Orlando right now.” Anderson spent most of the season in the G League, first with Toronto’s affiliate Raptors 905 and then with the Long Island Nets. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.6 rebounds to earn All-NBA G League honors, and even got a 10-day contract with Brooklyn.
Marc Stein: Tim Duncan will not be here at Walt Disney World on the Spurs' bench ... The team says Duncan, in his first season as an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich, stayed in San Antonio with a few Spurs medical and performance staffers to supervise LaMarcus Aldridge's injury rehab
Stadium: A source tells our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania that Rockets star James Harden is feeling fine, working out and may travel with Russell Westbrook to Orlando when Westbrook clears from coronavirus.
Lakers Nation: Frank Vogel has said the #Lakers will cautiously push players during this ramp-up period. Team had three consecutive days with practice and now are off today.
Myles Turner: Contrary to popular belief bubble life ain’t half bad. Don’t get me wrong I catch myself staring at the ceiling a couple times a day ?? and the meals ain’t what we accustom too, but overall the set up is straight. Strictly bussiness. The effort put In is greatly appreciated!
SiriusXM NBA Radio: Bradley Beal's agent, Mark Bartelstein tells @TermineRadio & @Jumpshot8 what went into @RealDealBeal23's decision to not play in the #NBA bubble. https://t.co/OusvofvBO4
Lydecia Holmes: You only cross the line for your MOMA’s COOKING! AND I WAS NOT IN FLORIDA SIR!! #lol @Rich_Holmes22 . Love you baby!
"Guys make mistakes. The Postmates -- you learn," Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside said Monday, referring to the popular online delivery service. "I think more mistakes made as we go on, but guys are learning what you can and can't do. This is new to everybody. So it's a learning lesson."
Denver Nuggets guard Troy Daniels posted two images of his meal to his Instagram story when he first arrived inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World last Tuesday. The post immediately went viral as social media jokes were made comparing the entrees to the meals “Fyre Fest” distributed. “It’s actually not that bad man, to be honest with you,” Daniels tells ClutchPoints from inside the bubble. “I think my picture that went viral really took everything out of context.” He then went on to explain how he really feels about the bubble. “You can tell the NBA put a lot of thought and a lot of money into it,” Daniels said. “Once you get out of the quarantine process, it’s really dope.”
As NBA players arrive at games during resumed play in Orlando, they will have the freedom to wear clothing from their own wardrobes while walking from the team bus to the venue's locker rooms, according to a league spokesperson. Initially, ESPN was misinformed by a league spokesperson that a "concrete" dress code protocol had been finalized last week, requiring players to fully dress for games in their hotel rooms and "be in uniform and warmups when they arrive" to the game venue.
Andrews is one of only 10 or so “Group 1” reporters who will be admitted to the NBA bubble, which started welcoming 22 teams last week to restart the suspended season by July 31. Andrews admits she thought twice about the assignment. Reporters must agree to stay inside the bubble for three months. They must undergo daily COVID-19 testing. They can only move between their hotel and the practice and competition venues. But Andrews seized on the chance to tell the story of the NBA comeback to millions of global basketball fans. “I’m not going to lie. I was nervous. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. I have bouts with anxiety,” said Andrews. “But first and foremost, I cover sports. I love journalism first. And sports journalism is what I do. This is an incredible journalistic opportunity. There are only 10 reporters and a handful of other folks who are going to be able to experience this and document it first-hand. It’s documenting history.”
“I keep getting asked if I’m bored? The answer is absolutely not. There’s so much reporting to be done; my days are just packed,” she said. Andrews said she has also taken up meditation to remain on an even keel.
Boban Marjanovic ( @BobanMarjanovic ) and Tobias Harris ( @tobias31 ) are reunited in Orlando! Tobias ( @tobias31 ) wasn’t having any of it though, telling Boban ( @BobanMarjanovic ) - “I don’t like you no more. You got new friends now.”
Harrison Faigen: Kyle Kuzma on why he brought a panini press to the bubble: "I brought that after I saw the pictures of what they were serving here. I just wanted to eat comfortably during the self-quarantine portion of things."
Harrison Faigen: Kyle Kuzma said he hasn't really been taking part in the bubble entertainment options. "There's nothing but basketball for me here. I'm not really interested in doing a lot of other things."
Cayleigh Griffin: Coach D'Antoni clarifies that he is hoping the players who did not make the flight will be in Orlando mid-week. He says there is a good chance, but he cannot say for sure. He noted that they will be ready to go, nonetheless, and excited to be back on the floor playing. #Rockets
Scott Agness: Oladipo is practicing each day, even scrimmaging. He hasn’t had any setbacks and was able to rehab during the last four months. His concern for another injury with just one year under contract is real. But he has time - more than a month - to try to ramp up for the playoffs.
Shams Charania: There is growing belief Pacers star Victor Oladipo will attempt to play in the NBA’s restarted season after multiple strong team practices in Orlando, sources inside the bubble tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Andrew Greif: Rodney McGruder: "The bubble's unique but it's been pretty exciting" being together again. During the hiatus, Rodney said he watched a lot of film.
Shams Charania: Sources: Two NBA players have tested positive out of the 322 tested on NBA campus on July 7.
Chris Haynes: Of the 322 players tested for Covid-19 since arriving on July 7, two players tested positive, the league announces. pic.twitter.com/MMatWQUbkd
Lowry is certainly going to give it. In all matters. As a member of the players’ association competition committee, he worked with the league in setting up every facet of life for the 22 teams that are now gathered near Orlando for the resumption of the suspended season later this month. He was involved in developing testing protocols, scheduling, what is allowed and what’s not, and has made it clear to his teammates how important that is. He is the franchise’s conduit to a healthy existence.
“It was interesting to come up with some of the concepts and to talk that over, and understand (not just) what we’re trying to do but how we’re trying to do it, and make sure that it’s done the right way for all the players, coaches, and it’s (as safe as) we possibly can do it,” Lowry said in his first group interview since the league suspended the season in March.
“I think that we’ve done a good job so far with the safety aspects, the health aspects. I think there’s definitely going to be some adjustments that need to be made, but that’s the one thing about our league and our professionals, is that we make adjustments on the fly and we’re able to.”
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant called out those players that took issue with the conditions, saying that he wasn’t a “silver spoon guy” and that the options have been fine. Redick agreed with that assessment on Sunday during his media availability with reporters. "Getting outside and golfing yesterday was key. The bubble life has been fine. I think Ja Morant said it best: The hotel is fine, the food is fine, everything is fine. We’re here to play basketball, to further our mission. We have a responsibility and a job to do. It’s fine."
Chris Haynes: Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris, forwards Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig have not made the trip to Walt Disney World, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
His path from experiencing poverty in Greece to becoming a multimillionaire MVP included sacrifice, which he refuses to lose sight of despite his current status. "I'm in a situation where I'm extremely blessed and I cannot complain. Obviously, it doesn't matter where you are in life, there's always something to complain, there's always a problem and an issue," Antetokounmpo said. "But I try to kind of not focus on that. So as I said, my apartment in Greece, when I was younger, with my four brothers, was way smaller than the suite that I have in the hotel, so I'm just trying to enjoy the moment.
"This is something special," he continued. "Hopefully, this pandemic never happens again so we never are able to come back in the campus, but at the end of the day, this is part of history, so just being able to be here, participate in this, I'm just trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy every moment, trying to enjoy basketball. I'm happy that we're back playing basketball, something that I love doing, so there's nothing really to complain about." Even before entering the NBA's campus at Walt Disney World, Antetokounmpo said he thought "this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win" because of the circumstances. He jokingly admitted that he "sucked" during the Bucks' first five-on-five scrimmage at Monday's practice but thinks everyone will shake the initial rust once the ball is tipped for real competition.
Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo unintentionally broke quarantine, making him subject to an extended quarantine period and enhanced coronavirus testing, league sources told ESPN. After players entered the league's bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort last week, anyone who either is caught leaving for an unauthorized reason or who broke the initial quarantine period (which covered being confined to your hotel room until passing multiple coronavirus tests in a longer-than 24-hour span) will be subject to the league's re-entry protocols.
June 30, 2022 | 3:13 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Phoenix and Miami are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list, sources tell ESPN, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. With four years on his contract, there’s no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for Durant.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had no contact with the franchise after Irving opted into his deal on Monday, and a sense of inevitability existed that Durant would eventually ask for a trade, sources tell ESPN. It happened today.
Tony Jones: Royce O’Neale to Brooklyn for a first had been building momentum for multiple days, according to sources. The Jazz need future trade capital. The Nets took him with an exception. Now the Jazz have a bunch of open roster spots.
June 30, 2022 | 3:09 pm EDT Update
Jake Fischer: On Monday, as the league prepared for Kevin Durant to potentially request a trade during the Kyrie opt-in saga, Phoenix and Miami were often mentioned as the All-Star’s perceived favorite landing spots.
Adrian Wojnarowski: As the Nets prepare to move one of the most valuable trade assets ever on the market, the entire roster will available to discuss in deals, sources tell ESPN. Teams have been calling on Durant, and the Nets will certainly look for a historic return on players and draft picks.
One NBA executive suggests a trade where the Nets trade Kyrie to the Los Angeles Lakers and get three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert in return. “You could do three teams, Kyrie to the Lakers, Gobert to Brooklyn, and Russ to Utah, with the Jazz probably buying him out. That’s a longshot, though,” the executive said to Heavy’s own Sean Deveney. “It could be something that happens during the season, if the Nets get on the court and things go sideways — Ben Simmons is still not healthy, Durant is not happy, they’re struggling. At that point, the Nets are pretty much out of leverage, and the Lakers could send Westbrook and a pick for Kyrie, and it’s doubtful the Nets would get a better deal. Again, it is a long shot, but it is realistic.”
Chris Mannix: Meanwhile Utah, after giving Will Hardy five years of job security, quietly deals a top defender for a first round pick. As noted today on @SInow — keep an eye on Danny Ainge tossing a stick of dynamite on that Jazz roster.