Ohm Youngmisuk: Michael Malone on coaches not allowed family to visit: "Players have their families here...referees are allowed 1 guest...coaches are not allowed anybody. Shame on you NBA. This is crazy. I miss my family..60 days + not granted privilege that my family come is criminal in nature"
Mirjam Swanson: Malone speaking on Murray's performance in the bubble & mentions this is "the hardest playoff environment that has ever existed." As Candace Parker said from the Wubble & Doc Rivers said there: This title doesn't deserve an asterisk, but an exclamation point, or a golden star.
It all sounded so breezy when the Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverley arrived at Walt Disney World and promptly scoffed at the idea that working and living at one of the foremost playgrounds on Earth could somehow be complicated. The bubble, Beverley unforgettably declared that day, is what you make it. Nearly two months later, no one on the N.B.A.’s Disney campus can be that cavalier when talking about the surroundings. The league has managed to keep the coronavirus out, which undeniably is a significant achievement, but not without levying an emotional tax by severely restricting access.
Beverley’s first-glance view suggested that bubble inhabitants, with the right mind-set, could make this all seem as magical as a typical Disney trip. Now consider the review that the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James offered up Saturday night — after the league emerged from a three-day walkout during which numerous players gave serious thought to closing down the bubble completely. The near shutdown wasn’t motivated solely by the players’ social justice pursuits; also factoring in was the simple desire to return to the outside world. “I’ve had numerous nights and days of thinking about leaving,” James said. “I think everyone has, including you guys.”
James was referring to members of the news media and, without question, he was right. The word I have used to describe this assignment, over and over, is “unmissable.” That sentiment remains true, because I’m not sure I’ll ever have the chance again to cover N.B.A. playoff games in August and September in arenas without fans. But “interminable” also applies. I can’t deny that there have been times during my 52 days here that I tried to picture the finish line and couldn’t.
It’s not because of the workload. My role at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, leading ESPN’s coverage of the U.S. men’s basketball team for “SportsCenter” and ESPN.com, made for even longer days in some ways. What gets to you in the bubble is your lack of control, combined with the long-term isolation, all exacerbated by copious regulations and restrictions. So many rules to follow. So much time alone with your thoughts. An Olympic excursion, typically bucket list territory for most sportswriters, also lasts only three or four weeks.
According to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, teams that advance past the first round of the playoffs can reserve guest rooms that match the team's roster size. Although it does not specify an exact number of guests allowed, the protocols state the number is “subject to Disney’s room occupancy rules and guidelines.” A player can determine anyone a guest so long as that person is not a certified agent. Most of the players’ guests are either wives, girlfriends and their children. Players can invite only one guest to a game, but they are allowed to bring small children. “It'll just be good to be around some people that care about you, that you care about outside of your teammates,” Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams said. “This environment can be a little mundane at times, so it’s nice to have some fresh energy.”
Clippers center JaMychal Green plans to have his girlfriend and children visit should the team advance to the Western Conference finals. Yet, he still harbored concerns about his kids becoming stir-crazy on campus. People can swim, exercise, golf and fish on campus, but there are no options beyond those activities. Everyone also has to observe social distancing and mask-wearing rules. “I didn't want them to come here and get bored,” Green said. “My kids like to play and like to go outside. So there's really not much here to do.”
Usually, pets do not need to feel as entertained. They are used to quarantined life even in normal times. Unfortunately, they do not meet the criteria for guests. “I would love to have my dogs in here, but they are not allowing pets,” said Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green, whose fiancée will visit. “But I think pets would definitely lighten the mood. That would help if anybody who has any type of say-so to get some dogs in here.”
“It gets monotonous — I get it — but there’s definitely worse things in the world,” Orlando’s Michael Carter-Williams said. “To be honest, it’s kind of cool to say that I was part of history — to say that I was part of being in the bubble and part of protesting a playoff game.”
Where do you stand on the idea that playing games is a distraction away from everything that’s happening in the real world? Jared Dudley: I’ve always believed our voices are stronger and louder together. We’re doing this interview now because we’re playing. I have GQ doing an interview now just because of what’s going on. We’re not doing this interview if I’m at home. So it brings awareness. You hear VanVleet. You hear George Hill. You don’t know those names. The only names you hear when we don’t play are LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry. You don’t hear these role players. Jaylen Brown? I just saw Jamal Murray put his Breonna Taylor shoes on the chair. You don’t get that if we sit. And then there’s the money. People say ‘it’s not always about money’ but money helps change communities. It’s not everything but it’s a big piece of what’s going on.
“I can’t talk about my brother’s headspace,” Kostas continued. “I don’t think he’s ever been to the point of (wanting to leave), but obviously everybody has had a hard time in here. He just had a son, and he misses his son a lot. So he’s thinking about him every day, but when he gets an opportunity to hold him in his hands, teach him how to walk and stuff like that. “So he knows that that’s important to him. But he also knows that what he’s trying to accomplish with his team is important to him too. So I feel like he’s in the right headspace, and it’s gonna be alright.”
Pat Riley has joined the Miami Heat at Disney World, but will be observing their playoff games from a distance. Arriving as part of the NBA’s second tier of guests, those not in the league’s bubble quarantine, Riley will take in the games at the Wide World of Sports complex from a distance, not allowed direct contract with players, coaches or those in the league’s highest tier of quarantine access. Heat General Manager Andy Elisburg also is with Riley in Central Florida, with the two with separate accommodations than the team’s at Disney World.
Chris Mannix: Brad Stevens said Gordon Hayward’s rehab from a sprained ankle is going “OK.” Says his gait still isn’t right. Says he expects Hayward to rejoin the team in the bubble, but he won’t rejoin and be ready to play right away.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The memo to "all governors and senior team basketball operations personnel" is meant as reminder of "higher standards expected" of them. As league memo said, given unique arena conditions, limited number of seats, small buildings, no crowd noise, this is "especially important."
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA has warned teams that owners and senior basketball executives -- and their families -- must adhere to proper decorum at playoff games in The Bubble, per memo. "No profane or objectionable language," or "coming onto court" during games.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The rules disallow "conversations with game officials, disrespectfully addressing game officials and using profane or objectionable language will be interpreted broadly and strictly," per memo. No directed those comments to refs during breaks or post-game either, league says.
Josh Lewenberg: Some of the Raptors players will have their families join them in the NBA bubble today. VanVleet, who hasn't seen his kids since Father's Day: "I'm just excited. I miss my family... It will be good to see everybody. And right on time after getting our butts kicked yesterday."
On Monday, Danny Green will be reunited with his fiancee after nearly two months in the NBA bubble. NBA players whose teams have advanced to the second round of the playoffs can begin reuniting with select loved ones this week. So, for Green, that means seeing his fiancee as the title-contending Lakers prepare for the second round of the playoffs after eliminating the Portland Trail Blazers on Aug. 29. “My mind was in one place and my heart is in another,” Green said. “We’re tired of being in here. We wanted our families to be here, and some are on their way here. Some of our families are quarantining right outside the bubble. Some will be here in a couple of days. We know that is going to make things better for us.”
NBA referees are allowed to bring one guest, but two NBA referees told The Undefeated they didn’t think any officials would. One NBA referee said they would have to pay about $700 per day for their loved ones to quarantine, which would include a room, food and COVID-19 tests. “I don’t think anyone is doing it, so it hasn’t been a conversation for us since the day we got here,” one NBA referee told The Undefeated. Said another referee: “Our limit was one. You going to bring [your] wife and leave your kids at home?”
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said players have debated about whether to bring children to the adult-laden bubble. VanVleet ultimately decided to bring his girlfriend, Shontai Neal, and their young daughter, Sanaa, and infant son Fred Jr. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing my family for a while now. Obviously, there was a big debate about whether to bring them,” VanVleet told The Undefeated. “It’s not the best of circumstances to bring two small children and have them quarantined and tested … But we made a decision for them to come. So, I just hope they are as excited to see me as I am to see them.”
Terrence Ross: I love basketball but damn it feels good to be at home with the family, especially during this crazy year. Ain’t no feeling like being home with your loved ones 🥰❤️💯
Anthony Chiang: Erik Spoelstra says it will help players to get family and friends in the bubble at the start of the second round. But Spoelstra adds: "Can you write something about the staff being able to have our family join us?"
Gary Washburn: #Celtics director of player development Allison Feaster now has a cheering partner. BOS asst GM Mike Zarren is out of quarantine and in the house to watch BOS-TOR.
Ben Golliver: Lakers’ LeBron James on whether he was ready to leave bubble after Bucks refused to play: “I’ve had numerous nights & days thinking about leaving. I think everyone has, including you (media) guys. There’s not 1 person who hasn’t (thought), “I’ve got to get the hell out of here.’”
Rachel Nichols: Only because of the Bubble...Clippers Coach Doc Rivers is courtside watching his son Austin play in tonight’s Rockets-Thunder game, less than 24 hours before LA tries to wrap its first-round series against Dallas.
"People don't realize how difficult it is... We were there for a little over a month and I was ready to go." @swipathefox talks life in the NBA bubble:
Josh Robbins: The Orlando Magic are scheduled to have a team-wide Zoom call this afternoon with Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff John Mina to discuss policing in the community, a Magic official said.
The two-time NBA Executive of the Year traveled across the country because he wanted to experience the unprecedented situation. Well, that was one reason, as there were other objectives in mind. "Pro scouting. I'm a big in-person guy, and I got to see 12 games in three days. I saw 16 teams play," Myers explained to reporters last week. "Usually as a general manager, we don't do a lot of pro scouting. I only see teams when we play them. And the season got cut short, and certain teams I never saw play.
Bob Myers: "It was tremendously valuable for me to be out there. And then also -- the league is constantly changing. Just to watch what's going on in the playoffs, and I want to have the best chance of understanding where the league is going."
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.
April 17, 2021 | 3:07 pm EDT Update
Sarah Todd: Following an MRI and clinical evaluation, Donovan Mitchell suffered a significant right lower ankle sprain. He will be re-evaluated in one week.
Harrison Faigen: Frank Vogel says Andre Drummond will play and start today. Keef and Dennis are game-time decisions. Marc Gasol is available but dealing with hamstring tightness and his broken finger. Everyone else (other than AD and LeBron and Dudz) is good to go.
On Thursday, the Michigan Wolverines got some big news as senior leader Isaiah Livers announced he would be declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft. He put together an outstanding career in Ann Arbor and will now take his talents to the next level. This was an anticipated decision, but was made official on Thursday.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Stephen Curry said recently. “We’ve been able to mobilize quickly. We didn’t expect to have such an impact — we only launched a year and a half ago. But so many kids were hanging in the dark. It was alarming. We are excited about the work we’re doing but it’s hard to celebrate because it means the need is so great. That’s the dichotomy.”