What has puzzled players, coaches, executives and docto…

What has puzzled players, coaches, executives and doctors is the coronavirus, the faceless opponent that brought the league to Orlando, Fla., in the first place. For all of the safety rules enacted to pull off a restart they hope will remain viable into October, there are ample concerns, and few answers, about whether contracting COVID-19 could lead to health problems for players well after they depart the Disney World campus. Philadelphia big man Al Horford called it something “I personally worry [about] and not only career-wise, but just the rest of your life.” “Yeah, that’s discussed,” Clippers star Kawhi Leonard said. “If you do get it, will it affect you to be able to play again? Everyone knows it hits everybody’s body different. But I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I can’t really say what’s going to happen to players.”

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Cooper understood such fear of a stigma from his experience working with asthmatic athletes. But, he said, “there are plenty of examples of athletes with asthma who perform at the highest level, and I think there will be plenty of examples of people who have had COVID-19 whose physical performances are just not affected at all.” Since testing positive last month, Denver star Nikola Jokic has fallen into that latter category. While recovering in his native Serbia, Jokic was “feeling good and feeling normal,” he told reporters this month. Jokic was in the starting lineup when the Nuggets scrimmaged for the first time Wednesday. Jokic acknowledged some concern over what the virus could mean for his future. But because he could not control it, he said he‘s “not really worried.” “Hopefully nothing will happen,” he said.
The two NBA head coaches might be best known for their innovative offenses and laid-back personalities. But now, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, 69, and New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, 65, are also known as the first NBA coaches to wear masks while coaching a game, out of safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s important to Houston and a lot of the country. Right now, they should be masked up,” D’Antoni said following the Rockets’ scrimmage against the Toronto Raptors on Friday. “We do it for Houston. We do it for you. I do it for my players. I do it for my coaches. I just feel like it’s the thing to do right now with where we are as a country.”
Health officials have attributed a person’s refusal to wear a mask as a significant reason for the country’s increasing infection and death rate. “It’s a statement saying we think it’s important enough even down here to have on a mask,” Gentry said after the Pelicans’ scrimmage against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. “We’d like to send a message out to everybody that if we’re going to get this thing under control, I do think that this makes a big difference.”
Ira Winderman: Nunn confirms he and Adebayo both had COVID-19, said they spoke about since they were dealing with same thing.
Ira Winderman: Kendrick Nunn on having been ill and sidelined, "My health comes first. I had mild symptoms. It wasn't as bad. It felt like a common cold. I'm just glad I got over it."
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra said Adebayo and Nunn both worked today. "It was great to have everybody out there in practice," Spoelstra said. Spoelstra said he is "open to it" with Adebayo and Nunn playing tomorrow vs. Jazz.
The Chinese basketball league is set to allow limited numbers of spectators into games this Sunday before being fully open to fans from July 31 for playoff games in Qingdao. The Chinese Basketball Association released a statement saying that medical professionals, teachers, and police and public security officers will be eligible in the first intake of fans since the league resumed last month following a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks had her own brush with panic shortly after arriving in the bubble on June 12, when her first test returned positive. “My phone rang on Monday, and it was a Florida number,” she told me in a less ominous phone call last week. Rooks knew what was coming. “I said, ‘I assume this is a bad call,’” she said. Rooks was “shocked,” saying she had tested negative just before flying down to Orlando.
As she absorbed the news, Rooks sought guidance from a trio of NBA players who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus: Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, whose positive test in March triggered the league’s suspension of play; his teammate Donovan Mitchell; and the Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie, who opted not to join his team in the bubble after testing positive earlier this month. “They were super helpful, and I’m also thankful to them for not telling anybody,” Rooks laughed. Ultimately, Rooks could breathe a sigh of relief: The initial result was deemed a false positive after subsequent retests came back negative.
Shams Charania: Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes (@AronBaynes) tells me on @Stadium that he tested positive for coronavirus and opens up about how virus has impacted life for over a month for him, his wife and kids:

https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1286024479991386113
Gina Mizell: Baynes says he is hopeful that he can join the #Suns at some point during the restart, but has not recorded the two negative tests the NBA requires to travel to Orlando.
Michael Singer: #Nuggets president Tim Connelly told @jimrome that he found out about Nikola Jokic’s positive COVID test when Jokic FaceTimed him at 6 A.M. from Serbia. Connelly said Jokic was more apologetic than anything and felt badly he wouldn’t be back in Denver in time.
Jokic, who’s been in the Orlando “bubble” for more than a week after he tested positive while in Serbia, said the NBA’s doctors can’t predict how the virus might impact him during a physically taxing postseason. “I cannot control that so I don’t want to think about it,” Jokic said. “We have doctors that are supposed to do their job, and they are doing their job at a really high level. We are getting tested every day. Whenever, whatever we need, the NBA team can provide us. I’m not really worried about that. … Hopefully nothing will happen.”
“They’ve done everything right as far as I’m concerned,” Rivers said of the NBA incorporating constant symptom checks and mandating masks at the resort. “When you think about that we’re running a village for the first time, the league is doing pretty well. ... But as far as our health, we have an app every morning that we have to do, wearing bands, facemasks.”
Pat Connaughton: Thanks for the thoughts & prayers. Feeling great and looking forward to being back with the squad soon... luckily I always have a basketball in my apartment - sorry to the people living below me 🤷🏼‍♂️🏀😷 #FearTheDeer 🦌

http://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1285316428393000963
Johnny Davis, the former NBA guard who took over in February as the NBRPA chairman, broke down some of the statistics as they relate to their membership and COVID-19. “We have over 1,000 members, and the average age of our members is 55-plus,” Davis said. “Approximately 200 of those members are over the age of 70. And there’s a high percentage of African-Americans in that group, the demographic that has been identified as being most vulnerable. Sometimes that’s due to underlying conditions, sometimes to proximity to [exposure].”
The “Legends” association, as it’s known, tried to be pro-active from the start of the league’s shutdown, reminding members to take all possible precautions. Each received an “NBA Legends” mask. “Most of the players have been in touch with us,” Scott Rochelle, president and CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, said. “We’ve tried to keep in contact with people. And those who have been financially impacted, we’ve been supporting them through our financial grant program. “So there’s been a lot of work on the community side to make sure everyone is informed and knows where to come when they need help.”
Spencer Haywood, formerly the NBRPA chairman, acknowledged that it’s hard to know how many former players have been affected. “I don’t know if we’re getting accurate reporting,” said Haywood, another Hall of Famer. “Because people who have it might not know, and others who know might not want to talk about it. “Right now, it’s in Florida. It’s Houston very strongly and that’s one of our largest communities of past players. I’ve been calling people, telling ‘em certain things to do and take some precautions. We have a list – I don’t go through the whole list, but I just talk to some of the guys who I know.” Living in Las Vegas, Haywood – the subject of a book, “The Spencer Haywood Rule” to be released in October – works the phone randomly to keep NBRPA members feeling connected. For example, he spoke Tuesday with Hall of Famer Earl Monroe, who has had some health challenges, and reported that Monroe was “hanging in there.”
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks says he can’t get into the specifics of who Jarrod Utoff is substituting for. Teams aren’t allowed to say publicly when a player has COVID.
The NBA's tentative plan at this point is for the 2020-21 season to begin at some point in December. So does this mean the Warriors will be playing games at Chase Center with fans in the building? "We're putting every foot forward to make sure we can have fans and it can be safe," Golden State general manager Bob Myers said Friday morning on 95.7 The Game's "Joe, Lo & Dibs" show. "We're probably in a great market with all the technology we have and all the medical affiliates in the city. It's a lot of conversation but it's hard to make any conclusions right now. It's hard to say 'definitely' to anything, but that's the stuff we're kicking around."
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.
Melissa Rohlin: Vogel: "If we’re not going to follow the little sacrifices day-to-day, it really negates the big sacrifices that we’re making. The social distancing, the trying to wear a mask every situation that you should be wearing a mask, all of these things contribute."
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.

http://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/1283920789230755841
J. Michael Falgoust: Brogdon on practicing with a mask (he had COVID-19): "I intend doing it until we're playing games. It's something I'm doing for conditioning. (and) just wearing to be cautious and to make guys comfortable." #Pacers
Leandro Barbosa has had other important things on his mind the past several months. Brazil is approaching the two million mark of COVID-19 cases, the second biggest number in the world behind the United States and both he and his wife, Rocca, tested positive for the virus on March 21. Rocca was expecting the couple's first child and was supposed to give birth a week later, but doctors decided to induce labor the following day. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Isabela. "I watched from FaceTime because I was in quarantine," Barbosa said. "After she delivered the baby, she couldn't be with the baby for 24 hours. It was kind of complicated. It's hard when you're a dad and you can't be there."
Thankfully Barbosa, Rocca, Isabela and his other two other daughters aged 11 and seven are healthy and do not have the virus. "I recovered a couple of months ago," he said. "Only one night was really, really bad. I thought something worse could happen to me because I didn't have the power to fight with that virus. I'm happy that my driver was at the house, so he was able to talk to the doctors and to go to the pharmacy to get some medicine for me."
Anthony Chiang: Erik Spoelstra on rising coronavirus numbers in South Florida: "There is concern." Spoelstra adds, while wearing a mask during his Zoom session with the media: "Wearing a mask without politicizing it just makes all the sense in the world."
BioReference told CNBC its results are now being returned in 72 hours or less. But, the delay raised new questions about whether players were being prioritized over the community. When asked if the NBA’s results are being prioritized, a BioReference spokesperson said under contractual terms they are not able to comment further. “Our commitment is if a patient is in the hospital, if they’re in the intensive care if they’re a healthcare worker, if they’re a front-line worker, those people go to the front of the line, we’ve always done that since March 13th when we started our COVID testing, and we continue to do that today,” Dr. Jon Cohen, Executive Chairman of BioReference, told CNBC’s Power Lunch.
“We’ve actually increased the amount of resources we are providing to the state of Florida,” he added. The company’s 72-hour-or-less turnaround time outside the NBA bubble had increased because BioReference had to divert resources to testing critical nursing home patients, Cohen said.

https://twitter.com/TaylorRooks/status/1283562314923487232
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).

https://twitter.com/taniaganguli/status/1283499187854770181
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.
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

http://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/1282780322590007296

http://twitter.com/Rich_Holmes22/status/1282773607098265601
Storyline: Coronavirus
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August 14, 2020 | 9:34 am EDT Update
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Chris has been been amazing. I can honestly say he’s like a brother to me. It almost feels like we do everything together. We go eat together. We watch games together. Work out together. Yeah, he’s been he’s been amazing. Like I said, he taught so much from eating correctly to recovery to reads in the game. And the biggest thing about Chris is I think down to earth and genuine he is. Obviously with him and his accolades, he could easily act like, you know, I mean, he’s the best thing in the world to walk around like he’s better than everybody. But he honestly makes you feel like he’s just like, like your homie from back home.
Booker — who is still only 23 — was an All-Star this season, but he was initially snubbed before replacing Damian Lillard at the last minute. Booker’s numbers were undeniable, but as the best player on a perennial loser, he was building a reputation as an empty-calorie scorer. These eight games went a long way in changing that perspective. “We had one objective — to get better — and we did that,” Booker said. “I think we approached this with the right mindset from the beginning, from practices, from training camp in Phoenix, from the first two weeks we got down here, everybody was locked in on all cylinders.”
David Fizdale: I’m just hoping that I didn’t lose so many guys that I don’t get to sit in that seat again because I really felt like I can do it. You know, I proved that I can do it. And I just want that opportunity because I just learned after that situation that I think I got a lot to give to the next job that. If I can get the just the right pieces in place, boy, let me get a bunch of y’all running around out there. See what happened when I get junkyard dogs, a whole team full of them and see what happened. I had some puppies in New York. They weren’t your dogs yet. But I’m telling you: the kid Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett… Those kids are gonna end up being players in this league. They’re just babies.
August 14, 2020 | 9:29 am EDT Update
The final buzzer sounded Thursday night with the Utah Jazz topping San Antonio 118-112, officially eliminating the Spurs from contention for a Western Conference play-in spot and ending their record-tying run of 22 consecutive postseason appearances. “It means a lot to a lot of people probably, but I don’t dwell on the past,” said legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who captured five NBA titles during that span. “That stuff’s totally [not] important; what’s important is the moment you do what you’ve got to do then you move on, but looking at the past doesn’t do much good. Any success we’ve had has been because we’ve had some great players.”
Though the NBA saved itself from losing more than $1 billion by not canceling its season, the league will still suffer substantial revenue losses due to Covid-19. That will likely affect Oladipo’s next contract, as the players will see a drop in income available. Oladipo said his current concern is helping the Pacers in the NBA bubble and “continuing to strengthen my knee.” “I’m just focused on doing what I can to help my team the best way I can,” he said. “One day, it will all click again, and then I can worry about those other things when the time comes.”
Storyline: Victor Oladipo Free Agency
So when the Kings’ season ended Thursday, and Hield was asked if he’s comfortable with his role off the bench in Sacramento heading into next season, his answer raised some eyebrows. Including, I’d imagine, some in Philadelphia. Here’s what Hield had to say: [Hield] provided a series of short answers during a Zoom session with reporters and offered a cryptic response when asked if he could be content with his role going into next season. “Y’all know me,” Hield said. “Y’all know how I talk. Y’all know how I feel. Y’all can read me well, so I’ll let y’all answer that yourselves.”
Justin Kubatko: Most points scored by a player over the final three games of a regular season: 154 – Damian Lillard, 2019-20 128 – Dominique Wilkins, 1985-86 128 – Michael Jordan, 1986-87 128 – Kobe Bryant, 2005-06 127 – David Thompson, 1977-78 127 – Russell Westbrook, 2014-15
For New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, it’s time to turn the page to next season and focus on getting better — with his game and his body. “I’ll talk to my coaches and see what I need to do better from their point of view,” Williamson said Thursday morning. “Talk to my player development coaches as well, see what I need to do better from their point of view. Just work on every part of my game and work on getting my body where it needs to be.”
Given how fluid this draft is, the Warriors could draft the same player at No. 5 that they’d eye with the No. 2 pick. According to league sources, Israeli small forward Deni Avdija, Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton, Florida State shooting guard Devin Vassell and Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro are among the players Golden State would consider in that range.
With so much time spent off the court since his injury in January 2019, Oladipo stayed productive in other ways, including through business. Like numerous athletes, Oladipo has taken an interest in tech investing, and is particularly excited about his stake in a sports marketing company called Genies, which creates and licenses avatars of celebrities, mostly on social media.
The first game-worn jerseys from the NBA’s restart in Orlando have hit the auction block. NBA Auctions has launched a group of 58 jerseys from the league’s first few games in the “bubble” including those donned by LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson. Jerseys worn by members of the Lakers, Pelicans, Spurs and Nets are the first to reach the auction block from games played after the league stopped play in March due to COVID-19. Most of the jerseys are game-worn while a few were made for players who didn’t see action.
Google may finally end the internet tradition of traffic-grabbing how-to-watch posts with a new search feature that will display local TV and streaming options for NBA and MLB games when you search phrases like “how to watch the Lakers games.” The new feature is rolling out in the US today, and it can incorporate your location data to help you figure out which specific local channel is airing the game you want to watch. The new TV options will also appear on Google’s existing sport game search widgets alongside things like the box score or time remaining in the game.

Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin on Thursday denied a series of domestic violence accusations made by his ex-wife in a social media post. In a message posted to Twitter, Audrey Griffin said Adrian Griffin had repeatedly abused her, including choking her, throwing her into a wall with enough force to leave a hole and dragging her across a lawn while she was pregnant. “This morning, accusations were made against me on social media by my former wife that I vehemently deny,” Adrian Griffin said in a statement released by the Raptors. “We are involved in a longstanding legal dispute over alimony and child support arrangements. I am disappointed to have to address false accusations in this way, and I apologize for any distraction this has potentially caused for our team at this important time.”
The Raptors also issued a separate statement on the matter. “When we saw these allegations this morning, we were dismayed — Adrian is a valuable member of our team,” the team said in the statement. “Our leadership immediately spoke with him, and he flatly denied the allegations in the posts. We will support the process as he and his former partner settle these matters.” Audrey Griffin had previously made similar allegations of abuse on social media. On Thursday, she wrote in part, “How can someone do ALL of this and get away with it. … I will tell you how… just be in the NBA and win a game in the bubble. Cinderfella. That’s how. Simple.”
August 13, 2020 | 9:14 pm EDT Update
August 13, 2020 | 8:05 pm EDT Update
August 13, 2020 | 7:49 pm EDT Update
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