Ohm Youngmisuk: Adam Silver says the NBA has been watching other leagues, how they move forward with any positive tests and trying to continue play, advancement in testing, "all of it" is on the table for what the NBA's next season could look like.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai envisions arenas still without a lot of fans next season though he expects that to turn around in the ensuing years. “The next season is going to be a little tricky because we don’t anticipate having a lot of fans or having a full … arena anytime soon,” Tsai said Wednesday during the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. “But guess what? The following season, 2022, 2023, we look for a very nice rebound.”
Teams across the sports spectrum have faced diminishing revenues due to the lack of spectators allowed at most events, but Tsai said he remains encouraged that fan interest remains high. “Live sports is a rare commodity,” he said. “You could tell just during the Covid period when there was no sports on TV, people were just craving for it. Once you put games back on, people have come back to watch sports enthusiastically.”
Shams Charania: To prepare for possible return to NBA arenas for 2020-21 season, the league sent teams a 32-page manual with cleaning and disinfecting protocols to "reset" arenas, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Yale has designated three independent laboratories to perform the university-developed SalivaDirect™ COVID-19 test. Along with Yale Pathology Labs — the first to offer the test — Access Medical Laboratories, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), and Mirimus, Inc., represent the initial wave of providers for the innovative testing method. They will make SalivaDirect™ available to people in Florida, Minnesota and New York by late September.
In a spring 2020 pilot program led by the Yale School of Public Health, The National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), SalivaDirect™ was used to successfully test asymptomatic people within the NBA. This success attracted the attention of laboratories nationwide.
Burke was scheduled for his first COVID-19 test as part of the NBA’s return-to-play protocol the next morning. He woke up feeling a bit better, so he didn’t worry as he took the swabs at the Mavericks' facility. That night, Mavericks director of player health and performance Casey Smith called. “Hey, man,” Burke remembered Smith saying, “you tested positive for corona.” For the next five days, isolated in his room, Burke remained feverish, with tightness in his chest and a sore throat. Once the Mavericks left July 8 for Orlando, Burke started daily COVID-19 testing, too.As his coughs became more productive and he regained energy, he figured he’d soon test negative twice, an NBA requirement to enter the bubble. That wasn’t the case.
At 8:30 a.m. on his 24th day in quarantine, Burke received a negative result. He was so hopeful to join the Mavericks that he packed up then. At 8:30 a.m. again the next day, Burke held his breath as he quickly opened his phone, hoping to see a message that started an 'N' instead of a 'P'. It did. “Man,” Burke said. "I was so happy. That day, the Mavericks chartered a private jet to take Burke to Florida, where 36 to 48 more hours of hotel quarantine, per NBA protocol for all players, awaited him.
He thinks the mental focus and rigorous diet he maintained in Dallas quarantine helped prepare him to average more than 12 points and 24 minutes in 14 games, including three playoff starts. “He’s really answered the bell and we couldn’t be happier,” Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said during the Mavericks' playoff run. Burke hasn’t noticed any physical side effects from COVID-19 since recovering.
In July, Barnes tested positive for coronavirus and watched his wife suffer through “full blown symptoms.” Barnes said his empathy was affected throughout the experience. “I’ve grown in maturity because I understood from an intellectual standpoint how serious Covid-19 is and all the effects it was having on our society,” Barnes said. “Covid-19 is still present,” he added. “It’s still active and serious, so people need to take caution and preventive care against it. But in general, in society, I think we can be more empathetic.”
Ira Winderman: Per WNBA: After receiving inconclusive COVID-19 test results today for players from the Seattle Storm, the WNBA announced that Game 1 of the WNBA Semifinals between the Seattle Storm and the Minnesota Lynx has been postponed out of an abundance of caution.
The worst part of the season was when Herro couldn’t work. He started dealing with a lower-leg injury in February and missed 15 games, coming back for the first time on March 11 — the night the league shut down. And then came another problem: Herro eventually learned that he had COVID-19, after testing positive for the antibodies. “I was sick for a week or two,” Herro said. “My chest was hurting really bad. I had it right when the season shut down.”
Former Wildcat John Wall’s annual high school invitational has been canceled due to the coronavirus. The tournament, hosted in Wall’s home state of North Carolina, has been an annual event since 1972, with Wall recently sponsoring it and taking over the namesake. Occurring every holiday season, the tournament benefits Wall’s foundation, the John Wall Family Fund.
After spending more than a few weeks dealing with COVID-19, causing him to miss the NBA restart at the Orlando bubble, Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is back in good spirits spending time with family and working on various entrepreneurial and business ventures. “After the initial three weeks that I was dealing with it, I probably felt the effects for maybe another couple,” he told me. “After a month and a half or so, I was pretty solid.”
On Dec. 6, 2019, Hood tore his right Achilles tendon during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. While trying to rehab it, the coronavirus forced the NBA to postpone its season for several months before eventually resuming it in Orlando, Florida. It’s been a lot to watch unfold, and Hood said it’s difficult to wrap his mind around something forcing the NBA to pause. “It’s been crazy,” Hood said. “It’s a unique time, something I know I haven’t been through in my life, and I’m pretty sure most people can say the same. I’m just trying to stay safe and stay healthy. That’s the main priority, and I think people are handling it the right way. People are trying their best to (social distance) and help each other out, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Shams Charania: The NBA sent a memo to teams alerting medical staffs to be aware of increased risk of blood clotting (which can result in venous thromboembolism) associated with COVID-19.
“We are fortunate the NBA bubble is here in Orlando, and have an opportunity to work directly with them,” Gilzean said. “The objective here is our community has access to find out where they are, where they stand, and can be safe and take care of their families. Bring awareness to the community for COVID-19 testing and also assist of slowing the spread of COVID-19 testing.” The NBA supplied the tests for the site.
Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba has shown no signs of any serious health issues after contracting COVID-19 as he continues to recover from his recent bout with the virus. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Monday that doctors have not found any evidence of significant problems for Bamba in the wake of his COVID-19 contraction in June.
“He did have some complications arising from COVID and it will take a little time for everything to clear his system,” Weltman said. “The doctors have ruled out anything serious but it will take some time to clear his system. That’ll probably be measured in months not weeks. That’s really something that is not going to be a long-term issue. He’s going to have a complete recovery, but we’ll probably have to monitor his workload as we get through that, that’s all.”
“Mo had really done a good job managing the hiatus. He had added weight, he had stayed in good condition,” Weltman said. “He entered our facility with a really good kind of baseline fitness level. Then he contracted COVID. Mo, even in the bubble, showed some flashes but he was never able to turn the corner with his conditioning.”
From the SalivaDirect team’s perspective, the actual implementation of their SWISH study was the comfortable part. The NBA handled the voluntary sample collection logistics, integrating SalivaDirect’s experiment into their own testing program, which began June 22. Players and staff were being tested when they arrived at their practice facilities, giving SalivaDirect a chance to see how daily testing could be executed. “What partnering with the NBA allowed was to take SalivaDirect out into the wild,” Wyllie said. “So we just provided the information on how to collect saliva in the players’ home markets when they returned to market and were practicing again.”
“I’m excited. This is why we did this, to try to make the public impact,” said Weiss. “And if it’s something we can use for player health or to bring fans back, all the better.” At last week’s draft lottery, Commissioner Silver said the league is expecting to push back its projected Dec. 1 start date for next season so that it can begin the league year under relatively normal circumstances. “Our number one goal is to get fans into arenas,” said Silver. “My sense is, in working with the Players Association, if we can push back a little longer, it will increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas and that’s what we’ll be targeting.”
In addition to the hope of vaccines, the league and several of its owners have been working with companies on fast-response tests that could economically and safely make crowds more feasible in the months ahead. "We're watching closely the development of antivirals," Silver said. "There's been some really positive reports about vaccines lately."
Jeff Zillgitt: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said No. 1 goal for next season is "having fans in arenas." From what I'm hearing, the league would love to see a vaccine available late this year, early next year to make it work.
Ted Leonsis, chairman of MSE, sent an email Monday morning to all of the company’s full-time employees indicating that furloughed employees would be contacted by their managers over the next several hours. The 232 furloughs, which will affect all departments, including sales, marketing, game day operations and community relations, represent more than one-third of the company’s full-time payroll of approximately 600 people.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization on Saturday allowing public use of a saliva-based test for the coronavirus developed at Yale University and funded by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. The test, known as SalivaDirect, is designed for widespread public screening. The cost per sample could be as low as about $4, though the cost to consumers will likely be higher than that -- perhaps around $15 or $20 in some cases, according to expert sources.
Yale administered the saliva test to a group that included NBA players and staff in the lead-up to the league's return to play and compared results to the nasal swab tests the same group took. The results almost universally matched, according to published research that has not yet been peer-reviewed. The leading coronavirus saliva test, developed at a Rutgers University lab and given the same permission by the FDA in mid-April, costs individual consumers up to $150 -- though that can be reduced to $60 or $70 in some circumstances, said Andrew Brooks, an associate professor at Rutgers and chief operating officer of RUCDR Infinite Biologics, the lab behind the test. The Rutgers test can be taken at home and returns results in 24 to 48 hours.
Brooklyn Nets star DeAndre Jordan is doing his part to personally assist those combating the coronavirus -- by surprising 200 frontline workers with free meals!! TMZ Sports has learned -- the 6'11" center popped up at the myCovidMD in Los Angeles on Thursday ... teaming up with Postmates to provide the large group of workers administrating COVID tests with food from one of his favorite local joints -- Harold & Belle’s.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that the 2020 Enshrinement Ceremony festivities have officially been rescheduled to May 13-15, 2021 due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 virus. The organization had been hopeful to find a viable date in October 2020 if the pandemic showed signs of subsiding.
Barnes appreciates that he was able to participate in the NBA restart at all. On July 14, he announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus, as did his wife, Brittany, and mother, Shirley. Thankfully they have all recovered, although his wife had a tough bout with COVID-19. “I was scared because me, her and my mom were positive with all different symptoms and reactions to it,” Barnes said. “Brittany is in bed with all the symptoms. I, for the most part, had little to no symptoms. My mom had very minor symptoms. Just seeing how quickly it affected [my wife] and how long it took her to shake it was a big thing. She is fully recovered now with no issues.”
Bill Paschke: My temperature hovered in the upper reaches of 102. It felt like my head was on fire. One night I sweated through five shirts. I shook so much from the chills I thought I chipped a tooth. My chest felt like LeBron James was sitting on it. My fatigue made it feel as if I was dressed in the chains of Jacob Marley’s ghost. I coughed so hard it felt like I broke a rib. I would fall asleep in a chair and wake up terrified from a hallucinatory dream where I was chased through a playground by old women with giant heads. During phone calls I would get confused and just stop talking. I would begin crying for no reason. I lost my sense of taste, smell, and five pounds in the first four days.
Nobody tells you about the dread. From the moment my doctor phoned me with the test results, to the moment I am writing this column, I have been scared out of my mind.
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.
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.”
"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."
There's hope for vaccines, but the league has prepared teams for the reality that mass distribution would be unlikely for a full year, sources said. For now too there's a skepticism about the reliability of rapid-response testing. They're hopeful that advances in the technology could facilitate ways to get fans into arenas -- even if it means less than capacity. Teams are already modeling options that include a few thousand fans to buildings filled closer to capacity.
For the Heat, COVID-19 hasn’t been an issue since Derrick Jones Jr., Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn returned after testing positive for the virus in June while in Miami - something each of them subsequently disclosed. (Nunn is now out for other reasons, as detailed below.) But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some behind-the-scenes glitches. According to a league source briefed by a member of the Heat’s traveling party, at least four Heat players have had some uneasy moments or been ensnared in COVID testing glitches, with the Heat and the players not at fault for any of those.
Multiple Heat players have received inconclusive test results or false positives, according to the source. Those players have subsequently tested negative in each of two additional tests and were permitted to join the team for practice after those two additional tests.
Donovan Mitchell: It’s been a long five months. Surreal. Scary. Confusing. Boring. Terrifying. I don’t even know anymore. How many emotions can you fit into five months? It’s been everything. March 11, 2020. Jazz vs. Thunder. It feels like it’s one of those moments where 10 years from now people will be like, “Man, where were you when it went down?” I know everybody says it felt like being in a movie, but to actually be on the floor when the security guards came running out to shut down the NBA season … surreal doesn’t even explain it.
We knew some people were feeling sick, but it didn’t even enter our minds that somebody could have coronavirus. Back then, it was still such an unknown thing. It was something you saw on the news. It wasn’t real life, you know? So when the dudes in the Men in Black suits came running out onto the floor, my first thought was literally, O.K., there’s probably a leak in the ceiling or something. Then there’s more and more dudes in suits, and you’re like, Is the FBI swarming this building right now? They took us back to the locker room, and everybody’s phones were going crazy. Calls, not just texts. That’s when you know something’s up. Then they told us that nobody was allowed to leave, and that’s when you really know something’s up.
When we found out that Rudy had tested positive, that was a really difficult first hour. You’re thinking of everybody you came in contact with (I was just with my mom and sister in New York), you’re googling stuff (always a bad idea), you’re trying to respond to all the people who are worried about you. It was so many different emotions. But we were locked down in there for eight hours, man. There’s only so long you can be nervous. After the first hour, we couldn’t take it anymore. We shut off all the TVs and we put our phones on silent and we just tried to break the tension by talking and just enjoying each other’s company. We learned a lot about one another in that moment. And I know this is going to sound weird, but when I think back on those seven hours, it was a really important moment in my life. It was deep.
That was a really profound moment. Especially with everything that came after it. When I tested positive myself, I was in full isolation at my mom’s house in Connecticut. They put me down in the basement with a blanket and an Xbox. No windows. No fresh air. Full-on vampire mode. My mom would leave a plate of food at the top of the stairs for me, and I’d crack the door open and snatch the plate and a beam of sunlight would hit me like … I don’t even know … like I was Count Chocula or something. I was down there for two weeks, just waiting. Just hoping that I wouldn’t wake up the next day showing symptoms. And the weirdest part was that I guess I was like Patient Zero or whatever, so my mom was telling me that there were cars camped outside the house 24/7. What they were looking for, I don’t know. Meanwhile I’m down in the bunker playing Call of Duty.
Marc Stein: Everyone in the bubble is asked to wear a proximity sensor to promote social distancing. A chirping alarm sounds if two people wearing sensors are within six feet each of other for 10 seconds — provided both are actually wearing them and have charged them overnight.
Marc Stein: Sensors are optional for players, many of whom privately scoff at the idea of wearing a device that is not a movement tracker but is widely described that way. Everyone else, including reporters, is required to wear them. That leads to lots of chirping on bus rides and in postgame media scrums when maintaining six feet of distance is nearly impossible.
Marc Stein: San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, at 71, is the oldest coach in the N.B.A. He is among the few coaches who wears a mask while coaching games, despite the impediment to voice projection. When asked why he stays faithful to the mask, Popovich replied: “I don’t want to die.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA has adjusted its protocol for players who return inconclusive tests for the coronavirus, allowing for a quicker possible return to game action, according to a league memo shared with teams.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA teams have been concerned that player availability could become jeopardized should an inconclusive test result fall in the middle of a playoff series and force someone to miss a game. In certain cases, this protocol change could shorten that quarantine window for players.
Marc J. Spears: NBA sent a reminder memo out to teams today to cover the point of emphasis related to face masks/coverings in connection with the Health and Safety Protocols for the 2019-2020 restart and the Disney rules, a source said. "Behavioral & hygiene practices" of everyone is "critical."
In a FaceTime call with his grandmother in Bosnia last Friday, Nurkic said he learned that she had contracted COVID-19. Nurkic said he urged her to go to the hospital. Hana, who is 67, resisted. “I said if she don’t go, I come,” Nurkic said. “And I think that kind of made her mind to go to the hospital. Hopefully, it’s not too late.” He said the last he has heard, Hana was in the hospital but has slipped into a coma. “Right now, I’m praying for her to survive,” Nurkic said.
He went on a lengthy plea urging the importance of wearing masks. “I think people don’t realize that shit is real out there, man,” Nurkic said. “We’ve been fortunate to be here and in a safe environment, being tested every day, but please … take care of yourself. Wear your damn mask … if you are outside, by yourself, do what you got to do. But if you are inside … protect people.”
Joe Freeman: Jusuf Nurkic opens his postgame zoom interview by saying the last 12-13 days have been the "hardest days of my life" and urges people to take coronavirus seriously. Why? He said his grandma, Hannah, has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is in a coma.
As NBA players are preparing to restart a season shut down by coronavirus, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes had a powerful message for Americans after his own experience with the virus. "Everyone thinks that it will happen to somebody else or, 'If i get it, hopefully I'll be asymptomatic,' but we had three people in my house who all contracted it and each of us had a different experience," he told CNN Wednesday night. "So I would definitely encourage people to be safe."
Barnes announced earlier this month he had tested positive for the virus. His mother and wife also had the virus, and his wife had the most severe symptoms out of all three, he told CNN. "Just seeing her go through that process was scary," he said. "It definitely put things in perspective and now that we've been through it, I encourage everybody else to take Covid very seriously." Barnes says he's symptom-free and he hasn't felt any lingering health effects from the virus and has been feeling "great" since he began working out again ahead of the season. "Thankfully, I've been able to put it behind me," he said.
After a new agreement between the National Basketball Players Association and NBA, players will receive a $2.5 million insurance benefit in the event of suffering a career-ending injury, sources told ESPN. The NBPA had been pushing for a raise in the permanent disability policy that previously paid out approximately $312,000 in these cases. The insurance covers career-ending injuries sustained on and off the court, including complications rising out of Covid-19, sources said. The payment would be in addition to money owed on contracts and include all active players up to 35 years old, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: After months of talks, @TheNBPA has reached agreement with NBA to raise insurance policy coverage for players to a $2.5M benefit for career-ending injuries. Policy covers on-and-off court injuries, including complications from Covid-19. Previous payout was $312K.
Ira Winderman: Per NBA: Officials’ Whistles: A cloth covering has been added to the referees’ whistles to prevent the spread of spittle.
“It was hard for me to see so many people question my character based on one video,” Gobert said. “That was a big learning experience. I know who I am. People around me know who I am. Everyone is going to have a different perception and opinion of you. If I start putting my energy into that, I’m going to be living a very painful life.”
“The media portrayed it like I caused the NBA to shut down,” the soft-spoken Gobert told The Washington Post in an extended interview Friday, “instead of saying that it’s a pandemic and Rudy Gobert tested positive. For a lot of people who don’t think further than what’s put in their faces, they really thought I brought the coronavirus to the United States.” Gobert, a self-described jokester, smirked at the thought, but he wasn’t kidding.
The mental challenges and fear were as bad as the physical effects, Gobert recalled, and concerns about “my life and my family” trumped thoughts about his career. His mother, Corrine, was stuck in France, alone, at a time when international travel was inadvisable or impossible. “The toughest part was that I was away from my mom,” Gobert said reluctantly, noting that mother and son are in the midst of the longest separation of his life. “I didn’t want her to come over, because I didn’t know if I was still contagious or not. I still haven’t seen my mom since everything happened. It’s something I don’t really like to talk about, but she’s supported me a lot since I was very young. Just knowing how worried she was and knowing she wasn’t able to be with me, it was pretty tough mentally.”
As professional sports return to action with strict testing protocols made possible by abundant supplies and quick turnaround times, many have questioned whether it’s ethical for leagues to be afforded better access than much of the American public. Seemingly in response, the NBA – through its NBA Together campaign – will provide free tests in Orlando, Fla., where its bubble season is based.
Michael Porter Jr. was reprimanded by Snapchat for his comments about a coronavirus “agenda”. The Denver Nuggets forward answered fan questions on his Snapchat account Tuesday and shared his thoughts on the coronavirus and the government’s reaction to it. Porter said he believed the virus was being used as an opportunity to control people. Porter Jr. also shared that he never had been vaccinated. Not only did a Nuggets executive say he was going to talk with Porter Jr. about the comments, but Snapchat took action. Porter Jr. shared a photo on his Snapchat account showing that one of his postings had been reported. He was subsequently placed in “time out” for a violation of the social media service’s community guidelines.
Kevin Knox: COVID hit close to home. My mom lost her aunt and my dad lost a close friend yesterday. People this thing is real. Stay safe and help protect lives 🙏🏽😷
"It's not an exact science, because nobody's ever done this before," Silver told Good Morning America on ABC. "We have plans in place where we might pause — similar to what baseball's doing now. Probably if we had any significant spread at all, we'd immediately stop and what we'd try to do is to track and determine where they're coming from and whether there had been a spread on campus. I would say, ultimately, we would cease completely if we saw that this was spreading around the campus and something more than an isolated case was happening."
"The word 'anxious' would describe how I feel. We've been working at this for a long time, but there is a high case rate in Florida, down in Orange County where Orlando is," Silver said. "We're seeing what's happening in baseball with the Marlins, so it's something we're continuing to track very closely. Having said that, we have confidence in this protocol that we designed. It's not actually a sealed 'bubble', but everyone that's on that campus is tested on a daily basis. They're taking extraordinary precautions. The only time they're not wearing masks is when they're actually playing basketball. It's to the extent that when somebody tests positive, we'll obviously track them closely. We quarantine people when they first come down. So, we think we have a plan in place that should work."
David Aldridge: The @NBA announces it is helping provide free COVID-19 testing in the Orlando area through the end of August: pic.twitter.com/SEXKBekO0v
Michael Singer: Michael Malone said Tim Connelly has talked to Michael Porter Jr. about his comments. Said tean’s not “going to put a muzzle on anybody,” and that he’s going to focus on educating his players.
He was asked to “speak on this coronavirus thing being over blown to scare people into being controlled.” His response: “No, that’s facts. I think... personally I think that the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda, and it’s being used for population control in terms of just being able to control the masses of people. I mean, because of the virus the whole world is being controlled. I mean you’re required to wear masks, and who knows what’ll happen when this vaccine comes out. You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. “Like, that’d be crazy. I’ve never been vaccinated in my life, I’ve never had any shots or anything like that so... it could get crazy, but it’s definitely an agenda behind everything that’s going on right now. All you can do is sit back, and watch what’s going on. Don’t get too emotionally involved, but yeah. I mean it is a serious thing. It’s a real, it’s a real thing, but yes it’s being overblown.”
We are supposed to get a daily email confirming our coronavirus test results. There actually have been a few days on this trip when no email arrived, but it’s not too worrisome because there is also an online portal that stores all of our test results — and because the league has made it known that any bad news on coronavirus testing will be delivered by phone.
Erik Horne: Thunder coach Billy Donovan says Abdel Nader passed the concussion protocol and is available tonight vs. Blazers. Terrance Ferguson (leg contusion), Chris Paul (rest) and Nerlens Noel (missed COVID test) will not play.
Brandon Rahbar: Donovan: “Nerlens is extremely remorseful” about missing the COVID test. Billy says that even he has almost forgot to take his tests before and that it’s easy to slip your mind.
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.”
Barry Jackson: Spoelstra said what's happening with Marlins is "humbling" in terms of what COVID-19 can do. "We are not in control. We feel very comfortable about the plan and depth of planning and thought" with NBA's approach.
October 21, 2020 | 7:31 pm EDT Update
Jared Weiss: Celtics announce Daniel Theis had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. He is expected to be ready for training camp.
When Raymond Felton joined Ian Begley and SNY’s Chris Williamson on the latest edition of The Putback, he was asked about what advice he would give to Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, two young point guards trying to find their way while playing in the bright lights of New York. “Just confidence, man. Having confidence in yourself. Don’t get caught up in just all the pressure,” Felton said in this week’s Putback Extra. “There’s a lot of pressure to play in New York. It’s a lot of pressure. The fans in New York really love basketball, they really love their Knicks, and if you ain’t putting up, they’ll let you know. It’s a lot of pressure. If you can’t take it, and I’ve seen it hurt a lot of people’s careers.”
Felton explained that even if the young guards are struggling with their shots, there are other ways that they can impact the game and win over the New York fans. “That’s one thing I felt in that arena, it’s one thing that I felt from the fans. I think that’s the biggest thing I would help those guys with, just trying to be complete players,” Felton said. “Everybody thinks it’s all about scoring. ‘I’ve got to score all these points to get my money and get this contract,’ and it’s like yeah you do have to be able to put the ball in the basket, you’ve got to score, but there’s a lot of other things you can do, too, to get paid in this league.”
Mike Brown has been open about his desire to become a head coach again, and Kerr is optimistic that his friend and colleague will get that opportunity. Long known as a dogged worker with a borderline obsessive attention to detail, Brown, 50, has learned the importance of being flexible during his nearly half-decade with the Warriors.
“I don’t think I’ll ever lose my attention to detail and my want to have things be organized, but what being here has showed me is that, if it’s not that way, it’s not the end of the world,” Brown said. “You try to get the best out of the moment, knowing there’s going to be another time or date to circle back if you need to. Just keep it moving.”
Brown called working under Kerr “the best job I’ve ever had,” which is high praise considering that Brown’s resume includes a Finals run with the LeBron James-led Cavaliers and a stint as the head coach of Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. But over the past year, as Brown filled more and more notepad pages with Kerr’s soliloquies, he sometimes wondered how he’d handle a head-coaching job differently than he had in previous stops.
On Monday, BabyCenter released their most popular baby names list public, showing No. 24 and No. 2 increasing in popularity. The top-rising boy’s name for 2020 was Kobe. It landed at No. 216 on the list, moving up 379 spots. Gianna was listed as No. 24, coincidentally Kobe’s number, on the girls’ names list, after it jumped 52 spots.
October 21, 2020 | 5:04 pm EDT Update
You brought it up, saying you want to help Porter take his game to the next level. That would require you being with the Cavs. Does that mean you’ve made the decision to pick up your option already? Andre Drummond: “As of right now I’m just focusing on what I can worry about. Working on my game. Right now, just worrying about what’s happening with the next couple of months, before the season, whenever it’s time to start, and when that time does come to make that decision everybody will know. Right now, I’m a Cleveland Cavalier. In terms of extending, we will find that out when the time comes around.”