Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA has sent memo to teams…

Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA has sent memo to teams reminding them that interacting with or bringing an unauthorized person on Disney Campus is prohibited. Teams are required to utilize part of next team meeting to brief/discuss health protocols.

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Christian Clark: Zion Williamson left Orlando to attend to an urgent family medical issue, Pelicans say. He will rejoin the team at a later date. "We fully support Zion's decision," David Griffin says.
Chris Haynes: Houston Rockets star James Harden plans to participate in his first practice today from Orlando, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Sources said the nature of the calls into the “snitch line” have been for things like failures to wear a mask or being within six feet of someone away from the court. The same sources said neither Holmes — who walked too far off campus to meet a food delivery person — nor Caboclo (who left his room during the initial 36-hour quarantine period mandated for all players upon arriving to campus) were busted through calls to the anonymous line. But their violations, breaking quarantine and leaving campus, are two of the big no-nos.
One thing that’s very new is the NBA hotline. It’s a good idea for players to have a place to report possible infractions of the bubble protocol, because everyone wants to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic while living in Florida, which is reporting record numbers of positive cases and hospitalizations. But there seems to be a question whether players would actually use it or not. “I probably won't use it,” said DiVincenzo. “We're taking every precaution following all the protocols, so I think we're worried about ourselves, and we're not worried about anything else. “We trust the NBA. We trust the protocols in place. We trust ourselves. So, getting into it with other teams, and calling hotlines… I think we're just policing ourselves to kind of focus in ourselves – and if we follow it, I think we feel good about everything. It's not about getting into it with other teams.”
“I mean, hopefully we’re at the point to where we’re adults and we don’t need consequences to motivate our actions,” Lakers guard Alex Caruso said. “We’re all here for a reason. If you didn’t want to come, you didn’t have to come. They put rules in place to keep everybody safe, to make sure we can all continue to do what we want to do and play basketball. So the 10 days is obviously an intimidating number. That might be the motivation behind it to put a little bit of fear into you to follow the rules. My hope is we’re all professionals for a reason (and) we can continue to hold ourselves to that level and that standard.”
Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, in March, won't be relying on the league's anonymous safety tip line to hold others accountable within the Orlando bubble. "I don't know if someone's gonna use it, but I think it's sort of petty," said Gobert, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. "At the same time, you want to make sure that people respect the rules.
When asked if the hotline could be a problem, Clippers coach Doc Rivers instead made light of it before saying he also understands the reasoning that the hotline is in place. "I turned in LeBron [James] yesterday. I'm turning in Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] today. I'm trying to turn all these guys in," Rivers joked. "I think it's phenomenal. We are going to be the only team left when I am done with this hotline thing. No, it's funny. I don't think it's a problem at all. I think it's good. "This is not some normal thing. COVID is obviously ... it's not only that you can get sick, but you can get other people sick, so this is very important for all of us. We want to do our jobs. So I think having a hotline, I guess that is what they are calling it, I guess that is important."
Mike Trudell: Markieff Morris has not been with the Lakers in Orlando due to an excused absence. The reserve forward is expected to join the team in the bubble soon, however.
Ali Thanawalla: Richaun Holmes handling his quarantine well. (Via Richaun Holmes IG)
Mike Trudell: KCP said the bubble has been good for him. “I’m not a big complainer.” At home, he’s with his two kids and wife, chilling at home, sometimes playing video games or on his laptop. He typically lays low, and is good focusing on basketball.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Doc Rivers jokes about the NBA bubble hotline: "I turned in LeBron yesterday. I turned Pop in today. I am trying to turn all these guys in... we are going to be the only team left when I am done... No, I don't think it's a problem."
Marc Stein: A knock on the heavy brown door of my first-floor hotel room at Walt Disney World finally came Sunday night just before 10 p.m. This was the all-business knock I was waiting for. Three technicians from BioReference Laboratories wearing white coats and face shields, and accompanied by an N.B.A. representative, had arrived to administer my first-ever coronavirus test.
Closer to 20 journalists, compared to the anticipated 10, have been approved to enter, a reflection of the considerable curiosity surrounding 22 teams living and playing at a single site without fans. That includes journalists from The Associated Press, The Athletic, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Times, Southern California News Group, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, The Washington Post and The New York Times. A like number of journalists from the league’s official media partners, ESPN and Turner, is also expected, including one reporter from each who was allowed to arrive early to complete their quarantines before teams started arriving on July 7: Malika Andrews (ESPN) and Chris Haynes (Turner/Yahoo).
Malcolm Brogdon is back with the Pacers. The Pacers point guard practiced Wednesday in Orlando and coach Nate McMillan said he's in good shape ahead of the NBA restart on Aug. 1. "I thought today he looked really out there with our group," McMillan said. "It was good to have all of our guys together going through a practice today. He looked pretty good."
“I come out of my hotel room. I’m familiar with the air here, the humidity,” Rivers said. “It feels like I’m home, but I’m not home. It’s been really weird. “I’m losing my mind a little bit. I’m just staying focused because I’m so excited to be here playing basketball. This has been very difficult for me. I’m 20 minutes from my home. I just got a home here in Orlando. It’s where my girl is, my family is, my son is right down the street from there. It’s been hard knowing they’re 20 minutes away. So close, yet so far.”
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
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.”
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
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
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July 4, 2022 | 5:27 am EDT Update

Lakers not aggressive in pursuit of Kyrie Irving

“The Lakers have yet, I’m told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get [Kyrie] from Brooklyn. That may come, that may evolve with time. But so far right now, there’s no traction really on deals with either Irving or Durant.” 🗣️ @wojespn

As one insider sympathetic to Durant noted, “Kyrie sabotaged everything,” but Durant is reacting more to the effects than the cause, and he now views the Nets as unsalvageable. “There’s no use in (him) taking sides when it’s all too far gone,” the person said. In essence, the Nets were right in principle, but wrong in practical terms, failing to understand that making Irving upset “was going to drive Kevin away.” It’s instructive to note that for all the chaos, all the havoc and all the stress, Durant still wants to play with Irving, according to league insiders.
The difference in the tax penalty — somewhere around $15 million extra in the immediate, a whole lot more throughout a longer-term deal — caused Lacob and the Warriors to balk. It stung several in the organization, per sources. They’d found Payton and grown to not only love the person but also understand the value of his unique skill set. It translated to winning. For the first time, they’d failed to retain one of their own due to an unwillingness to meet a financial demand.