He tried to piece together how he had contracted the vi…

He tried to piece together how he had contracted the virus, concluding that it probably happened on the road trip in New York, Boston or Detroit. He wondered how it was possible that other members of the Jazz didn’t test positive given that he shared locker rooms with his teammates and received massages from team staffers. As he recovered, he concluded that he probably wasn’t the first NBA player to contract the virus — just the first to return a positive test. He might have been careless with the microphones, but Mitchell or Wood easily could have exposed him to the virus rather than the other way around.

More on Coronavirus Infections


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Sacramento’s starting small forward tested positive for the coronavirus over the Fourth of July weekend and struggled to clear the NBA’s protocol, but he never had symptoms. That was not the case for his wife Brittany or his mother Shirley, who were both with him in Sacramento. “In my household, my wife and my mom both tested positive for COVID,” Barnes said following the Kings’ 106-102 win over the Clippers. “My wife was sick, really sick for about a week, my mom was sick for a couple of days. In our household, we were able to see the different ranges of how COVID can hurt your system, how serious it is, and how important it is to wear a mask.”
The Wizards and Nuggets have a scrimmage at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon. The Nuggets have been decimated during this pandemic, with a confirmed case for their star Nikola Jokic, who has returned to practice, while rotation players Gary Harris, Torrey Craig, Monte Morris, and Michael Porter Jr. are either not with the team or have arrived (late) to Florida and can’t yet play. Coach Michael Malone has said they haven’t had enough players to work 5-on-5 situations at practice. Sources say as many as nine inside Denver’s basketball operation contracted the virus.
The Suns announced Wednesday guards Elie Okobo and rookie Jalen Lecque also are not with the team at Walt Disney World Resort for "personal reasons." Team officials also said they expect Baynes, Lecque and Okobo to join the team at "a later date." Sources have informed The Republic a third Suns player has tested positive for the virus. A previously infected person has to have at least two consecutive negative tests to join the team and then clear quarantine once in the bubble.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe tested positive for the coronavirus and has yet to make the trip to Orlando, Florida, to join the team for the NBA restart, he told ESPN on Thursday. "I am asymptomatic and feeling fine," Bledsoe told ESPN in a statement. "Once I meet the NBA protocols, I look forward to joining my teammates in Orlando."
Shams Charania: Nets forward Michael Beasley will not join the team and the franchise will replace his roster spot, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Beasley tested positive for coronavirus. Justin Anderson remains a signing candidate.
Exactly one month before announcing he’s tested positive for COVID-19, Russell Westbrook was hanging poolside at Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas. Westbrook was with a group of friends, including former NFL running back Reggie Bush, fashion jeweler Greg Yuna, bodybuilders and trainers Mike Rashid and Valeriu Guto and Wynn club host Jai Shaun White at the outdoor dayclub on June 13. The group posed for a photo at one of the party space’s VIP bungalows.
Responding to a question asking if Westbrook had contracted the virus at the hotel, Wynn Las Vegas referred to company policy that it does not disclose personal information about guests. Generally, the statement read: “Any guest diagnosed with COVID-19 while visiting the resort is reported to the Southern Nevada Health District, which conducts community contact tracing. Our internal contact tracing determines who in the resort the guest has had contact with and what areas they visited; relevant contacts are informed for testing and the areas visited are thoroughly sanitized.
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
Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook says he has tested positive for coronavirus. Westbrook tweeted Monday that he tested positive before his Rockets teammates were scheduled to travel to Walt Disney World for the resumption of the NBA season Westbrook tweeted he is "currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared."
The Orlando Magic said Tuesday that one of their players recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Team president Jeff Weltman declined to identify the player to reporters but said the individual is following protocols and hopes to join the team soon.
In a virtual interview with Fortune Brainstorm Health, Silver said the NBA expects more positive coronavirus cases to pop up as teams arrive to the NBA campus at Walt Disney World resort this week. But once teams arrive, all personnel will be tested and must quarantine for at least two days. "We won't be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players test positive," Silver told Fortune Brainstorm Health. "What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive or if we were to have any positive tests, we would know we would have an issue." "... We would know that there's in essence a hole in our bubble or that our quarantine or our campus is not working in some way," Silver added later. "So that would be very concerning."
Silver said the NBA's campus with daily testing and guidance from medical experts is "as protected as possible from the environment around us." "So on paper, and dealing with our experts, this should work," Silver said. "But we shall see. I'm confident based on the positive cases we are seeing from our players and the general public around the country that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus in part because we are going to be doing daily testing. But again this virus has humbled many so I am not going to express any higher level of confidence than we are following the protocols and we hope it works as we designed it."
Silver reiterated that the league likely will not be forced to shut down again due to one potential positive coronavirus test inside campus. However, a spread could bring the NBA to a halt again. "I think we do have the ability to trace, of course to try to understand where that positive case came from," Silver said of any positive cases inside the Walt Disney World campus. "We can actually analyze the virus itself and try to track whether if there is more than one case, if it's in essence the same virus and same genetic variation of the virus that is passed from one player to another or two people have gotten it on the campus independently. So those are all things that we are looking at."
But when their strained relationship following the positive tests lingered in public view for months, it increased the intensity of their issues and put a spotlight on an already-tense dynamic. It's a spotlight that was created because, according to sources, Mitchell blamed Gobert for infecting him with COVID-19.
(The Bucks) had to shut down their facility over the weekend because of positive test. How much of a concern is that for the team that is right now the favor to win at all? Malika Andrews: I checked in with a source with the Bucks and they just told me that they are mostly bummed about the timing. They are not expected to open the facility again before they traveled to Orlando this week. And for a lot of guys, these last two weeks they've actually been able to be inside the practice facility is the first time they've been able to touch a basketball in a while.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utdaCdz7ovA
Spencer Dinwiddie: Protocol only calls for 7 days and negative tests not the 14 day standard. Yep, the plan would be to fly to Orlando after workout. For players that show up late, it might make it difficult to resume season at all due to more rigorous testing requirements.

http://twitter.com/GregLogan1/status/1279944821831020544
The WNBA announced Monday that seven of 137 (5.1%) tested players were positive for COVID-19, and that 11 of the league's 12 teams will report to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for its season start-up by the end of the day. The one exception in that travel schedule is the Indiana Fever. After sustaining two positive tests in their organization, the Fever's travel will be delayed at least five days "in an abundance of caution due to the CDC’s close contact self-quarantine requirements," according to a statement from the league.
Spencer Dinwiddie: Protocol only calls for 7 days and negative tests not the 14 day standard. Yep, the plan would be to fly to Orlando after workout. For players that show up late, it might make it difficult to resume season at all due to more rigorous testing requirements.

http://twitter.com/GregLogan1/status/1279944821831020544
The WNBA announced Monday that seven of 137 (5.1%) tested players were positive for COVID-19, and that 11 of the league's 12 teams will report to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for its season start-up by the end of the day. The one exception in that travel schedule is the Indiana Fever. After sustaining two positive tests in their organization, the Fever's travel will be delayed at least five days "in an abundance of caution due to the CDC’s close contact self-quarantine requirements," according to a statement from the league.
Kurt Helin: The WNBA announces 7 players out of 137 tested were positive for the coronavirus (5.1%). The league is heading to Florida today to start preparations for its season at the IMG Academy.
Sam Amick: Source tells @TheAthletic the Kings have shut down their practice facility after receiving a positive coronavirus test within the team’s traveling party on Sunday. The facility is not expected to reopen before the team departs for Orlando on Wednesday.
James Ham: Confirming that the Sacramento Kings have shut down their practice facility after a positive test within their traveling party. No word yet on whether it was player, staff or coach. @sam_amick first with the news
Marc Stein: Sacramento would be the seventh team of the 22 bound for Walt Disney World publicly known to take this measure at some point over the past two weeks since players were asked to be back in their home markets on June 22: Kings, Bucks, Heat, Clippers, Nuggets, Suns and Nets
Maccabi Tel Aviv announced that Tyler Dorsey has been quarantined after a verified case of COVID-19 was discovered in his building. The Israeli League season resumed on June 21 and Maccabi has played four games so far in the Winner Stage Group, winning three of them and improving to a 22-3 overall record.
Barry Jackson: A third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a source. The Miami Herald is not reporting the names of the two players who tested positive in the past few days; both are rotation players.
While the team hasn’t disclosed which players tested positive, sources say Williamson wasn’t one of them. The protocol alone makes that much obvious, as players who test positive have to self isolate for 14 days and can’t take part in physical activity or be at the team’s facility during that time.
While the team hasn’t disclosed which players tested positive, sources say Williamson wasn’t one of them. The protocol alone makes that much obvious, as players who test positive have to self isolate for 14 days and can’t take part in physical activity or be at the team’s facility during that time.
Marks confirmed that Spencer Dinwiddie may not be playing in Orlando because he recently tested positive for coronavirus. Dinwiddie, who remains on the Nets’ 36-person travel list, told The Athletic that he is not sure if he will join the team when the season resumes later this month. “I would hope these guys decide to do what's best for them and for their health and family first and foremost. If they decide to go to Orlando, we know we'll be taking best care possible of them,” Marks said. “But at the end of the day it goes back to what I said before: Everybody has a different set of circumstances in their life that they're dealing with whether that's family issues or the health and wellness of themselves. And we need to support those guys whatever decision that they make.”

https://twitter.com/SerenaWinters/status/1278729904494981123
Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic is feeling "great" and is expected to return to the United States in time to join the team flight to Orlando, Florida, according to coach Michael Malone. Jokic had his return to Denver delayed after testing positive for the coronavirus in Serbia, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported on June 23. "Nikola feels great," Malone said in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. "We are working on getting him back here. Next Tuesday we depart for Orlando; the hope and expectation is that Nikola Jokic will be with us on that plane. From everything that I have heard and talked to him, he feels great, he feels fine and is excited to get back."
Spencer Dinwiddie: Just to be clear I haven’t opted out and want to play like I told @ShamsCharania . Unfortunately I have been one of the cases that has various symptoms.

http://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1277781101168209920
Jabari Parker just told the world he'd contracted coronavirus -- and less than 3 days later, the guy doesn't appear to be in isolation ... but rather, he's playing tennis in public. The Sacramento Kings star was spotted Saturday in Chicago's Longfellow Park, where he was rallying with a buddy on the other end of the net ... all smiles, and without a mask. Mind you, he'd just announced a few days earlier that he had test positive for COVID-19.
Jabari Parker just told the world he'd contracted coronavirus -- and less than 3 days later, the guy doesn't appear to be in isolation ... but rather, he's playing tennis in public. The Sacramento Kings star was spotted Saturday in Chicago's Longfellow Park, where he was rallying with a buddy on the other end of the net ... all smiles, and without a mask. Mind you, he'd just announced a few days earlier that he had test positive for COVID-19.
Rod Beard: NBPA executive director Michele Roberts on positive tests for 16 of 302 players tested: "I'm relieved the number was not higher." Silver: "I was relieved the number came in roughly where we expected it." He says none of the 16 was seriously ill.
Jason Anderson: If a star player tests positive: “We would continue. That team would be down a man. We would treat that positive test as we would an injury during the season, so it would not delay the continuation of the playoffs." -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
Kellan Olson: Devin Booker confirmed the report of a couple Suns players testing positive for COVID-19 on his stream (twitch.tv/dbook). He said they are getting tested every two days and for today's they came to his house.

https://twitter.com/KellanOlson/status/1276291934336585728
Brogdon, who spent a lot of time at St. Vincent Center rehabilitating from a thigh/hip muscle injury during the NBA's hiatus, also has been active in leading social protests after the death of George Floyd. Multiple league sources aren't clear on the league's directives, or if there even is one, regarding positive tests before players arrive in Orlando where they'll go into the "bubble" before resuming play.
Branislav Jokic talked to Nova.rs about his son, Nikola Jokic, testing positive for coronavirus. The Denver Nuggets player is fine and with his family, his father pointed out confirming that the 25-year-old Serbian center found out he was coronavirus positive last week and that he has not shown any symptoms. “We are all fine. Nikola is fine. It’s been a week,” he mentioned, “What he had is gone. He is not showing symptoms. He is with us and everything is fine.”
Nuggets franchise center Nikola Jokic has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently back in Serbia, multiple league sources told The Denver Post. Citing medical privacy, the Nuggets declined comment.
All NBA players were to be back in market on June 22, and players who were overseas were to be back in market on June 15. Jokic was granted an exception by the NBA to stay in Sombor longer, however, during his recent trip, he tested positive.
Two Phoenix Suns players have tested positive for coronavirus, sources have informed The Arizona Republic. The positive tests led to Suns temporarily shutting down voluntary workouts at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, sources say. Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, Frank Kaminsky III, Dario Saric, Jevon Carter, Aron Baynes, Jalen Lecque and Cheick Diallo have participated in them based on a video the team posted earlier this month in their "Don't Sleep on Basketball" series. The players were having workouts at the arena Tuesday morning. There has been a notable increase in COVID-19 cases in Arizona.
The Republic reported Monday that according to state data, more than 1,000 new cases have been reported on each of the past 13 days, with more than 2,000 new cases reported on each of the past five days. Mandatory testing is scheduled to begin Tuesday for NBA players and essential staff members of each team. Phoenix's third-leading scorer, Kelly Oubre Jr., has opted not to play due to injury as he had knee surgery March 3. Players have until Wednesday to notify teams that they're not participating in the season resumption, according to The Athletic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: As coronavirus testing for players heading to Orlando starts today, teams are bracing for significant numbers of positive tests. One Western Conference playoff team had four positives in past few weeks, per sources. Full training camps start on July 11 at Disney. It's a bigger concern for non-guaranteed playoff teams to lose players to extended quarantine before Orlando. Playoff teams worried less about needing key players for seeding games in August have more time to get players back to shape. All are worried about soft-tissue injuries.
Adrian Wojnarowski: All of this, of course, is hoping that those players testing positive experience little, if no, symptoms. While statistics are on the side of healthy, young NBA players not becoming seriously ill because of the coronavirus, there are no guarantees.
Adrian Wojnarowski: One change for use to replacement players in Orlando, per league memo to teams: Replacing a player with Covid-19 must occur no later than 7 days following confirmed positive player resumes training.
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told CBS4’s Xfinity Monday Live he tested positive for COVID-19. Malone told CBS4’s Michael Spencer he didn’t realize he had the coronavirus until well after the fact.
So Malone wasn’t the only Nugget to test positive. “It’s interesting on some people on our team, traveling party and staff got it,” said the 48-year old head coach. “I hope going to Orlando (for the resumption of the NBA season) will be a safe environment and we can limit the amount of people who get it. I like to say that I got coronavirus and I kicked its butt.”
Nuggets all-star center Nikola Jokic may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus during a recent visit to his native Serbia. Pictures show Jokic in close proximity to Nikola Jankovic, a center for KK Partizan, during last Thursday’s exhibition game honoring coach Dejan Milojevic in Belgrade. On Monday, Jankovic’s professional team announced he had tested positive for the virus. A picture in the following tweet shows Jankovic “Janker” standing to Jokic’s right.
Michele Roberts told the Globe the NBPA is prepared for several players to test positive just because of the contagiousness of the virus, regardless of the league’s safety measures and social distancing. “Of course [the players] understand it could be a positive test and they want to know what the protocol is,” Roberts said this past week. “No one is saying, ‘Suppose a player tests positive?’ We’re beyond that. The question now is, ‘When a player tests positive, what are we going to do?’ ”
“That’s the only realistic mind-set you can have going into this. A player is going to test positive,” Roberts said. “It’s not any more of this ‘if’, it’s ‘when’ and what can I do to mitigate against the ‘when.’ When it happens, if I’m not successful, what treatment is available to me, what are my chances of being really, really sick, and how are you detecting the presence of an infection? Honestly, I don’t think this is any different than what any American has to come to grips with.”
Roberts said no player is being mandated to play and there will be no repercussions — besides financially — if a player decides to sit out the season. “I don’t believe any player would say this was forced upon them, it’s not,” she said. “Not a single player has to play. This is not involuntary servitude. I don’t have to work. They don’t have to work. But it’s of course a mitigation of risk with the players. On this health and safety protocol, I’m satisfied that it can’t be any better than this. But I’m candid that it’s not bulletproof.”
Several other aspects of the NBA’s return were discussed, which The Athletic learned via sources: – A plan to play 2-to-3 exhibition games before regular season – 1,600 maximum people on campus – Coronavirus testing every day; minimum seven days of quarantine for a player who tests positive – Players and family must stay inside the bubble; families can enter after the first round – If a player contracts the virus, the NBA says they plan to continue playing
Tania Ganguli: Silver says that based on conversations with health officials he does not believe the league would need to shut down if a player tests positive for Covid-19. They'll isolate him, trace his contacts and continue testing daily and believe that will be enough to contain it.
Would you be okay playing with or against a guy that you knew tested positive for COVID19?" "Curry: Oh that'd be tough. I mean, that's one of the things that you're having to address because that is a real scenario. If you try to play and there is no vaccine, there's no way to really guarantee nobody's going to get it. I think if you are at a place where everybody says yeah we're ready to play and then they know what they're committing to. And if not, it doesn't make sense, then you won't see a ball bounce."
Silver told those on the call that if a positive test would "shut us down, we probably shouldn't go down this path." The question remains: How many positive tests would be too many, and those are among the questions that the NBA, NBPA and medical experts have to come to terms with in the coming weeks before the league and union can greenlight a resumption of play.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on a conference call with representatives of the league players’ association, discussing restarting the season. His stance about one issue was clear. If the NBA was going to resume play, it would commit to staying on course even in the face of a positive COVID-19 test, or, depending on the circumstances, even a few of them. He didn’t know at the time that the leader of another major sports enterprise was already dealing with similar circumstances.
A UFC fighter and two of his cornermen had tested positive ahead of Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Jacksonville. Hours later, when the situation became known publicly, many people assumed the show would not go on. After all, the NBA immediately shut down in March when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first of its players to test positive. A zero-tolerance policy is understandable, then and now, but what Silver and UFC President Dana White came to realize is there is also likely no realistic pathway for the return of major sports competition if that is the benchmark.
Storyline: Coronavirus Infections
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 6, 2020 | 10:55 am EDT Update
Damian Lillard on high school basketball: The other thing that makes it sad is the level of complacency because you’ve been told like you’re gonna make it and you’re gonna be a draft pick and you know, you don’t got to earn nothing. You don’t feel like you gotta work for nothing. And it’s sad when it’s time for them to make the NBA and they don’t make it. Like, either they don’t get drafted. Or they get drafted and they ain’t built to survive where everybody’s good. You know what I’m saying? Like, you’re talented and you, you know, you got all these gifts, but everybody got that. You know, I mean, like, if you if you’re 20 years old, or 19 or whatever, and you think you either come in here and just do whatever you want against Chris Paul, Pat Bev… Like if you think you bout to come in here and have your way, you don’t get embarrassed. You know, I’m saying like… Don’t nobody care about the hype. I don’t care what your agent told you. I don’t care what your manager, whoever is the person had been handling you since 10th grade… I don’t care what they told you. Once you get up here, you got to do it. And if you’re not prepared for it or mentally build for it, you’re not gonna make it. And that’s where you see a lot of these dudes. They get here and they don’t stick because they’re not built to make it here. And a lot of that has to do with the culture of high school basketball.

Former G League player Aaron Craft retiring

Ohio State alum Aaron Craft is officially focusing on medicine, he announced via a post on his personal Twitter account. “The new chapter has begun!” he wrote, “Excited, a little nervous, and extremely grateful to start a journey I’ve thought about for so long. I’ve always liked our home white jerseys!” From the beginning of the 2019-20 season prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he revealed his intentions to retire as a player after being accepted to the medical school at Ohio State University.
Statement from ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan: About three weeks ago during a discussion on the podcast The Hoop Collective, I misspoke when I expressed my opinion regarding the business practices of the Indiana Pacers, and inferred that Larry Bird had been frustrated during his time as team president. It was a careless remark, based solely on my opinion, and therefore should have never been said. Larry Bird never expressed those feelings to me, and I apologize to both Larry and team owner Herb Simon for poor choice of my words.
August 6, 2020 | 9:51 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant surprised by Caris LeVert

ON CARIS LEVERT … KD was surprised at how good his new teammate is. “He is definitely better than I thought. He’s different. He can score that thing. He can pass it. He’s quick. His thing is about being efficient, and I think that’s what you’re seeing. The shots he’s taking now, it’s like all of his lane. Not a lot of threes, a lot in the mid-range, getting to the cup. I think his IQ is what surprised me the most.”
KD said he’s been playing some with other NBA players, including Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin and Allonzo Trier. “I’m playing a lot of one-on-one lately, so what comes with that is your handle is a little better, You’re more quicker with your moves. You’re less indecisive with what you want to bring out. So I’m just crafting that, that playground style of ball even more, just working out by myself or with two or three guys. “That’s the cool part about it because it’s hard to get that type of play in a regular season because you’re going through the team aspect, you’re training with the team and you want to preserve your body for the season. So if I’m playing 1-on-1 or 2-on-2s, it’s just going to help my creativity. That’s the timing thing that every injured player goes through. Just finding that rhythm again. Hopefully I gain it over time and once I get into real games it translates real fast.”
Kevin Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman have produced some interesting content through their company Thirty Five Ventures, from ESPN+ show The Boardroom to documentaries like Basketball County and Q Ball. And Durant has been a frequent guest on other podcasts, from The Bill Simmons Podcast to Pull Up With CJ McCollum to Knuckleheads (with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles) to Play For Keeps. Now, Durant and Kleiman are starting their own podcast network, and they’re teaming up with established podcasting company Cadence13 (now owned by radio conglomerate Entercom) for that. Here’s more from a Cadence13 release:
Dapper Labs has closed a $12 million funding round led by National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, Aaron Gordon and Garrett Temple, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. The funds will be used for further development of blockchain games including the eventual launch of NBA Top Shot out of private beta, Dapper Labs founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou told CoinDesk in a phone interview. “Sports are our most important vertical now,” Gharegozlou said.
Arenas also took a shot at Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, who said he visited the Magic City strip club in Atlanta for food after leaving the bubble in Orlando for a funeral in July. “I would never eat at a strip club. I don’t go to the strip club to eat wings,” Gilbert told TMZ. “I can go to Wing Stop for some wings. I go to the strip club to see strippers.”
August 6, 2020 | 7:54 am EDT Update

Giannis Antetokounmpo very likely to win MVP, DPOY

If you thought this vote was going to be close based on LeBron James‘ run before the league’s stoppage, think twice. Per our poll, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the near-consensus MVP after improving his scoring, rebounding and three-point percentage numbers from a season ago. By securing back-to-back MVP awards, Antetokounmpo will join Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as the only NBA players to do so.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 298 more rumors
What attracted you to Brooklyn? Was it Kyrie going there? Or what made you want to be there? Kevin Durant: We went together so I think we talked about it together. I think they had a young core that was hungry for success, that played in the playoffs before. They had some young coaches that was looking forward to a new experience in the NBA. You know, I felt like there was a fresh organization that needed like an extra push, you know. You get two guys that can score the basketball. It just felt right.
Storyline: Durant-Irving Dynamic
August 6, 2020 | 3:26 am EDT Update
“In this situation with the NBPA, he wasn’t the only one that had a problem with what was potentially going to happen in the bubble. Like, everybody had concerns,” Durant said. “But obviously, he’s Kyrie—the biggest one—and that’s going to sell papers. At this time, especially during the pandemic, nobody making money, so you get an opportunity to get some clicks, it’s easy to use Kyrie. But it’s 80, 90 players who had the same questions he had.” Contrary to reports that Irving organized a group of NBA players to express their disapproval for the NBA restart, KD says that things transpired in a more organic way. “Kyrie wasn’t the one, like, ‘Yo, let’s get everybody together,'” he said. “Five or six people called one another, like, ‘Oh shit, I’m feeling that way too.’ Then, another 10 people called…But Kyrie the biggest voice out of ’em all, and because he relates to everyone in the league.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Isaiah Thomas: I’m fine with being a backup, At the end of the day I want to be apart of something and when my name is called I’d be more than ready!!! That goes for any team

Storyline: Isaiah Thomas Free Agency
Chances are, if you are reading this story on Anthony, you’ve heard the noise. And chances are, several of you are part of the noise. “When we got him, everybody had something to say about him,” Blazers star Damian Lillard said. “What he gonna do defensively? … He’s older … He’s done … Where’s he gonna fit in? … How is he in the locker room? … Why didn’t it work out with these other teams?”
All that “noise” has long ago been dismissed by the 36-year-old Anthony. But it hasn’t been forgotten by his teammates, who have come to adore the player they once worshipped from afar. “I say everybody who was talking, or said something negative about him, they need to apologize, you know?” Gary Trent Jr. said. “It’s Carmelo Anthony. He went through tough times. He battled, stayed resilient and for him to come back and bounce back like it’s nothing? That’s why he’s Carmelo Anthony and why he does what he does.”
With one of the most open NBA postseasons in years, there’s no clear title favorite right now, but the LA Clippers picked up one big endorsement: Kevin Durant. “If I had to choose — and I hate doing that s— because you never know what could happen, you seen that with us last year — but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Clippers and Bucks for the championship,” Durant said on the “Play For Keeps” podcast. “And I’ll go with the Clippers.”

Gregg Popovich compares Nikola Jokic to Larry Bird

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. became only the third rookie since 2000 to post consecutive 30-point double-doubles but it was Nikola Jokic who left Gregg Popovich feeling like he had just faced a Hall of Famer. “Porter is a fine young talent,” the San Antonio Spurs coach said. “And Jokic, he’s like a reincarnation of Larry Bird. He does everything. He’s amazing. They were great.”
Bell was drafted by Chicago in the second round in 2017 and traded to Golden State on draft night. But after two seasons with the Warriors, he signed a free-agent deal with the Timberwolves last summer. Then, Bell was traded in February as part of a four-team, 12-player deal in which he was first traded to Houston and then moved to Memphis the next day. He experienced a flood of emotions as he processed the trade, and it opened his eyes to the “business” side of the NBA. “When it happened, I was down, I was sad, I wanted to cry,” Bell said. “I wanted to be mad, I wanted to cuss somebody out, I wanted to fight somebody. But I still had a chance to play basketball in the NBA. There’s not a lot of people who get to say that.”
So Zion is important and not just for the sake of the New Orleans Pelicans. The big question hanging over the league is whether he’s capable of shouldering it all. Dr. Brian Sutterer, of sports injury YouTube fame, has been watching intently and has his concerns. “He’s in a race against his own body,” Dr. Sutterer said over the phone. “If you go watch his Duke highlights compared to now, the difference is profound. In my opinion, his athleticism and conditioning have regressed substantially. He’s less explosive, less conditioned, slower on defense, has already had a portion of his meniscus removed from his knee after an injury, and he’s still under close monitoring from the medical staff.”
Storyline: Zion Williamson Injury
In a Wednesday morning telephone interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said he turned off N.B.A. games “when I see people kneeling” and “disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem.” Asked about Trump’s comments after the Lakers’ 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder later in the day, James fired back. “The game will go on without his eyes on it,” James said at his postgame news conference from the N.B.A.’s so-called bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida. “I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball: We could care less.”

A day after delivering a pre-game history lesson on racial injustice, Gregg Popovich dove into the topic once more on Monday. This time, the Spurs head coach told reporters that Hispanics have also been the victims of systematic racism in the United States. “Black and brown people are the two major groups that suffered these injustices,” Popovich said in a Zoom media session. “Obviously, the Black population, for hundreds of years. But our brown brothers and sisters have suffered the same discrimination in a lot of ways that reflect the same system that has created such inequality in wealth across the board for Black and brown peoples,” the coach said.

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