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Lakers Nation: LeBron James on interacting with and seeing other NBA players in the bubble: "Having this experience here, it feels like a big AAU tournament for grown men."
Royce Young: Steven Adams on living in the bubble: "Let's be clear: This is not Syria. It's not that hard ... We're living at a bloody resort. Everyone is going to complain, everyone has their own preferences, nothing too serious. Just a bit of dry food here and there."
Mike Fisher: Kidd-Gilchrist on his late arrival to the #Mavs bubble: 'I had some personal things I had to handle with my family. I'm happy to be here ... I'm excited to be with my new team and my teammates.'
When Ja Morant was a little boy, his father, Tee, personally put him through what he called “TTG camp” in their backyard in South Carolina. It stood for Train To Go. Tee Morant wanted his son to work hard and be ready to show people he was built for every obstacle. Pops recently brought the TTG camp back, using their suburban Memphis, Tennessee, home to get the Memphis Grizzlies’ rookie sensation prepared and stronger for the resumption of the NBA season, which begins on July 30. “They locked in,” Tee Morant told The Undefeated. “Of course, he was ready to get back out there. It was killing him on the inside. But the whole process helped him out a whole lot. It felt like he got an offseason. He did take advantage of the time off. Got stronger. Studied the game more. It was really good and efficient. It wasn’t just like he was laid up eating snacks.”
After training was completed for the day, TTG camp gave way to swimming in the backyard pool, competitive Uno card games and trivia sessions on the sitcom Martin. (Ja Morant said that he brought videos of Martin with him to Orlando.) “They have Martin playing cards,” Johnson said. “They have episodes of the show. Who did Sheneneh go on the date with? What kind of car did Martin drive? … Whoever gets them wrong has to do five pushups.” So, who was the best at Martin trivia? “Jamie, his mom, was the best,” Johnson said. “She was on it.”
CrownRound pushpinBrandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A.: Dwight Howard: "Whoever wins this year, they deserve a championship because this is the hardest season of the NBA." "Nobody can put an asterik on it." "Whoever wins for real, I can speak it to extistence, this is going to be the toughest NBA season."
On Sunday, he was on IG Live, walking around in and outside without a mask. At one point during the video, it appears he answers a question from a fan who posted on IG. “Do I believe in vaccinations?” Howard said. “No, I don’t. That’s my personal opinion, but no, I don’t.” Just before that, he said, “I didn’t know that the coronavirus be flying through the air looking for people.”
On Friday, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said, “We all should be wearing masks in and around the hotel lobby. And the areas that we're being asked to wear a mask, we should wear a mask. And he's doing so now.” The NBA can issue other penalties. Each player is required to certify in writing that he will adhere to all protocols while on campus, according to the NBA’s health and safety document. “Failure or refusal to comply with the Protocols may subject a player to disciplinary action by the NBA or his team (but not both for the same act or conduct, pursuant to Article VI, Section 10 of the CBA), which may include a warning, fine, suspension, and/or removal from the campus," it reads on the document. "Repeat offenders may be subject to enhanced discipline. Player challenges to any disciplinary action shall be made through the Grievance Arbitration process of the CBA."
The atmosphere is that of an AAU circuit, with teams walking in small groups from place to place, and some players hanging with those from other teams. As Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill proposed, the circumstances could allow the groundwork for the next NBA super team.
Occasionally, there are a few players strolling the bubble without masks, and social-distancing practices could be better. The league has received violation complaints from a mix of players and staff on the anonymous tip hotline — dubbed the “snitch line.” The league has taken these matters seriously and teams have been warned to follow the safety protocols to better ensure the protection of everyone on campus.
Schroder's wife, Ellen, is due sometime between Aug. 4 and Aug. 11, Schroder said Tuesday. The Thunder point guard plans to leave the Disney World campus around that time to be with his wife and family. "He's going to do and make decisions that are best for his family," Donovan said Sunday. "And whatever those decisions are, as a coach, I'm going to support them, and I know our team will support them." Schroder will likely miss multiple games. The Thunder will play eight seeding games from Aug. 1 to Aug. 14 before the playoffs begin Aug. 17.
Michael Singer: Have confirmed that Gary Harris and Torrey Craig are in en-route, as @Kendra Andrews reported. Given that they'll need to undergo 36-48 quarantine period, it's unlikely they take part in Wednesday's scrimmage vs. WAS. Team still waiting on a few key pieces, but those two help.
Kendra Andrews: League sources also say that Torrey Craig is expected to arrive with Harris. They will be landing tonight, after which they will go into the mandated 48-hour quarantine period.
Mark Medina: Out of quarantine. 🙏🏀
Gary Washburn: Out of quarantine. #NBABubble
Sean Cunningham: Kings coach Luke Walton, after opening with words honoring the late John Lewis, says Alex Len is out of quarantine doing individual work. Harrison Barnes is still in Sacramento.
Inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World, while preparing to restart the season and tune up for the playoffs during the coronavirus pandemic, some players have a lot of time on their hands. That includes Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee and Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle. We've already seen players fishing and chugging beers in the bubble. They've brought mountains of sneakers, video game systems and hot sauce to Orlando, Florida. And McGee and Thybulle are becoming budding amateur video producers.
On Saturday, Howard said he thought reporting him was pointless. “Everybody’s making a big deal out of it,” Howard said. “But I feel like we’re in the safest place in Orlando. We get tested every day. So, we’re only around each other. We get tested every day. We can’t practice with masks on. I personally don’t see a risk of us getting it during the time period that we’re here.”
Individual circumstances present further challenges. Augustin’s father-in-law died recently, adding to the strain of an extended road trip away from his wife, Brandy, and their three young children. The wife of Orlando guard Evan Fournier returned to their native France with the couple’s 13-month-old son to stay with Fournier’s parents while he focuses on the N.B.A. restart. Vucevic’s wife is due with their second child in November, prompting the 2019 All-Star center’s parents to fly in from Montenegro to help Nikoleta Vucevic take care of the couple’s 19-month-old son. “That was actually huge for me to know that I’m not leaving her alone,” Vucevic said. “It would have been a much harder decision for me to play if she was alone and pregnant, with another baby to care of every day.”
The first exhibition games of the NBA restart will go a little more quickly than usual. The NBA is tweaking the rules for those initial matchups, going with 10-minute quarters instead of the usual 12 minutes. The change is for several reasons, including not wanting to overly tax players after they went more than four months without games, and because some teams do not have their full rosters at Walt Disney World Resort yet because of the coronavirus pandemic. The change will apply to only the first exhibition for teams; their second and third exhibition games at Disney will use standard timing. All teams are slated to play three exhibitions.
If the NBA season does get canceled in the end, and we're all hoping that is not the case, will media members get their money back for whatever you paid for it to get down there? And is it true that some media members will be there for a few months and then rotate after that? Joe Vardon: @Deven P. Hi Deven. So here's a little secret -- we haven't paid anything, yet. There has only been agreements between the NBA and our companies on the price. So I am not sure how that would shake out. Per your other question, it's true, most of us will be here for two months, and then a colleague will sub in for us for the final month. There are a few I suppose who will be here the full three months
The first exhibition games of the NBA restart will go a little more quickly than usual. The NBA is tweaking the rules for those initial matchups, going with 10-minute quarters instead of the usual 12 minutes. The change is for several reasons -- among them, not wanting to overly tax players' bodies after they went more than four months without games, and because some teams do not yet have their full rosters at Walt Disney World because of coronavirus and other issues.
Exhibitions start with a four-game slate Wednesday and continue through July 28. Each team will play three exhibitions, and the last two for each club will have the traditional 12-minute quarters. Plans call for all 33 exhibitions to be televised by some combination of local TV, national TV, NBA TV or NBA League Pass. The league is still working on some of the specifics for the first games, including whether to give teams the option of wearing uniforms or practice gear.
The exhibitions will be helpful in breaking up the monotony of practice, Denver coach Michael Malone said, but he stressed that player health will come before anything else in those games. "The No. 1 thing for me is can we get through these three scrimmages healthy and not getting guys put in a position where they're overworked, playing too many minutes and getting hurt," Malone said. "I think the vast majority of the 22 teams will approach it the same way."
When Damian Lillard finishes his daily hoop duties for the Portland Trailblazers, he will spend most of his downtime inside the NBA bubble working on his other passion: music. The All-Star point guard turned part of his suite into a mini recording studio at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, where his team will make a push for a playoff berth. The league constructed a social bubble to resume the NBA season and protect 22 teams from COVID-19 while at the resort, which features several activities such as walking trails, a bowling alley and a lake to fish or boat.
But under his rap persona Dame D.O.L.L.A., Lillard expects to turn his attention to laying down tracks when he is not occupied with basketball. He's striving to make his rap persona just as known as his pro basketball identity, like the Emmy-winning actor Donald Glover who won multiple Grammys under his alter ego, Childish Gambino. "That's the point I want to get to," he said. "I admire him with how he's established himself into two different lanes. People respect him in each lane. That's my goal."
That's what also led Lillard to release his new song and music video "Home Team" on Friday. The song pays homage to his family and closest friends that he financially helped start their entrepreneurial journey. "They do all these things and those are the things that I'm investing in to make my people deeper and stronger," said Lillard of his friends who have become a businessman, chef, handyman and even a farmer. "It's not an entourage of people that hangout with me, because I'm an NBA player. It's my strong circle."
Ohm Youngmisuk: Asked if Montrezl Harrell might be back for scrimmages or something more of when he will be back for restart of games, Doc Rivers said Clippers will wait. "When he needs to be back, he will be back."
Jovan Buha: Doc Rivers on Montrezl Harrell leaving the Orlando bubble to tend to a family emergency: “Things happpen in our lives, so we just have to leave it there.”
Jahlil Okafor on his process of getting ready for the NBA bubble: "It's been new. It's been new to me for sure. Just being so – bouncing around on my own time. Just trying to make the best out of it. I took a lot of time and a lot of focus on my body, trying to get as healthy as possible and basically just get as strong as possible in every aspect." Jahlil Okafor on how much work he was able to do during the NBA hiatus: "A lot. I think pretty much every day I was doing something on my body, whether I was lifting or just maintenance. It's pretty much the lifestyle I have chosen. I just try to take care of my body consistently."
The age of the NBA super team seems to have faded when Kevin Durant left the dynastic Golden State Warriors last summer, but the NBA’s unique restart has presented an opportunity for a revival for star players looking to join up in the future. In fact, one coach inside the NBA’s Disney campus believes it will happen. “The next super team will come out of this,” he told Yahoo Sports. “I believe it’s inevitable.”
There was a time when Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard received adulation for wearing a cape in the dunk contest. Now he's been disciplined for not wearing a mask in the NBA bubble. Howard said he was reported to the NBA Campus Hotline, set up to help protect players and staff participating in the league's restart in Orlando, Florida, and received a warning for not covering his face with a mask. "Somebody told on me," Howard said Wednesday in an Instagram Live post, broadcast to his 2.7 million followers.
Hi Chris, regarding the snitch hotline, are there any rumors of who is actually snitching? I'm not asking you to name names, I just wouldn't be too surprised if everyone kinda had an idea of who was using the snitch hotline. Chris Haynes: I don't know who is "snitching," but I know a few who were "snitched" on.
There's still a mystery as to whether Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio are at Walt Disney World Resort. Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Dario Saric, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jevon Carter, Ty Jerome, Cameron Payne, Cheick Diallo, Frank Kaminsky III and Ayton are in the Orlando bubble based on photos, videos, Zoom media interviews, radio interviews, tweets and Instagram posts.
what's the most ridiculous thing you've heard happening in the bubble? Chris Haynes: Players are sneaking girls in. I don't see how it could happen. Security is all around. This will not be an easy feat. I would even venture to say it's an impossible feat.
Jim Eichenhofer: Asked if the Orlando setup at Disney reminds him at all of his years coaching in college, such as Kansas, Alvin Gentry said of the #NBA event: "It’s (like) the biggest and best AAU tournament ever."
While it's safe to assume they are not exactly disappointed they weren't included in the Orlando bubble, Warriors general manager Bob Myers believes the trio's competitive juices will start flowing as the calendar turns to August and September. And that goes for everybody on Golden State's roster. "I think it'll be hard for our guys to watch this thing go," Myers said Friday morning on 95.7 The Game's "Joe, Lo & Dibs" show. "I think it's easier now because the playoffs haven't started, and the Orlando thing is just still getting off the ground. But as competitors -- when you're used to being in the playoffs and you're not part of that party -- you feel that. Our guys will feel that. I think they'll watch some of the playoffs and it will motivate them."
Andrew Greif: Can confirm that Montrezl Harrell has left the Disney World bubble to tend to a family matter but is expected to return, per a source with knowledge of the situation. @Shams Charania was first. As of now, the Clippers have 1 center known to be in Orlando, Joakim Noah.
The optics of fair play is especially important in an unprecedented environment. “Robert Frost, a great poet, once wrote, ‘Good fences make good neighbors,’” McCutchen told the Daily News over the phone Thursday. “Look, our players and coaches and referees here are very professional. If they were to run into each other, no one is going to be talking about the calls last night. Our players are too classy, our coaches are too classy, for that. That being said, in the age of cell phones, if you happen to run into each other, and you both smile as you said, ‘Hello,’ that smile on a cell phone could be interpreted a million different ways in people’s eyes. So we are in a different hotel.”
McCutchen anticipates hiccups. He also explained the difference acceptable profanity and technical-worthy profanity. “Grammar becomes very important,” he said. “‘You’re full of s--t’ is a lot different than, ‘Oh, c’mon Monty, that’s bulls--t.’ The former is definitely a technical foul, the latter maybe not so much at a low volume. I think collaboratively we’ll figure that out. Could there be some rough spots and bumps? Sure, it’s competition. But we won’t hold that against anybody.”
What compels a player — one rehabbing from Achilles tendon surgery who won’t take the court this season — to sign up for months away from home and no in-person interaction with those outside the NBA’s set up? Powell didn’t view it as a sacrifice because he has constant access to the team’s training staff, workouts and activities alongside his teammates. Neither did the Mavericks, who are using two of their 17 roster spots on Powell and injured guard Courtney Lee.
“I’m still part of this team, whether I can contribute on offense or defense, still proud to be a Dallas Maverick,” Powell said Thursday on a Zoom video call with reporters. “Once this was a reality and this was something that was going to take place, it wasn’t a consideration for me to not come. I wanted to be here to support the guys. I wanted to be here to be in practice, watch guys work out and support them on the bench or in the game.”
Josh Robbins: Markelle Fultz has passed the NBA’s quarantine protocol following his entrance earlier this week into the bubble, a league source told @The Athletic. Fultz is scheduled to practice with his teammates this afternoon.
Shawna Nicols – aka "DJ Shawna" – is the official DJ for the Milwaukee Bucks and will soon DJ for NBA games inside the "Bubble" in Orlando, Fla. "I am beyond excited and grateful to be part of the NBA Restart in Orlando for a #WholeNewGame," she posted to Facebook today. "I will be DJing in venues during games with an incredibly talented and committed team to make this historical bubble and season come to life."
Katy Winge: Official formats for the Nuggets’ scrimmages in Orlando: Game 1 (July 22) will be four, 10-minute quarters. Games 2 (July 25) and 3 (July 27) will be 12-minute quarters.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Doc Rivers says the Clippers will not talk about whether guys show up or are still not in Orlando yet. He later adds that being on NBA campus, he feels as safe as he possibly can be compared to anywhere else in the US.
Mark Medina: The second thing is the concern with the testing (of Disney employees). Adam Silver has come around and said that he's talking with Disney to try to change that. Because the reality is I was told that Disney just frankly didn't want to pay for it. But they were rationalizing it beyond the fact that they had cost money.
Alykhan Bijani: James Harden: "Homecourt advantage? There's no Homecourt advantage. We don't have any fans...It don't matter if you're 4th, 5th, 6th seed. For us, it's about getting in shape and making sure our offense and defense is crispy and we're all on the same page. We'll play anybody."
Michael C. Wright: James Harden on late arrival: "Just had some family issues. I'm happy I'm here. Felt really good to be out here with the guys and getting after it."
The NBA is expanding the universe of people it is allowing to enter its makeshift campus at Disney World. The league sent a memo to teams this week saying that team governors would be permitted to attend seeding games and that the eight teams not fielding teams in Orlando can send representatives to scout games when the season restarts on July 30, league sources told The Athletic. All 30 teams will be allowed to send up to three people to the games, including a governor, assistant governor, and a senior basketball operations executive. Those team officials will only have access to the arenas for games.
Like the players and coaches, referees are at Disney and quarantining for what could be a stay of at least a few weeks for most and potentially as much as three months for those who will be assigned to work the NBA Finals. “Our referees are pros and they’re going to come here ready to work,” said Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s vice president and head of referee development and training. “From the mental side, we never took any time off, quite frankly.”
It will largely be business as usual for referees — though with two notable differences. The first of those is how the NBA Replay Center will still be operating in Secaucus, New Jersey, but the referees assigned with actually assisting in those situations will be on-site at Disney. The reason is because it didn’t make much logistical sense to send referees into the greater New York City area and have them adhere to local guidelines there by quarantining for 14 days before working games.
At Disney, there will be no fans and that means some off-color talks might get picked up on broadcasts. McCutchen isn’t worried. “We’ll look for a collaboration with coaches and players and I think coaches and players, they’ll figure out how to communicate,” McCutchen said. “A lot of yelling that goes on does go on because there’s crowd noise and in a passionate moment you want to be heard you want to be listened to. Without the crowd there, I expect our players and coaches to have an occasional burst, but because they can be heard in a different way, they will communicate in a different way.”
Chris Mannix: Zion's return protocols will be determined once the league gets more information on the specific circumstances of him leaving, I'm told. Excused absence protocols call for a player to be quarantined for at least four days upon return to the bubble.
Prior to the team's resumption of the NBA regular season August 1, the Indiana Pacers will compete in three scrimmage games in Orlando. The Pacers announced Thursday that all three scrimmages will be streamed live on and the Pacers App. Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner will have the call remotely from Indianapolis.
The Pelicans announced Thursday that Williamson left the Disney campus on Thursday to tend to an urgent family medical matter. Williamson was spotted being attended to by medical personnel at a recent practice, but he is “fine” and the cramping was “not an issue,” a source said. The cramping is not the reason Williamson left Thursday, the source added, but was something he dealt with.
With the NBA controlling who is allowed in and out of the bubble, life is actually a lot easier for the league’s star players. Just take LeBron James, who can now walk around without hoards of fans racing up to him. “Whenever you go downstairs, you’re going to see somebody,” Kemba Walker told Rooks, comparing bubble life to summer camp. “Like, the other night, me and [Jayson Tatum] were walking to get some food and we saw ‘Bron. We saw ‘Bron, J.R. [Smith], Jared Dudley and [Kyle Kuzma].”
While Oladipo’s rehab was negatively impacted by the coronavirus, he had an advantage over many because he has a personal physical therapist — who was among the 35 individuals on the Pacers’ traveling party to Disney, by the way — access to a gym and weights in his garage. If he needed something more, he could have elected to remain in Indianapolis during quarantine, with the practice facility at his disposal, rather than going to his home to Orlando. Twice he mentioned not having the resources to truly test his knee, referring to playing against competition in a group setting. But neither have most players.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
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August 7, 2020 | 3:00 pm EDT Update
Although Black Lives Matter continues to get resistance from disingenuous people seeking to distort and diminish its purpose, the meaning in the message has remained consistent: the fight for equality should transcend partisan politics. The league doesn’t fear a backlash for embracing the phrase, believing that anyone upset enough to stop watching its games would be alienating themselves. Equality isn’t up for debate.
“We didn’t view ‘Black Lives Matter’ as a political matter. We viewed this as a broader movement. This is a human rights issue,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in a telephone interview with The Athletic. “Black Lives Matter has come to represent a broader movement around racial inequality and we support our players, our coaches, our staff, our teams, in speaking out on these critically important issues.”
Sure, there was money to be made for network partners but there also was the potential for something powerful to emerge for what they believed was a necessary distraction at this time. “Our league has a long history of addressing racial and social issues,” said Tatum, who is Black. “You go back to Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and the lineage from those guys today, to LeBron (James). A guy like Malcolm Brogdon. A guy like Jaylen Brown. We have a responsibility and an obligation, given the prominence of our players and the influence that they have. We’ve always encouraged our players to take a stand on issues that are important to them and they are doing it.”
Storyline: Social Justice Messages
August 7, 2020 | 2:01 pm EDT Update
It started out as most of these things do: With an ill-advised tweet. On July 13 when the NBA announced the schedule for its restart games, the eyes of Toronto Raptors fans narrowed on an Aug. 9 date with the Memphis Grizzlies. In recent years following the franchise’s move from Vancouver to Memphis, Canada’s former second team has morphed into, well, Canada’s second team. Armed with former Raptor Jonas Valanciunas and exciting Canadians in Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke – with recent cameos from Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and Bruno Caboclo – the Grizzlies were a natural Western Conference rooting interest for Raptors fans.
When the Raptors and Grizzlies were awarded expansion franchises for the 1995-96 season, a healthy rivalry was anticipated. While some rivalries are built on playoff series and animosity, others are based on proximity. A pair of new Canadian teams expected to struggle out of the gate were natural to pit against each other, and putting something on the line was a clever way to make sure both sides had a chance at bragging rights during some lean years. The decision was made that the Raptors and Grizzlies would square off in each preseason, with the winner being awarded The Naismith Cup, in honour of the Canadian inventor of the sport, James Naismith.
If the choice to award the Cup in exhibition games strikes you as strange, consider that the teams, in conjunction with NBA Canada, used it as an opportunity to host the events around the country. The five Naismith Cup matches held between 1995 and 2000 (the 1998 game was cancelled due to the lockout) were played in Winnipeg, Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton, and Ottawa. That’s a tradition the Raptors do their best to continue to this day, holding recent training camps in Victoria or Quebec City, and exhibition games in Montreal, Vancouver, and London. (They still owe St. John’s a game, as former Raptors general manager and current CEO of Canada Basketball Glen Grunwald is quick to remind us.) The touring Naismith Cup games were well-attended, ranging from 8,190 to 15,104 fans in attendance.
August 7, 2020 | 1:25 pm EDT Update
August 7, 2020 | 12:17 pm EDT Update
On the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down the latest scuttlebut: Well, the latest is, you really got only one shared goal between these eight teams and that is to get some kind of formal group activities authorized by the league and the players association. How that plays out and the form that takes, there are different goals. There are some teams that wouldn’t mind doing a bubble. There are other teams that would rather stay in their own practice facilities and not travel. There are other teams that want to do regional scrimmages against another team. And complicating this is that Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players association, is on record as saying: Unless there are the exact same safety protocols going on in Orlando for the second bubble, it’s a non-starter for her.
The league’s attention mostly has been in Orlando, obviously, and that was a signficant financial undertaking. So you’d also have to factor in that, what kind of financial undertaking would they commit to these eight teams. It did look like there was some positive momentum for, not a bubble, but for each team to be able to hold some sort of offseason training sessions, group sessions in their own facilities, like OTAs in the NFL. And I don’t think that’s dead, but there’s certainly not as much optimism as there was maybe a week, ten days ago for that. I mean, it’s fluid, and there’s nothing definitive yet, but you may be staring at that dreaded eight month window between formal group activities for these eight teams.
I’ve heard from players that the lack of a crowd feels awkward. The normal energy isn’t there. That stinks. But the quiet has benefits for TV viewers: We hear every “Hell no!” from bench players mocking opponent shooters. Those shooters hear it, too; the bubble is producing record levels of mean-mugging and bad words directed at bench jokesters. A reminder for refs: Shooters who return taunts at yappy benches should be immune from technical fouls.
August 7, 2020 | 9:23 am EDT Update
Durant believes Crawford can add a lot to a team even in a limited role. “You need people like that on your roster, even if they’re the 15th, 14th man,” he said. “I think Jamal can provide a lot for you in that role, you know what I’m saying? If you can throw somebody like him out there, end of a playoff game or end of a game, he can definitely win you a game, hit some shots. “And you minimize his role? Give him a few minutes with the third unit or the second unit? He’ll get buckets. He can swing a game, be an x-factor still.”
LeBron gave a weird answer about this. He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: “It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.” What did he mean? The food? The fishing? Tee times not abundant enough? I wrote down on a piece of paper what I thought he meant and showed it to him, and his answer was “Hell, nah.” So, whatever. It was an interesting thing to hear and there is obviously something on LeBron’s mind beyond Davis and his other teammates bending the rim with the bricks they’re throwing up there.
In 20 minutes against the Mavericks, Zubac put up a perfect: 21 points and 15 rebounds on 10/10 FGs. His play earned massive praise from his teammates. “Zu is like a little brother,” Paul George said. “He’s got a ton of upside. He really has tons of potential. He can do a lot of things. I’ve seen it. I’ve been on the other end when he was with the Lakers and he dominated.”
How did how does the knee feel right now? And as you project forward to the playoffs? Do you see it being any kind of, you know, inhibition to your ability? Kemba Walker: Well, it feels good man. That’s me being completely honest. You know, the whole reason I’m only stretching is to see how it reacts after every game. And it’s been it’s been doing well and it’s me feeling better and better after every game, so I’m definitely trending upwards. I think I’m gonna be fine. I think I’ll be fine.
Storyline: Kemba Walker Injury
Obviously the physical aspect of recovering from an Achilles tear and then an ACL tear is intense. When I saw you around the Lakers this year you looked like you were in great shape. How hard is the mental aspect of the recovery? DeMarcus Cousins: It’s tough, no lie. I’d be lying to say it’s been an easy journey or it hasn’t been tough. It’s definitely been a rough journey. But that’s the nature of this business. That’s what separates the guys that last 15 years in the league to the guys that have a short stint. The thing that I preach to a lot of young players and the younger generation in general, when it comes to being successful or being the best you can be in the business, whatever the field may be, it’s going to take a commitment. There’s going to be ups and downs but as long as you’re committed to whatever you’re doing in life, that’s what it’s going to take. I accept this is part of the business. All I can do is work my tail off to get back to where I want to be.
Do you feel like you’re missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience by deciding not to play? DeMarcus Cousins: I miss basketball in general. I’ve been playing this game since I was a kid, and I’ve never been away from it for this long, so I’m missing it more than ever. But due to the circumstances, it’s a different game right now. Nothing but respect to the guys who went out there to the bubble and are doing what they’re doing. For me, it just wasn’t the right situation or the right time to be trying to force myself. It’s already me battling to get healthy and the obstacles in front of me. On top of that to add the different elements that are amongst us, it wasn’t the right time for me. I look forward to next season.
August 7, 2020 | 1:39 am EDT Update

Kemba Walker seriously considered the Knicks

Kemba Walker, the four-time All-Star point guard who joined the Boston Celtics in 2019 after eight years with the Charlotte Hornets, said the Knicks were “very serious” contenders for his services: “To be honest, yes. Yes, very serious. Very,” Walker said on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia. “… Before Boston actually came along, the Knicks was one of my top priorities, actually, because I was thinking they were gonna get another player, but it didn’t work out.”
Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the supposed hierarchy system has somewhat been ignored, as concerned parties deemed that their pleas will be addressed quickly if they cut off the middleman. Instead of using the so-called “snitch hotline”, players are reaching out directly to Commissioner Adam Silver. “Much has been said about the anonymous tip hotline intended for players and staff to report violations inside the bubble. But what I found out was that players have been circumventing that process. Multiple players are personally calling Commissioner Adam Silver to issue their complaints about things they’re seeing in the bubble,” Haynes revealed during the third quarter of the Clippers-Mavericks game on Thursday.

Mo Bamba had coronavirus in June

In the last several months, Mo Bamba has employed his platform as a professional athlete to encourage children to stay in school, urge adults to vote in the upcoming election and ask people to donate money to provide food for children, the elderly and frontline workers in need. And now, he’s imploring you to do something else. Something he has learned from painful experience. He wants you to take precautions against the coronavirus. On Thursday, Bamba revealed to The Athletic that he suffered from COVID-19 in June.
The illness temporarily robbed him of his senses of smell and taste, made him unusually fatigued and caused muscle soreness. “I think the lesson is to take it seriously, to take it as seriously as possible,” said Bamba, who added he doesn’t know how he contracted the coronavirus. “I think we all play a part in making sure that we all stay safe. It’s going to take everyone.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Infections
After pausing, and then listing the five teams behind Milwaukee in the standings — Toronto, Boston, Miami, Indiana and Philadelphia — the NBA’s reigning and presumptive Most Valuable Player made his choice for who has the best chance of stopping the Bucks: Themselves. “I think the biggest challenge for us is ourselves,” Antetokounmpo said. “How are we going to play? How hard are we going to play? Are we going to play for one another? Are we going to defend hard? Are we going to be able to rebound the ball? Are we going to be able to make the extra effort? Are we going to dive on the floor? “It’s all about us. It’s all about us.”
“When it comes to the whole ‘all eyes are on me,’ I feel like a lot of eyes have been on me since high school, so that feeling was nothing new. I don’t consider it being thrown in the fire because I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. But it was definitely a dream come true to finally get thrown out there and enjoy the moment,” recalls Williamson. “If I’m being honest with you, it was very frustrating at first. I’m in the game and I feel like I could maybe change the outcome and you hear the horn go off. You know it ain’t for nobody but you because your time is up. It’s one of those sickening feelings, because I’m one of those players that if I could do anything to help my team win, I want to do it. So it was very frustrating at first from that perspective. But outside of that, it was a blast.”
13 hours ago via SLAM
“I have social media but I don’t let social media dictate my life. I will never let that happen,” he says. “But as far as winning Rookie of the Year and competing in that race, I’m a competitor. If there’s a chance that I could win it, I’m going to go after it. I’m not going to doubt that. Ja [Morant] has had an incredible season and he is the current front-runner, but it’s not over until they announce who it is, so, I’m going to keep battling for it. [A few weeks after our shoot, the NBA announced that performance in Orlando would not be taken into consideration for the player awards.—Ed.] But my top priority is getting into the playoffs first.”
13 hours ago via SLAM