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One of the biggest challenges will be negotiating the terms of next season’s salary cap. That number is typically derived from the league’s revenues, but the pandemic cost the league an estimated $1.5 billion, according to people not authorized to speak publicly, so that formula is untenable. A massive salary cap drop would push the overwhelming majority of the league deep into the luxury tax while drying up the free-agent market in an instant at the same time.
From Enloe High School to Maryland and the NBA. Chris Wilcox was known for his fierce play and protecting the paint. Now, he wants to protect his community, the Triangle, from COVID-19. "Where I'm from, the community invested in me," Wilcox said. "I could go to anyone of my neighbors' houses, go get a meal, all the doors were open. Basically what I try to do is open those same doors for my community."
When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Wilcox started “Wilcox Distribution” as a way to get PPE distributed to under-served communities. "When I (saw) the prices of masks, gloves, shields and things like that, I was like 'hold on now'," Wilcox said. "There's got to be a way to get good products into the communities because we can't afford to pay premium prices for some of that stuff."
After Angelenos came together over the weekend in a massive demonstration and others crowded to celebrate the Lakers’ victory, Los Angeles County health officials on Monday released guidelines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. “If you were in a crowd with non-household members, especially if people weren’t wearing face coverings and were shouting, chanting, and/or singing, you may have been exposed to COVID-19 if an infected person was also there,” L.A. County Department of Public Health officials said. “People can pass the virus to others, even before they know they have it.”
No victory parade is planned through the streets of L.A., and no public team celebration in downtown will be held anytime soon.
Shams Charania: Within 72 hours of prospect visits, all individuals must register negative coronavirus test. Three NBA team executives allowed per visit with 2020 prospects; the prospect is allowed to bring three individuals (family member, agent, etc).
Having dealt with COVID-19 and been sidelined for weeks prior to the NBA’s resumption of play in late July, Heat guard Kendrick Nunn said Sunday he could only imagine what it would be like for an infected a football player to return. “I guess it all depend on the person. Some people recover within a couple of days, some weeks,” he said after the Heat’s morning walkthrough. “Unfortunately, mine was a little bit long, like two weeks, two and a half weeks to actually get that negative test.”
Only in recent days did Nunn again truly feel back to himself, having had to leave the Disney bubble along the way for a death in the family and then return to quarantine in isolation. “It was tough,” he said of regaining his stride. “It was tough, I’d say. Definitely tough, But the good thing I was here stacking those days on top of each other, being consistent in routine and trying to get to that peak of my game as quickly as possible.”
Donatas Urbonas: Joffrey Lauvergne was re-tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, per sources. The final test on Saturday will show if JoJo was falsely tested positive on Thursday.
With the Los Angeles Lakers on the verge of an NBA championship, the county’s top health officer urged residents Thursday to celebrate responsibly, remembering that the coronavirus should preclude large parties or public gatherings. “We’re still in the middle of a pandemic,” Dr. Muntu Davis said. “Very excited that the Lakers are going to be playing this next game. And we just want to remind people the safest way to celebrate all of our teams, the Lakers and the Dodgers, is to do it in the comfort of your own home.”
STAPLES Center: STAPLES Center & L.A. LIVE will not be airing/showing tomorrow’s NBA Finals game or potential post game celebrations on any of the exterior digital signage. Vehicle & pedestrian access will be limited & @Lakers fans encouraged to watch the game and celebrate responsibly at home.
Zalgiris Kaunas announced that center Joffrey Lauvergne tested positive for COVID-19. The player is currently asymptomatic and isolated at his home. So far this is the seventh confirmed COVID-19 case that concerns a EuroLeague player after the start of the season
If you’re watching from a distance, like the Lakers’ J.R. Smith, this mishmash of uncertainty over testing protocols, communication and lack of quarantining is leading to some obvious and frustrating questions. Namely, how is it that Congress and the White House are getting this so wrong? “I’ve been tested every single day since being in the bubble! How is it Congress doesn’t have a testing protocol? Just watching #CNN,” Smith, who has been inside the NBA bubble for months, tweeted.
Smith also pointed out the hypocrisy when it comes to only certain people having to follow Covid protocols. The NBA had strict guidelines in place, punishing players for even getting take out before they cleared their quarantine window. Meanwhile. the newly diagnosed White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who had known exposure to the virus, had continued to brief reporters without a mask for days. The double standard here is fairly obvious and you know things are super messed up when J.R. Smith is the voice of reason.
Willy Hernangómez remains in Spain while waiting for his NBA return, however, in recent hours, the international center has made the headlines in Madrid for his activity off the courts. According to reports by Telemadrid (as adapted by Marca), the player was among the 200 people present at an illegal party that had to be intervened by the police in the municipality of Aravaca, Madrid. The player was not arrested, but he was among those identified, as stated in the report.
Hernangomez made a statement followed these events, in which he admitted he was indeed among the attendees at the party, apologizing to the public. “As a result of the latest information that emerged about me, I wanted, firstly, to confirm that I was indeed present at said event. Secondly, and more importantly, to apologize publicly, assuming my mistake and being fully aware of what it implies. in the situation we are living in, “ Hernangomez wrote in a statement issued by his representative agency.
Jared Weiss: Adam Silver to @Rachel__Nichols: "I think the issue is with daily testing and rapid testing, can you contain (COVID) so it doesn't rapidly spread." He is continuing to observe NFL and MLB's operations to inform how NBA attempts to pull off regular season at home arenas in 2021.
Mark Medina: Adam Silver: "Based on everything I've ready, there is no chance there will be a vaccine" by next season. Silver said that he thinks the rapid testing and safety protocols could still allow fans in limited capacity into arenas. But again all fluid
Marc J. Spears: Adam Silver says “it’s not clear what’s going to happen with the Olympics.” Silver adds “basic protocol” to fight against the coronavirus with wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing hands and cleanliness is working.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.’”
"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.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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November 27, 2020 | 1:34 pm EST Update
November 27, 2020 | 12:32 pm EST Update
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard Donovan Mitchell to a contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. “We are thrilled to be able to ensure that a person and a player like Donovan Mitchell will be with the Jazz organization for the long term,” said Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey. “His work ethic, passion and commitment to winning are all qualities that encapsulate Jazz basketball and ever since he arrived in Utah, Donovan has deepened those values for our team. We look forward to helping him continue to grow and continue to make a positive impact in our community.”
Storyline: Donovan Mitchell Extension
November 27, 2020 | 10:34 am EST Update
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