Shams Charania: Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber is entering isolation and will miss 10-to-14 days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
In these first three weeks of the season, the league is learning that the hard way. One team official asked before the season, half-jokingly, if it would wind up going on a road trip and leave players in one city after another as it went. So far, two teams -- the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks -- have had to leave players behind; and in another instance, staff from the LA Clippers had to drive back home from Salt Lake City. The Toronto Raptors, who are playing in Tampa, Florida, this season, reversed course on having fans in attendance at games this week due to spikes in the virus.
"I do think the reality is that we know this is rampant right now," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "And we're doing everything we can, as I've said before, to prevent it, and it's still going to find its way into the league, through travel parties; so we're all assuming some level of risk. "And I think we accept that and, at the same time, we trust that the people in charge have health and safety as the No. 1 priority; and if it becomes too much, that'll be somebody else's decision who's an expert at it."
The Nuggets will arrive at the Garden on Sunday having played their last two games against the 76ers — who played with eight active players Saturday because of health and safety protocols stemming from Seth Curry’s positive test — and the Mavericks, who have quarantined three players after one tested positive following Thursday’s game in Denver. “We just gotta do our part individually,” Knicks guard Austin Rivers said Saturday. “It’s tough, though. It is everywhere. Unfortunately in our country, people don’t wear masks all the time. You have ignorance displayed every day, which is causing this to be more delayed and more serious. … It’s frustrating to see people mess around with that stuff. We just control what we control and do our part. The Knicks have done a great job of keeping us in line with that stuff.”
Brad Townsend: Rick Carlisle says Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson are still in Denver. Burke is available tonight.
Brad Townsend: Rick Carlisle: "We’re all dealing with a vast set of circumstances, so we’ve got to remain calm and we’ve always got to have a plan for adversity. We’ve been expecting that this kind of thing was certainly a realistic possibility and now we’re dealing with it.”
Brad Townsend: Carlisle: "We've got to remain calm. We've been expecting this sort of thing." It is what it is, what the NBA is going through right now.
Shams Charania: Wizards star Bradley Beal is out for tonight vs. Miami due to health and safety protocols and contact tracing exposure to Jayson Tatum, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Ava Wallace: Bradley Beal is OUT tonight vs. Miami due to the league's Health and Safety protocols, per source. Beal has not tested positive, he's wrapped up in contact tracing.
Tim Bontemps: Celtics say: Kemba Walker (knee), Grant Williams (health & safety), Robert Williams (H&S), Romeo Langford (wrist), Tristan Thompson (H&S) are out tomorrow vs Miami. Jayson Tatum (H&S) is doubtful. Semi Ojeleye (H&S), Jaylen Brown (H&S), Javonte Green (H&S) are questionable.
Duane Rankin: "I think it's something we're going to see throughout the year. I'm sure the league is prepared for what could be a stoppage at some point if it gets too bad." #Suns coach Monty Williams when asked about Philadelphia having #NBA minimum 8 players today. Was an assistant there.
Malika Andrews: Kevin Durant (health and safety protocols) is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Thunder, according to the latest injury report. Kyrie Irving (personal reasons) is listed as questionable.
Anthony Chiang: Erik Spoelstra on COVID-19 issues that Celtics and 76ers are currently dealing with: "There is an element of unknown and uncertainty. It's just a reality. It makes everybody feel a little bit uncomfortable." Calls it "sobering news."
Tim Reynolds: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, on Philly playing with 7 guys, etc.: "The numbers are spiking. That is the reality. We are committed to proceeding with our industry and we're doing it with all the best science and adherence to the protocols, but ultimately we're not in control.."
Mark Murphy: Per source: Jayson Tatum tested positive for Covid today, and is now awaiting the results of a confirmation test. He is asymptomatic.
Shams Charania: Boston Celtics All-NBA star Jayson Tatum is expected to enter quarantine and miss 10-to-14 days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Scott Agness: A limited number of fans will soon be allowed at Pacers home games, where a lot is different. - Pre-arrival screening/x-ray machines - Mandatory masks - Seating pods - Only cards accepted.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Sixers-Nuggets game will be played today, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Sixers are expected to have nine eligible players today, including three cleared from protocol: Joel Embiid, Danny Green and Paul Reed, sources tell ESPN.
Shams Charania: 76ers’ Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier are each out today vs. Denver due to health and safety protocols and will receive quarantine period, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium .
Kurt Helin: Raptors announce they will pause having fans at games in their temporary Tampa Bay home arena because "...COVID-19 numbers across west central Florida have risen sharply in recent days. The facility will remain closed to fans through at least February 5"
The NBA is teetering on the season's second coronavirus-related game postponement, as the Philadelphia 76ers await the league's ruling on the submission of a contact-tracing report of several players who shared close proximity to guard Seth Curry, sources told ESPN.
Shams Charania: A member of the 76ers training staff has registered a positive coronavirus test, leading to additional contact tracing within team, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. NBA is continuing its review process.
Kevin Durant is expected to play against the Thunder after missing three games due to the league’s coronavirus health and safety protocol. Durant came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 1 and the league requires players quarantine and register consecutive negative coronavirus tests for seven days from the day of the encounter.
Chris Haynes: Memphis Grizzlies say center Jonas Valanciunas will not return for the second half of tonight's game against Brooklyn Nets game due to health and safety protocols.
Shams Charania: Jonas Valanciunas leaving tonight’s game is not due to a positive coronavirus test, per team source.
Drew Hill: No positive test for JV, team sources say, which could mean it's a contact tracing issue. Wouldn't make sense for him to play if he tested positive, but the issues last night prove otherwise, I suppose.
Marc Stein: The Sixers, I'm told, are still in New York after a day of contract tracing and waiting for coronavirus testing results They are scheduled to play Denver at home tomorrow in a 3 PM matinee
Rich Hoffman: The rule is that you need eight players in uniform. For now, Sixers only seem to have: Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, and Tony Bradley. Going to need at least two of the players listed as questionable to suit up to avoid a postponement.
Marc Stein: The Mavericks have listed Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith as out for Saturday's home game against Orlando due to the league's health and safety protocols
Mirjam Swanson: Kerr on any COVID-related logistical issues the Warriors have faced: "Knock on wood, we have not had any issues since training camp, we are constantly reminding everyone on our team and our staff to continue to be smart."
Shams Charania: 76ers’ players currently listed questionable for Saturday vs. Denver due to health and safety protocols: Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, Vincent Poirier, Paul Reed
Seth Curry, held out of Thursday’s game with an ankle injury, was removed from the Sixers’ bench and placed in isolation after being notified of the positive test during the first half, according to two people familiar with the circumstances who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the details publicly.
“An initial positive test received during a game, when a player has already tested negative that day, results in the player’s immediate removal but does not trigger the cancellation of a game,” said David Weiss, the league’s senior vice president for player matters.
Weiss added: “The testing strategy we have implemented of two daily P.C.R. tests creates a process that aims to identify an infected individual before they become infectious to others. Combined with our data that analyzes contact time and distance during on-court play, our experts believe that the game can safely proceed in these circumstances.”
Michael Singer: League source: If a player was positive and played in a game, it doesn't necessarily mean both teams' next games would be impacted. I.e., If a player was positive in last night's Nuggets-Mavs game, that doesn't automatically mean Denver's next game (@ PHI) would be affected.
Malika Andrews: Steve Nash said the Nets weren’t aware during Thursday’s game against Philadelphia of Seth Curry’s positive test. They found out later. Curry sat on the bench for the first quarter of the game before the positive test result returned.
Kendra Andrews: Despite positive covid tests on the Mavericks (who the Nuggets played yesterday) and the 76ers (who the Nuggets are scheduled to play tomorrow) Denver is fully expecting to play tomorrow and hasn’t been told anything contrary to that, according to league sources
Tim Bontemps: Scott Brooks, like Brad Stevens, said the Wizards are just trying to follow all of the rules are being given to them as far as how to handle COVID-19. The Wizards played the Sixers and Seth Curry Wednesday. Curry, who scored 28 points in that game, tested positive yesterday.
Gary Washburn: Scott Brooks said the #Wizards definitely don't have to worry about contracting COVID from #76ers guard Seth Curry. "We weren't within six feet of him." Curry scored 28 points on 11-for-14 FG in their Jan. 6 meeting.
Harrison Wind: Source: All Nuggets players who played last night and traveled to Philadelphia this morning returned negative rapid coronavirus tests before boarding the team's flight. Protocol is for players/staff to rapid test before flights, just like before practices.
Tim Bontemps: Brad Stevens says he fully trusts the NBA in terms of how it is handling COVID-19. "The reality is we know this is rampant right now. We are doing everything we can to prevent it, and it's still going to find its way into the league and the travel parties."
Shams Charania: Sources: Prior to flight from Denver to Dallas today, the Mavericks learned of a positive coronavirus test for a player and two additional players who are expected to quarantine for seven days due to contact tracing. The three players remained in Denver.
Shams Charania: The two Mavericks players who were exposed to COVID-19 have tested negative and are expected to remain so, sources said. Dallas flew home today and faces Orlando at home on Saturday.
Tom Orsborn: Drew Eubanks remains out in accordance with NBA health and safety protocols, according to #Spurs injury report. Pop indicated yesterday that Eubanks and two other members of the travel party had been given COVID-19 tests. It's unclear if they remained in L.A. for quarantine.
Fred Katz: As of now, there are no indications that the Wizards/Celtics game will be impacted tonight. It remains scheduled as is, 7:30pm ET start time. Three Celtics are out and in health and safety protocol. The Wizards played the 76ers on Wednesday. Philly had positive test last night.
Jared Weiss: Celtics say Tristan Thompson, Rob Williams and Grant Williams are out due to COVID protocols for a game tonight against a Wizards team that just faced Seth Curry, who tested positive yesterday. This game should be postponed.
Adam Himmelsbach: According to a league source, Robert Williams was the lone Celtics player to test positive for COVID-19 and has been asymptomatic. Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams are out for contact tracing.
Brian Robb: Celtics PR just announced that Carsen Edwards will be available for tonight's game so it appears he will not face a seven-day quarantine.
Shams Charania: The Boston Celtics have four players — Robert Williams, Tristan Thompson, Grant Williams and Carsen Edwards — all facing a minimum seven-day quarantine due to health and safety protocols, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
The Philadelphia 76ers are quarantining in New York because of a positive COVID-19 test for guard Seth Curry. A person familiar with the situation says the Sixers stayed overnight after the team learned of Curry's positive result during Thursday's loss against the Nets. The person spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made Curry's condition public. The person said as of Friday morning Curry was the only positive test on the Sixers.
Starting Thursday, the NBA will require players, coaches and staff members to wear Kinexon SafeZone contact tracing sensors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, league sources confirmed to The Arizona Republic. ESPN first reported the news last week after obtaining memos from the league. “There’s certain things you have to do to stay in the league,” Williams said. “You got to work hard. Study. Game film. This is one more thing that we have to do to keep our livelihood, business and what we love to do in place.”
Jovan Buha: Alex Caruso says he never tested positive for COVID-19, but rather was in the league’s health & safety protocols because of contact tracing with someone he had seen after Christmas.
Shams Charania: Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is facing a minimum of 10 additional quarantine days due to health and safety protocols, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Dave McMenamin: Spurs asst Becky Hammon, who recently made history against the Lakers - becoming the first woman to serve as head coach during a regular season NBA game - is not with the team tonight. Gregg Popovich said pregame that one player and two staff members were in the safety protocol
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers guard Seth Curry returned a positive test for the coronavirus, which the team learned of near the start of a loss in Brooklyn tonight, sources tell ESPN. He went to an isolation room immediately, and thereafter left arena separate from team.
Ramona Shelburne: Curry was wearing a mask while he was on the bench, in accordance with NBA health and safety protocols. He wasn’t playing in the game due to left ankle soreness.
Keith Pompey: Back at their hotel, the #Sixers will test tomorrow morning , according to league sources.
Ramona Shelburne: The Sixers will stay over in New York and do their daily testing tomorrow. It’s unclear how long they’ll have to stay over.
Ramona Shelburne: Sixers All Star center Joel Embiid, who has a three-month-old-son, told ESPN he plans to self quarantine from his family until he is certain he didn’t contract the virus. Embiid sat next to Curry during the game.
Michele Roberts knows calls are coming about the COVID-19 vaccines, calls about the NBA players she represents, calls from those very players and even calls about herself, a 64-year-old Black woman who could very well have the option to take the vaccine.
Even if the questions are the same, the answers may not be. The National Basketball Players Association executive director has been doing her own research on the viability of the vaccines, weighing whether she will take it. But whether she takes it doesn’t give a definitive indication on what her recommendation to the players will be — a reasonable complication of a very layered, complex and downright scary situation.
“I got some very close friends. And really smart people have said to me, ‘Michele, it’s a no-brainer, of course, you’ll take the vaccine,’” Roberts said in a recent phone conversation with Yahoo Sports. “Unlike my players, I’m considerably older than they are and probably further up on the list. “But I haven’t made up my mind. I’m eager to be convinced that these are safe. I’m hopeful I’ll be convinced that they’re safe. But I’m not a cheerleader … I’m not at a place yet where I would wholeheartedly and fulsomely say, absolutely, you have to take it.”
July 28, 2021 | 7:51 am EDT Update
And two players from the Bucks are not only also on the American team, but circumstances were such that the three had to share a private plane ride across the Pacific last weekend — a day after the Bucks’ championship parade. “The memories are there, but it’s nothing personal between us,” Booker said. “We lost and that’s it, and I’m man enough to accept that and move on. There’s no hate towards Jrue or K Mid.”
Months after LeBron James lost a Finals, he’d always say it was something he’d never get over. Good thing he never had to be Devin Booker, who barely had 10 minutes to try and put it behind him. “I’m a forward thinker and able to move onto the next thing, and be able to take my ‘L’ and move on,” Booker said Wednesday, in his first comments since the night his Phoenix Suns lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, eight days ago.
Booker’s coach on Team USA, Gregg Popovich, and teammate Draymond Green (not to mention assistant coach Steve Kerr, but we digress) have been in Booker’s shoes, having lost a Finals. He said Popovich and Green discussed it with him “in short conversation.” “Talkin’ about it with Draymond, and him stressing the fact that it’s not gonna be that easy to get back to the Finals,” Booker said. “I remember us as a team saying that in the locker room after we lost — you know we’ve got to understand, it’s going to be even harder to make it to the point we were at. … But I’m excited for the experience. It was great. I am glad I got to do it, obviously ended up on the wrong side of the stick, but that’s life.”
“It’s a HUGE deal,” former NBA player Raja Bell said of the international ball in a text with CBS Sports on Tuesday. “I’ve always said that FIBA balls affected my shot and other NBA players’ shots tremendously. I HATE that ball! “It’s lighter, feels smaller, different texture,” Bell continued. “I mean, when the art of shooting is based on muscle memory, and you change all the factors except the rim size and height, it’s going to be difficult.”
In another exchange with a Western Conference scout, the conclusion was similar. “[The ball is] definitely a factor,” the scout said. “How big a factor I guess depends on the particular player. But it’s an adjustment for everyone. Some guys are going to make [the adjustment] easier than others.” And another text from an Eastern Conference scout with international playing experience: “It’s pretty different, and it takes some getting used to. It’s much softer than NBA or college basketballs.”
It should be comforting for Jalen Johnson to know he’ll be a first-round selection in Thursday night’s NBA draft. What should be more stressful for the former Nicolet High School standout is where he’ll actually be chosen. Johnson, a talented 6-foot-9 forward, has elicited a wide-range of opinions from NBA draft personnel. Said one longtime NBA personnel director of Johnson: “He is, to me, the biggest wild-card in the draft. I wouldn’t be shocked if he went in the lottery, like around 12 or so, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he fell into the 20s.’’
“Part of the evolution of African interest and passion for the game goes back to Hakeem’s entry into the game,” said Victor Williams, chief executive of NBA Africa. “Giannis is doing the same thing for today’s generation of African kids — and they do recognize him as African.” Antetokounmpo is known as “The Greek Freak” because he was born in Athens, but he grew up in a Nigerian home. His mother, Veronica, is Igbo. His late father, Charles, is from the same Yoruba tribe as Olajuwon. His last name — Adetokunbo — was Hellenized when he finally became a citizen of Greece and received his passport, one month before the Bucks drafted him 15th in 2013.
In the 2020 draft, nine players from or with at least one parent from Nigeria were selected. Seven players in the Finals had ties to Africa: Mamadi Diakite (Guinea); Abdel Nader (Egypt); Axel Toupane (Senegal); and Deandre Ayton, Jordan Nwora and Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria). “In a continent that is vastly made up of a young, vibrant, dynamic population, that’s the future,” Fall said. “So to see these young people on the global stage doing big things, I think across borders, whether he’s from Nigeria or Congo or Côte d’Ivoire, everybody is watching the NBA. What they are doing continues to build and add to the narrative and the momentum that’s been shaping up, in terms of basketball development on the continent.”