Ohm Youngmisuk: Doc Rivers on Fox Prime Ticket: “You forget that being in the bubble is hard… Listening to these guys speak, just mental awareness, we got to be a little sharper on that. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that everyone in this bubble just seems to be a little more emotional.”
Josh Robbins: Due to his left hamstring strain, Aaron Gordon has left the NBA bubble, a Magic official said. Gordon sustained the injury on August 5 and hasn’t played since.
Tania Ganguli: NBA referees are assembling to begin marching around the campus in support of the players who took a stand last night. “We’re here because we feel like our group is a representation of America, or what America could be. ... This is not right vs left, this is right vs wrong.” pic.twitter.com/2yU5FIeyDO
Eric Woodyard: NBA Referees are organizing a march inside the Disney Bubble to oppose injustice in America, a source tells ESPN.
Brian Mahoney: Members of the @OfficialNBARefs leading a march on the Disney campus to show support for everyone standing against racism. pic.twitter.com/vOtBgnQy2D
Tania Ganguli: Disney employees are lined up clapping and cheering for the people marching in support of NBA players’ protests against racism and police brutality. The group includes not just referees but some team attendants and others living on campus. pic.twitter.com/VeUjdm4CQg
Vincent Goodwill: Source to @yahoosports: “This is Lord of the Flies now- 2020 edition” A lot of tension between players, It’s been building from inside the bubble
Marc J. Spears: Meanwhile, family members and friends of NBA players are quarantining nearby with hopes of entering the bubble on Monday.
Barkley went on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and essentially said PG13 had no right to speak about his bubble anxiety ... given the hardships other Americans are currently going through. "I don't think guys making millions of dollars should be worried just because they're stuck in a place where they can go fishing and play golf and play basketball and make millions of dollars," Barkley said. "That's not a dark place. The thing that just happened in Wisconsin, the things happening with this pandemic, all these people losing their jobs, those people are in a dark place."
Marc Stein: Roughly 100 family members and friends of NBA players whose teams are still in the Bubble, I'm told, are currently in quarantine and poised to move onto the NBA campus starting this weekend. There are 13 teams still here ... with Orlando and Portland facing elimination tonight
Michele Roberts talked me out of figurative crime Tuesday. Every time I’ve watched “Do The Right Thing,” even as I understood why Mookie threw the trash can, I still thought he was wrong to do it. But I’d never wanted to throw the can myself. Now, I do. Good thing there was an adult on the phone. “You can end up feeling so helpless,” Roberts said from Orlando Tuesday, as she tried to convince the players who’ve empowered her as Executive Director of their union not to boycott playoff games this week, their anger at the latest shooting of a Black man by police officers – Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the shooting happening in front of his three children – stirring them to do something, anything, to express their anger and frustration while stuck in the bubble.
Yet Ariza made the heart-wrenching decision to opt out of playing alongside his Portland teammates because he was presented with an opportunity to have 30 days of visitation with his oldest son Tajh, who he had not seen in nearly a year due to custody issues. Ariza has no second thoughts about his choice, but that doesn't mean life outside the bubble has been easy. He has heard the pundits lamenting his absence, as he is a big, strong veteran player who could have helped handle Lakers forward LeBron James. "Man, the word 'hard' doesn't even begin to describe it," Ariza told ESPN. "This is what I was born to do, to play basketball. I've been doing it my whole life. And to know my team has a chance to compete for a championship, and I'm not with them. ... It burns me up inside."
"You know what? It's weird, but the opinions that mattered the most to me were all the opinions applauding me for my actions," Ariza said. "The Blazers couldn't have been more supportive. They understand how big this is, the times we are in, how important it is to teach a young Black boy to grow to be a successful Black man." During his month-long visit with Tajh, Ariza celebrated his son's charisma, his wise cracks, his dance moves and his strong opinions. He taught him to box in his home gym, shot baskets with him at sunset and spent a lot of time listening and learning.
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA has set offseason rules for the 22 teams in Orlando once eliminated: - Team facility open for voluntary workouts for players under contract; up to four at a time - One staff member per individual workout - Coronavirus testing is optional; at team's expense
Marc J. Spears: Today, selected family members and guests of NBA players can quarantine for seven days off-site in hopes of joining the "bubble" in playoffs second round. But if their NBA team is eliminated, which could happen to Indiana today, their loved ones will have to depart shortly after. There are also other selected NBA player family members and guests quarantining for three days in the team's market before taking a franchise charter flight to Orlando and then quarantining four more days on the Disney campus. But if team eliminated, you don't have to go home...
Joe Vardon: The men and women working for the NBA as barbers and hairstylists are here for the Celtics-Sixers game. It’s their first attendance at any game in the bubble. Thrilled for them and thankful the leaguer made this happen
Scott Agness: Nate McMillan confirms on @FSIndiana pregame show that Domantas Sabonis is scheduled to return to the bubble today and will enter quarantine for “a few days."
That lack of ambient sound in the three arenas being used at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida has made for a different dynamic between referees and the players and coaches throughout a game. "In my career, 10 years, I never would have heard an assistant from 70 feet away say, 'Make the f---ing call!'" referee Josh Tiven said. "But you might hear that here."
In the bubble, referees have had to rethink some of their approaches to the job. What do you do when you hear a foul you didn't necessarily see? What is it like knowing that the viewing audience can hear your explanation of every call in real time? And how much slack do you give during those on-court confrontations that are suddenly under a larger microscope? "It's been an unusual experience, and nothing we could ever dream of," said 26-year referee James Capers, one of the league's most veteran officials. "It's so unusual of a circumstance that I'm trying to take it one day at a time and just make the best out of it."
While there may be the occasional moment when a referee will hear something that helps confirm whether a play was a foul, officials are mostly relying on the typical things. "I'm so locked in that [it doesn't impact me]," Capers said. "We have a principle to referee the defender. So when that reach happens, I know if it's hand and ball, and I know that it's wrist, and I know if he gets him. Because, people don't talk about it, but basketball is a contact sport. We're trying to figure out if it is marginal and incidental, versus illegal. So as long as I am locked in, and as long as I am doing my job and focused, I see it the same way."
To celebrate the NBA Finals, Disney and NBA came up with a substantial collection of merchandise. The following merchandise will be showing up on August 24 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort and on August 31 on shopDisney.com. This new NBA Experience collection will be incredibly unique to go along with this once in a lifetime season that brought together the NBA and Disney for the NBA Playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort. The collections will do this visually as well as they combine NBA with classic Disney Parks icons. There will also be some specific merchandise for specific NBA teams. There is a little bit of everything for Disney and NBA fans. This includes drink ware, basketballs, phone cases, spirits jerseys, shirts, magic bands, and so much more!
That lack of ambient sound in the three arenas being used at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex has made for a different dynamic between referees and the players and coaches throughout a game. "In my career, 10 years, I never would have heard an assistant from 70 feet away say, 'Make the f---ing call!'" referee Josh Tiven said. "But you might hear that here."
In the bubble, referees have had to rethink some of their approaches to the job. What do you do when you hear a foul you didn't necessarily see? What is it like knowing that the viewing audience can hear your explanation of every call in real time? And how much rope do you give during those on-court confrontations that are suddenly under a larger microscope? "It's been an unusual experience, and nothing we could ever dream of," said 26-year referee James Capers, one of the league's most veteran officials. "It's so unusual of a circumstance that I'm trying to take it one day at a time and just make the best out of it."
While there may be the occasional moment when a referee will hear something that helps confirm whether a play was a foul or not, officials are mostly relying on the typical things. "I'm so locked in that [it doesn't impact me]," Capers said. "We have a principle to referee the defender. So when that reach happens, I know if it's hand and ball, and I know that it's wrist, and I know if he gets him. "Because, people don't talk about it, but basketball is a contact sport. We're trying to figure out if it is marginal and incidental, versus illegal. So as long as I am locked in, and as long as I am doing my job and focused, I see it the same way."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., is clearing quarantine soon and will be in lineup for Game 3 against Denver today, sources tell ESPN. Conley returned to Orlando on Monday night after attending the birth of his son, Elijah.
Casey Holdahl: According to @CJ McCollum (via @Zach Lowe's podcast), the Blazers are being booted out of the Yacht Club and moving to the Grand Floridian. Sounds like staff are moving most of their personal effects during tonight's game vs. Lakers with the final move taking place Wednesday.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Mike Conley Jr. has returned to the NBA campus according to the Jazz.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., returned to The Bubble on Monday night and there's optimism that he could clear his quarantine for Game 3 vs. Denver on Friday, sources tell ESPN.
Ben Golliver: Announcement: My first book will be "Bubbleball," a chronicle of my time in the NBA bubble & the 2020 title chase. - Thanks Mom, @mattvita at @washingtonpost, Tim Wojcik at @LGRLiterary & @EditorStoltz at @ABRAMSbooks. - Coming May 2021. Pre-order: https://bit.ly/3haMXrT
San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon gave a shoutout to working moms and single parents in a touching Instagram post Monday. Hammon, who just returned from the NBA bubble, shared her thoughts about parenting after seeing her kids for the first time in a month. Hammon, 43, said she was in tears after reuniting with her children.
After the Phoenix Suns sent feel-good waves through the league, the Toronto Raptors decided to follow suit. Toronto players were treated to a special player introduction video before Monday's Game 1 against Brooklyn, which featured family members announcing their names before tipoff.
Andrew Greif: Clippers center Montrezl Harrell has cleared the NBA's 7-day quarantine process, source tells @latimessports, and he is with the team at shootaround this morning.
Mirjam Swanson: JMyke - "We're mad about the days he got" - regarding Trezz's extended seven-day quarantine, which is due to end tomorrow, in line with the Clips' playoffs opener vs. Dallas.
Inside the Nuggets’ team meal room in the Orlando bubble, team officials had banners made depicting all 17 players that have now made it safely to the NBA’s re-start. Outside of it, in a public space where opposing teams walk on their way to practice, the Nuggets projected a much different message. The team created two separate banners that illustrate the social justice messages the organization has been amplifying for more than a month. One celebrates former congressman John Lewis, the late civil rights icon who spent his life fighting for equal voting rights.
The other banner reads “Don’t shut up and dribble,” and features 11 black-and-white photos taken from protests that Nuggets players participated in. Veterans Gary Harris and Jerami Grant both contributed to the collection. “I think it speaks volumes when you walk by our food room and you don’t necessarily see world championship banners,” Malone said. “You see banners reflecting the current mood across our country, which is terrific.”
Jared Weiss: Brad Stevens asked how he is feeling in the bubble a month in and you can see a smile crack through his mask: "Thanks for asking! I don't get asked that very often." Goes on to talk about how difficult being away from the family is, but how important it is to him to be there.
Brandon Rahbar: Chris Paul on drawing on his playoff experience: “I’ve played in 102 playoff games. But I’ve never played one in a Bubble. Where your home court is predicated on virtual fans and the jersey you wear.”
Brandon Rahbar: Chris Paul: “Today is my daughter’s 8th birthday. It’s the first time I haven’t been with one of my kids on their birthday. All day I’ll be on the phone with my daughter. Sending videos, letting her know how special she is.” Chris got her roller-skates with her name on them.
Tim Reynolds: Utah Jazz announce that guard Mike Conley departed Orlando this morning and returned to Columbus, Ohio for the birth of his son.
Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller, who were ubiquitous on TNT seeding games, were given the first round off so they wouldn’t need to spend two consecutive months in the bubble. They’ll be back for later rounds. We’ll miss Harlan’s exuberant call in the first round. Ian Eagle, who teamed with Stan Van Gundy on TNT seeding games, is unavailable to Turner during the first round because he’s also the TV voice of the Brooklyn Nets, who play Toronto in the first round.
Van Gundy - during the first round of postseason - instead will work with Spero Dedes, the steady CBS NFL/college basketball announcer who has done NBA games for Turner in past years. Chris Webber, left off TNT’s schedule for seeding games, has been summoned to the bubble to work first-round games with TNT staffer and Milwaukee Brewers TV voice Brian Anderson.
TNT also is using Pelicans velvet-voiced play-by-player Joel Meyers (the former NBC NFL announcer) and Golden State Warriors announcer Bob Fitzgerald to call first-round games, with former Heat guard Jim Jackson and ex-NBA point guard Greg Anthony as game analysts.
“You can’t replicate actual presence when you’re waking up and you’re in the living room or you’re in the kitchen or you’re outside playing with your kids or playing with your daughter, playing video games with your boys or working out with your boys,” Lakers star LeBron James said. “You can’t replicate that. I’m not there. Savannah [James’ wife] is a beast at what she does. That’s controlling the home and being that rock for our family. So I’m not worried about that. But you definitely, you have that miss factor when you miss your family, you miss your kids.”
“I just miss the noise,” Caldwell-Pope said before a game last week. “It was good just to get away from the noise, but then I’m kind of missing it. I didn’t think I would say I miss my kids making all type of noise.” Caldwell-Pope has three sons — Kenzo is 8, Kentavious Jr. is 3 and Kendrix is the baby at 1. During the hiatus, he would help Kenzo participate in remote schooling; help complete multiplication homework from the desk in the playroom.
Not every family will come. They’ll have to subject young children to quarantines. Once they’re out of quarantine, not many kid-friendly activities will be available. “I already know she’s gonna go crazy,” Lakers forward Markieff Morris said of his 3-year-old daughter. “She’ll do anything to see me, so it is what it is.”
Chris Paul: Crazy to think that the 2019-2020 season is officially wrapped and in the books!! Huge shoutout to EVERYBODY involved from @NBA, @TheNBPA & @Disney, from afar and on the ground, for the long hours and commitment to figuring this operation out.
Jimmy Butler came up with a not-so-Mickey Mouse idea that now has his room at Disney World the hub for French-press coffee. At $20 a pop. What seemed like a bit of playfulness during an ESPN interview turned into fact with the Miami Heat's All-Star forward, outed when teammate Meyers Leonard posted a photo from outside of Butler's door at the Gran Destino resort. With a one-price-fits-all retail concept, Butler's "Big Face Coffee" menu includes Latte, Americano, Mocha, Pour Over, Espresso, Macchiato, Cappuccino, Red Eye and Café Au Lait. Again, the pricing is basic: Small $20; Medium $20; Large $20. Also made clear on the signage are "Cash Only" and "No I.O.U.'s."
Butler's agent offered background on Twitter, with Bernie Lee posting, "I've been waiting for someone to out this. This is outside JB's door. He ordered the whiteboard on Amazon and made the sign." Butler said it all is part of his entrepreneurial spirit. "I'm working on my coffee skills," he told ESPN. "After my career, I'm opening my coffee shop. Right now, I'm charging 20 bucks a cup. So if you want some, come through." IMGhttps://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat/status/1294616875482189825
Enes Kanter: “He put the volleyballs in the middle and just said, ‘Go!' And everybody [runs]. The guy that's throwing on me was Tacko [Fall]. So he's running one side, I'm on the other side. I picked up the ball -- that was the first time I played dodgeball so I didn't know like the balls were that light. So I went out, threw the ball, and it went to the moon. I'm like, ‘Oh no, this is ugly.' And someone was filming it. So we actually beat the black team first, the white team beat the black team first and they were out. Then, the second game was white against green, and we played against Kemba [Walker], Jaylen Brown, Tremont [Waters] … Grant Williams. Same setup. White team one side, green team other side, coach said, ‘Go!' and we pick up all those dodgeballs, green team got none, and we literally just destroyed them."
Jeff Zillgitt: All-bubble first team: Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, James Harden, TJ Warren. Second team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kristaps Porzingis, Caris LeVert, Michael Porter Jr.
Shams Charania: NBA Bubble Awards for seeding games: MVP: Portland’s Damian Lillard Coach: Phoenix’s Monty Williams
Only 49% of MLB fans surveyed feel that the sport will complete its World Series, which is scheduled to wrap up in late October. A larger percentage of NBA fans -- 58% -- think the NBA will finish its season in the bubble at Walt Disney World Resort. That season is scheduled to wrap up no later than Oct. 13.
A majority of fans in both the NBA and Major League Baseball think the champion will be legitimate ... though not by a large majority. A total of 57% of NBA fans think the champ will be legitimate despite it being held at a neutral site.
Ryan Ward: Rajon Rondo is now officially in the NBA bubble. He’ll begin his quarantine ahead of the playoffs.
Marc Stein: As if Rockets/Thunder in Round 1 didn't have enough subplots ... I'm told James Harden's team and Chris Paul's team not only share a hotel but also share the same building at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The bubble—sorry, the campus—is operational. Is it what you hoped it would be? Adam Silver: It’s better than what we had envisioned. Players have taken to it in a more spirited way than we thought they would. We knew that this would require enormous sacrifice on everyone’s part, but I think that what is hard to calibrate—and this maybe goes to my experience when I first came into the arena—is the human emotion that comes with being around other people. And I think everyone realized they missed it more than they even understood. There are players either whose teams are not participating, who were unable to engage this summer because of injuries or other issues, who, once they spoke to fellow NBA players, have asked to join the experience down in Orlando.
Anything you wish you could have done? Adam Silver: I’d say my biggest disappointment is that we couldn’t find a sensible way to bring 30 teams down there. We know everything here involves compromises, but I do feel bad there are eight teams that are not part of the experience.
When asked about the possibility of Goldstein attending playoff games at some point, an NBA executive said matters would have to drastically change. This is about more than just going to basketball games, and reclaiming the courtside seats he owns near the visiting bench for Clippers and Lakers games. It’s about more than a multi-millionaire jet-setter with nowhere to jet set. As with so many people, it is about a person unable to enjoy some of his most valued connections because of the coronavirus.
Goldstein was asked by the Clippers to be a virtual fan for one of their seeding games, but after initially agreeing he found the technology too complicated. “I started watching what they’re showing on TV with these virtual fans. And I think it’s so ridiculous looking that I’m glad that I wasn’t able to figure it out, to be honest with you,” Goldstein said.
Shams Charania: Zero NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 342 tested at Orlando campus since last results were announced Aug. 5, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: The NBA has informed its 30 franchises that they will be able to add two team staff members on Disney campus on Aug. 22 ahead of conference semifinals, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Shams Charania: The NBA has informed its 30 franchises that they will be able to add two team staff members on Disney campus on Aug. 22 ahead of conference semifinals, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Inside the Grand Floridian hotel, out of the soupy Florida heat, a wave of relief washed over Michele Roberts. For months, Roberts, the Executive Director of the NBA’s players association, worked tirelessly with league officials to piece together its return. Medical protocols needed to be worked out. Then, the financials. Yet even when an agreement had been hammered out, Roberts worried: How would players respond to months of isolation? Not bad, it turns out. “In some ways I didn't think it would be as forgiving as it has been,” Roberts told SI in an extended interview. There were the expected complaints. Players didn’t enjoy the 48-hour hard quarantine they received upon arrival. “I think had it been longer than that,” Roberts said, “then it may have been more problematic.” Those buzzing Roberts tell her how much they miss friends, family. “The good news is that's pretty much 99% of what I hear in terms of complaints,” Roberts said. “And at the end of the day, the guys have said, ‘I got to go to work. I'm at work, I'm doing my job.’”
Roberts will admit: There were days she didn’t think the NBA would get here. On March 11, as the coronavirus pandemic raged across Europe and cases in the U.S. began to grow, Roberts met with Adam Silver. Roberts had watched the virus spread overseas. “Milan is one of my favorite cities,” Roberts said. “It was virtually shut down the first week in March. When Roberts met with Silver, the discussion was not if players would start testing positive, but how to respond when they do.
“There was a lot of concern,” Jaylen Brown, a union vice president, told SI. “There was a lack of information at one point. There's still some questions with COVID. We still don't know what the long-term effects are. Your hair could fall off in five years. We have no idea. It's just a new virus. So those were some of the questions. And information was being filled in, but it was not being filled in at the pace that a lot of players felt comfortable with.”
Inside the Grand Floridian hotel, out of the soupy Florida heat, a wave of relief washed over Michele Roberts. For months, Roberts, the Executive Director of the NBA’s players association, worked tirelessly with league officials to piece together its return. Medical protocols needed to be worked out. Then, the financials. Yet even when an agreement had been hammered out, Roberts worried: How would players respond to months of isolation?
Not bad, it turns out. “In some ways I didn't think it would be as forgiving as it has been,” Roberts told SI in an extended interview. There were the expected complaints. Players didn’t enjoy the 48-hour hard quarantine they received upon arrival. “I think had it been longer than that,” Roberts said, “then it may have been more problematic.” Those buzzing Roberts tell her how much they miss friends, family. “The good news is that's pretty much 99% of what I hear in terms of complaints,” Roberts said. “And at the end of the day, the guys have said, ‘I got to go to work. I'm at work, I'm doing my job.’”
On the scheduling, Roberts has issues. The NBA Finals could stretch as long as mid-October, affording at least two teams little time to recover. “My guess is we'll probably not start until early 2021,” Roberts said. But months of work on this bubble has convinced Roberts that as long as COVID-19 is still spreading, a bubble is the only way to play.
“Right now I don't see how sports can be played outside of a bubble concept,” Roberts said. “I don't see that, given the state of where we are. Given the absence of a vaccine. Because as long as this thing spreads the way it spreads, the only way you can stop the spread from impacting their ability to perform, and this is at any job, is to isolate. Keep people separated and maintain as much distance as possible.”
“Now, having said that, do I think our guys are going to be in a bubble for six or seven months? Hell no. It's not going to happen. I think what we're going to have to do is figure out creatively how we can have bubble-like the environments that allow us to play the number of games that we believe we need to play in order to complete the season and crown a champion. If nothing else, we've learned that we have to be creative and we have been creative, and that's why we're doing what we're doing right now. It's something that no one would have thought about or had to think about five months ago.”
Anthony Davis’ hotel room has unexpectedly been utilized as the Los Angeles Lakers’ gathering spot for special events, sources told Yahoo Sports. The team has gathered there to watch the popular “Verzuz” rap battles between Snoop Dogg and DMX, and 2 Chainz and Rick Ross, and to hold its Madden tournament.
Approached about the assemblies and why his room was chosen as the designated setting, Davis explained. “I’m one of the few who has a suite and I’m the tech guy of the team who knows how to set up all the devices and connect them to the TV,” the star forward told Yahoo Sports. “LeBron [James] is a big Snoop Dogg fan and actually a big DMX fan, and so my room made sense. It started with that and then we just kept it going from there.”
Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross has rejoined the bubble after negative, non-COVID-19 test results and is in quarantine protocol.
Josh Robbins: Terrence Ross has returned to the NBA Bubble following off-site medical tests that that were not COVID-related, and those tests were negative, Magic officials said. Once Ross clears quarantine, he will be available to play.
One idea floated on a recent owners call, as first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by USA TODAY Sports, is bringing the Forgotten Eight to the Disney bubble near Orlando once teams are eliminated. So far, that environment has been a success. No player has tested positive for COVID-19 for three consecutive weeks, and the league’s plan to minimize cases is working. That would require additional testing and resources, but it would in theory assuage health and safety concerns and satisfy those teams wishing to get time on the court. It’s just an idea, and three team executives told USA TODAY Sports they are skeptical of that becoming reality.
The NBPA has been steadfast in their stance on protecting players from COVID-19. But three NBA executives told USA TODAY Sports that players will find a way to play and that it would be better if they played in a team’s controlled environment with COVID-19 testing, trainers and recovery aid rather than a local gym or fitness club.
Yet these are also strange times for Curry, which made the next-level access at the year’s first golf major even more meaningful. It was an escape from the constant reminders that he and his Warriors are somehow irrelevant in the N.B.A. for now. “Obviously I was happy to see basketball back on TV, but that first week I had major FOMO,” Curry said, using the popular term for the “fear of missing out.” “Once you see Bron and Kawhi and P.G. go at it, and you remember how much fun it is to play in those types of games and that kind of level, you miss it badly,” Curry added, referring to the July 30 showdown between LeBron James’s Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Orlando’s Terrence Ross leaves The Bubble for off-site testing. "Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross had to leave the NBA campus following Sunday's game against Boston due to a personal, non-Covid medical matter, which required him to undergo some off-site tests as advised by league physicians. Ross will be out tomorrow against Brooklyn and his availability moving forward will depend on test results and NBA quarantine protocols."
Josh Robbins: Terrence Ross left the NBA bubble after Sunday's game to undergo off-site tests for a non-Covid medical issue, Magic officials said. Ross will not play in Tuesday's game against the Nets, and his availability after that will depend on test results and NBA quarantine protocols.
At least this season, players moved an average amount early in the season. However, distance traveled is only one proxy for player “work.” The accelerations and deceleration from changing ends is a big chunk of players rapid movement, and the first few weeks of the season do correlate with higher pace. At just over 103.4 possessions in a 48 minute game, week 1 of this season was the highest pace recorded all year, with weeks 2 as the 3rd highest paced week prior to the shutdown. Second fastest? The week back from All-Star break, both of which saw average possessions/48 in the 102.5 range. The first week in the bubble? 102.8. The second, partial week of seeding games? Through Sunday 102.6.
Relative to possessions played, the restart games have been higher movement than average in almost 58 percent of seeding games (including over 62 percent of games in the first week of the restart) exceeded the seasonal median movement for games of a given possession length. So, higher pace plus higher movement relative to pace, what does that mean for the amount players are doing on the floor? Recall the trend pre-shutdown: And then what happened? So yes, our eyes are telling us the truth, guys really are flying around out there. This will be worth monitoring heading into the postseason, as one suspects this peripatetic movement and the high foul rates we’ve seen (and documented) thus far could be related. Which is a perfect time for me to point out that after spending the first week-plus of bubble play in the stratosphere, foul rates have returned to normal in recent days, though Sunday saw a big leap back to the bad place:
"We’re not taking away from existing testing," said Kathy Behrens, the NBA’s president of social responsibility and player programs. "We know testing needs to happen. Our focus is on what we can do to contribute so that testing is available." Therefore, the NBA launched a community testing program that it says will provide thousands of COVID-19 PCR tests for free both in Orlando and in the league’s 29 other team markets through August.
Behrens said the NBA has not yet calculated how much the league and its partners have paid for these programs. All participants already sense, however, the programs’ impact. "My outlook is that this is a bridge to a vaccine," said Marc Morial, the president and CEO of the National Urban League. "If people know they have the virus, they can self-quarantine and they can get treated."
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: NBA teams that have been mathematically eliminated on or before Aug. 12 will depart campus immediately after their final game has ended. Following game, teams will shower in designated rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort, receive meal and take team bus to airport.
“The buy in from everyone, especially players, is pretty amazing,” says a league executive. He’s talking by phone, from the NBA’s campus in Orlando where players like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard are wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. “To watch a whole team, with superstars, walk by and swipe their Magic Bands and have them flash green, which means they filled out symptom surveys that morning, is awesome.” Anyone who has been to Disney knows a Magic Band is a dystopian digital tracking device with a Mickey Mouse logo that you can’t throw away because it is also your room key. Today, it’s a lynch pin of the NBA’s coronavirus strategy, which involves the kind of invasive oversight teams have long sought, andt the Players Association accepts in a pandemic.
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”