Roy Parry: Magic coach Steve Clifford remains in the league’s health and safety protocols and will not be traveling with the team to Cleveland for its game Wednesday against the Cavaliers, according to a team official.
Team officials are holding out hope that the test results were a false positive, but the most encouraging news is that Clifford has shown no ill effects, at least so far. He has not had a fever. His blood oxygen levels are normal. “I was shocked that it was positive,” Clifford said Saturday night after The Athletic reported that he had tested positive. “I feel 100 percent.”
Josh Robbins: Steve Clifford also said one of the officials in the Magic's game Tuesday in Atlanta tested positive for the coronavirus, placing the Magic in the league's enhanced protocol.
Josh Robbins: On a Zoom call with reporters, Steve Clifford reiterated that he feels fine and has no symptoms. He had a positive test Thursday night, two negative tests Friday and a positive test this morning. Clifford took another test this afternoon and will have another tomorrow morning.
Tim Reynolds: Steve Clifford does not expect to coach tomorrow night. Still TBD, officially. If he cannot go, Tyrone Corbin will coach the Magic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford tested positive for the coronavirus, but results have shown to be inconclusive and he could coach on Sunday night vs. Pacers if he tests negative twice prior to tip-off, sources tell ESPN. Clifford has been vaccinated and has been asymptomatic.
The Magic were scheduled to practice Saturday and would have benefited from the work, especially considering their recent roster turnover. But the team had to cancel the session due to health and safety protocols after the positive test for Clifford. He has received his first vaccination shot and is asymptomatic and the team is hoping for a false negative, league sources indicated.
Josh Robbins: Reporting with @Shams Charania: League sources say Magic head coach Steve Clifford has tested positive for the coronavirus, but the Magic are holding out hope it is a false positive. Clifford has had his first vaccine shot already and is asymptomatic.
Fournier missed the previous nine games due to a bout with COVID-19. The Boston Celtics swingman struggled in the 109-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, missing all seven of his shots in 22 minutes. After the game, he opened up about his difficult experience with the virus. "My experience -- where do I start? The first two days I was doing great, no symptoms at all, and then flu-like symptoms, high fever, really tired, fatigue, all that," Fournier said.
Evan Fournier: "I honestly stayed in bed and slept for four or five days. The roughest part was ramping up the activity. The last two days of practice was really hard. I had moments where I was doing good and moments where I was exhausted. That's why you have to push through it. You have to do it to feel better. I don't want to spend another week just ramping up my activity and doing cardio and all that. I need reps with the guys."
Shams Charania: Sources: Three new NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 488 tested since April 14.
Shams Charania: Sources: One NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus out of 483 tested since March 31.
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has been cleared to travel with the team to Washington after missing Friday's 99-86 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden due to a positive test for COVID-19. Carlisle, 61, called the test result "unexpected," saying that he was fully vaccinated in January. "There's a chance and a hope that it will be a false positive," Carlisle said during his pregame videoconference, which he conducted from his New York City hotel room. "This seems like possibly a mistake, but for these reasons I'm entering the [NBA health and safety] protocol."
Brad Townsend: Carlisle says he doesn't believe there is any concern that other people in the Mavs' travel party need to be pulled out tonight. The testing procedures are done in a way that people in the travel party are kept apart until their individual test comes back negative.
Mark Followill: Rick Carlisle just announced he had an unexpected positive test for COVID. He said he's been fully vaccinated since January & is hopeful it is a false positive. He has been re-tested & is currently at the team hotel. If he is unable to be at the game, Jamahl Mosely will be coach
Brad Townsend: Carlisle says "I feel great. I worked out this morning." Says he contacted Jamahl Mosley a couple of hours ago to let him know there's a good chance he might coach the team tonight.
Shams Charania: Sources: One new NBA player tested positive for coronavirus out of 481 tested since March 24.
Marc Stein: The NBA announces that of the 485 players tested leaguewide for COVID-19 since March 17, one new player has returned a confirmed positive test. pic.twitter.com/SczCrh3694
Omari Sanfoka II: Dwane Casey said he caught COVID-19 around the time Christian Wood had it, and the team didn't publicize it. Didn't have any strong symptoms. He's fully vaccinated now
Shams Charania: Two NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 465 tested since March 3, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: 76ers All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have officially been ruled out of the All-Star Game due to contact tracing.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA's worst nightmare in Atlanta has been an outbreak among the best players in the world. Embiid and Simmons didn't have contact w/ peers there. In the instance involving the two Sixers stars, players have been kept in contact tracing and quarantine for 7 days this season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: At this late hour, there are no plans to replace Embiid and Simmons in the All-Star Game, source tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Additional test has returned positive for the coronavirus on barber in contact with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, sources tell ESPN. League must make decision still, but it is highly unlikely Embiid and Simmons will be cleared to play today.
Mark Medina: Doc Rivers more on Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons likely not playing in the All-Star game: "I would feel more for them if they had COVID. They get to make the team still, and they're on the team ... But you want to play and them being in a jersey."
Marc Stein: More Doc Rivers: "We're still waiting for the NBA to tell us what the next steps are." Embiid and Simmons have been isolated in their hotel rooms in Atlanta as the NBA determines if they were exposed to someone in Philadelphia this week who is now testing positive for COVID-19.
Shams Charania: 76ers All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are potentially ineligible to play tonight in the NBA All-Star Game due to contact tracing from exposure to a likely COVID-19 positive individual before they arrived to Atlanta, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: The exposure occurred with Embiid and Simmons‘ personal barber who had a positive test result and is awaiting another test. Both traveled by themselves on private planes, and had no exposure to other players or people down in Atlanta bubble.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were in contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19 in Philadelphia and are uncertain for today's All-Star Game, sources tell ESPN. Barber has been retested because of inconclusive initial test. They're waiting on results now.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA plans to have Embiid and Simmons do media sessions prior to game from their rooms, source said. Contact tracing could ultimately keep them out of the game.
Shams Charania: This quarantine process was applied per NBA’s normal strict protocols. Embiid and Simmons have not been in contact with other people in Atlanta due to league’s quarantine.
Spurs forward Keldon Johnson’s assessment of his bout with the COVID-19 virus is the stuff of a surgeon general’s warning. “I would say it sucked,” Johnson said. Having returned to the court after a 15-day layoff because of the coronavirus and its aftereffects, Johnson is glad to report he is feeling better now. “I am doing amazing,” Johnson said before Thursday’s game against Oklahoma City. “Couldn’t feel any better.”
For Johnson — a 21-year-old coach Gregg Popovich once likened to a “wild mustang” — it meant an even more arduous path through the NBA’s health and safety protocols. “The first day was probably the worst day,” Johnson said. “I felt a little weak, had a little headache. I stayed in bed all day.”
As far as surprises go, Johnson’s selection to the Rising Stars roster was more pleasant than his COVID-19 diagnosis. “We were definitely surprised,” Johnson said. “It just happens. We take so many protocols to avoid COVID, and to have so many players come up with it, it sucked.” Johnson and the other infected players formed a sort of support group during their time in quarantine. “We definitely stayed in touch,” Johnson said. “Everybody called and checked on me and made sure I was all good. We were in each other’s corner.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Seven new positive NBA COVID tests in the past week, source tells ESPN.
Kyle Goon: Dennis Schroder said he never had COVID-19 and tested negative during his quarantine. He says the NBA "has to do better" and before he's able to elaborate ... ... the Zoom crashes.
Shams Charania: Sources: Five new NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 454 in the last week.
Kellan Olson: Dario Saric confirmed he had coronavirus while he was out. Said this has been a rough 2 months for him with that and then the ankle injury when he was working his way back from that.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Karl-Anthony Towns: "Getting COVID stopped everything...I am a high-risk case. COVID did not treat me well whatsoever. A lot of scary nights." He told his sister he got a bad version of COVID and had "a lot of it in me..A lot of long nights and the vitals weren't good (at times)"
Ohm Youngmisuk: KAT: "Everyone is different. My underlying conditions did not play in my favor with COVID... I am the most genetically close to my mother...nothing was playing in my favor.. mental health is very real. I have dealt with it my whole life and my mother always knew how to heal me."
Ohm Youngmisuk: KAT: "I feel very guilty about the treatment I got [that] I [wish was] more widely available to anyone in the world. I feel very guilty... there is such mental strain through all this time. A feeling of guilt because of the resources I have. I wish I could (share) the resources."
Eric Woodyard: Karl-Anthony Towns says he was a high-risk COVID-19 case with a lot of “scary nights.” He spent time in the house with no sound or TV, but became more spiritually connected to himself. “A lot of emotion,” he described.
Melissa Rohlin: Karl Anthony-Towns described his harrowing experience with COVID: "You get to a point where you feel like you're never going to see the court again."
Shams Charania: One new NBA player tested positive for coronavirus out of 470 tested since Feb. 3, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Eric Nehm: Jrue Holiday is listed as OUT (Health and Safety Protocols) on the NBA's injury report for tonight's game against the Suns. Bucks are supposed to have shootaround in Phoenix in about an hour. We will be given one player for media availability afterwards.
However, during his postgame news conference, teammate Khris Middleton indicated Holiday might have tested positive for COVID-19. “You definitely think about it, especially for Jrue,” Middleton said. “It’s nothing to play around with. And once he tested positive, you immediately think about his health, his safety and then his family back home. He has little kids too that he has to worry about. So, I think that was a huge part of what was going through my mind before the game. Just thinking about him and his family back home.”
Budenholzer said he believed the game’s status was never in doubt, but Lopez was far less confident. “I wasn’t sure obviously,” Lopez said. “I took my pregame nap and I wasn’t sure if I was going to wake up and there was going to be a text like, ‘Oh. No game tonight. Pack up.’ or ‘We’re staying.’ or whatever it was.”
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo shared a similar sentiment as Lopez, he woke up from his nap and found out the game was still going to be played. “I think you always just have to be prepared in thinking about what you can do if somebody’s not able to go,” Budenholzer said. “Just proud of the guys. That’s a good win on the road against a really good team. Different guys stepped up and played well. It’s not easy, but proud of our guys. It was a good win.”
However, during his postgame news conference, teammate Khris Middleton indicated Holiday might have tested positive for COVID-19 while discussing his mindset heading into the game with Holiday’s absence. “You definitely think about it, especially for Jrue,” Middleton said. “It’s nothing to play around with. And once he tested positive, you immediately think about his health, his safety and then his family back home. He has little kids too that he has to worry about. So, I think that was a huge part of what was going through my mind before the game. Just thinking about him and his family back home.”
Middleton further explained how he would attempt to help the Bucks’ starting point guard through this situation. “Just continue to talk to him, make sure his mind is right,” Middleton said. “He’s probably a little stressed out trying to worry about what type of symptoms he’s going to have or whatnot. But you continue to talk to him, pray for him, hope that he’s going to be well. Hopefully, the test may come back negative a couple more times and then it’s just a false positive. Right now, I think that’s the best-case scenario, but I’m sure he’ll be fine no matter what though.”
Troy Brown: When they told me that I tested positive, I wasn’t surprised. I had already started quarantining, so it wasn’t a shock; the positive test just confirmed my suspicions. I’ve taken COVID very seriously and been very safe since this all started, but I still got it. When I got the news, I wasn’t too scared. I don't know if I’ll have any long-term issues that are related to COVID, but I try not to worry about that since it’s out of my control. My mindset is this: It happened and I can't do anything about it, so I’m just trying to stay as positive as I can, live day-by-day and not worry. Once I was quarantined, I was just resting every day. I played a lot of Call of Duty and NBA 2K (I’m a big fan of MyCareer mode). I played with my dogs a lot (I have a Pomeranian and a Shih Tzu Poodle). I did a lot of cleaning. I was watching a lot of basketball too -- from highlights to different games on League Pass.
Having returned from the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Eubanks has become a walking 6-foot-9 public service announcement for others navigating the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “For people who don’t think it’s that serious, you should probably take it seriously,” said Eubanks, 24. “It can really affect people, and you don’t know how it can affect you.”
Eubanks considers himself one of the lucky ones. Young and healthy, Eubanks said he experienced symptoms that were akin to “a bad cold.” He also lost his sense of taste and smell for about a week. “You can do everything right — that’s the way I was. I don’t go out, I don’t do anything, I keep to myself,” Eubanks said Wednesday after the Spurs’ morning walk-through in preparation for a game against Minnesota. “You can do everything right, and it can still get you.”
Shams Charania: Zero NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 482 tested since Jan. 27, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: One new NBA player tested positive for coronavirus out of 492 tested since Jan. 20, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium . Down from 11 positives last week and 16 the prior week.
Miami Heat guard Avery Bradley revealed on the Yahoo Sports’ “Posted Up with Chris Haynes Podcast” that he’s been sidelined since Jan. 9 after testing positive for COVID-19 and placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocol. In Monday’s episode, the 6-foot-2 defensive stalwart spoke on numerous topics and specifically about his raw emotions upon receiving the news. "To be honest, I was upset because I come to work and I do the right things, I come to work every single day and do all the protocols to make sure I’m protected so I can protect my family. To come up with the news knowing that I got it at work, I was a little frustrated to be honest,” Bradley said on “Posted Up.” “I was frustrated because I felt like it compromised my family’s safety.”
Duane Rankin: #Suns rookie Jalen Smith confirms he tested positive for COVID-19. Smith has missed five games under NBA health and safety protocols. He's available to play tonight against Denver.
Chris Herrington: Per league source, the Grizzlies have one (and only one) active positive case. The rest of this postponement is due to contact tracing/caution. My sense is it's another reflection of the league further tightening its protocols.
Shams Charania: 11 new NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus out of 502 tested since Jan. 13, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Ava Wallace: The Wizards have had a seventh player test positive, per sources, and one staff member. No staff had tested positive before now. Wizards brought eligible players in for individual work over the weekend but haven't gathered as a group since last Monday.
Wizards big men Moe Wagner and Rui Hachimura entered health and safety protocols after the next game, Monday’s win over the Suns. The team hasn’t played since. “It was inevitable,” Sheppard said. “The NBA’s been pointing to this period for quite some time that this was going to be very difficult, and they weren’t kidding. Every city that we went to, it just seemed to be more and more — you never want to say ‘we escaped’ or ‘nothing’s going wrong for us yet,’ because you just know, inevitably, something’s going to be your turn. This was our turn, unfortunately. We took a couple punches, for sure. But all our players are in good spirits. (It’s) very important also to consider all of our staff right now is healthy, so we’re very grateful for that. But what’s ahead is going to be day-by-day.”
Having a game postponed is an inconvenience. Seeing Hernangomez and Rubio have to isolate was unnerving. But the mental toll of seeing the Towns family have to confront COVID-19 again shook the organization. “It hurt,” Rosas said in a Zoom call not long after the game was postponed. “It hurt. Karl is the most important part of this organization for what he’s gone through, for what Karl Sr. has gone through, it couldn’t be more heartbreaking today.”
Teammates were taken aback when Towns gave them the news, sources said, knowing full well the context of the situation. Towns told the team that he was going to get through it and urged them to keep moving forward. The Wolves are scheduled to play in Atlanta on Monday afternoon as part of the league’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but everything is up in the air right now.
In another sign of how seriously the Wolves take things, sources say that Rosas grew emotional on Friday during a call with the league’s general managers as he discussed teams needing to adhere to the heightened protocols. As games were being postponed across the league, Rosas pleaded with teams to be extra vigilant, especially when they go on the road, so as not to increase the risk of exposure to the virus.
The Washington Wizards are dealing with an outbreak situation, with the franchise now up to five players who have tested positive for COVID-19, sources tell The Athletic's Shams Charania and Fred Katz. The Wizards last played on Monday against the Phoenix Suns. They have already had two games postponed this week — Wednesday against the Jazz and Friday against the Pistons. Washington's next scheduled game is Sunday against the Cavaliers.
Fred Katz, Wizards writer: The Wizards had plenty of close calls with COVID-19 before eventually having to miss games. They played the Celtics last week, the day before Boston flashed a positive test. Before that, they went up against the 76ers the day before they had one. Kevin Durant went into quarantine the day after his Nets played the Wizards. Bulls players tested positive in the middle of a series in Washington. Now, the Wizards are the ones dealing with the real-life issues that come with playing this season in the middle of a pandemic.
Katz: Most importantly, the Wizards have to get healthy. Players who test positive for coronavirus must quarantine for a minimum of 10-to-14 days, per league rules. If they have symptoms, quarantines can be longer than that. They then have a two-day ramp-up period and have to pass a cardio test before returning for good. It could be a while before some of these guys return. The status of the upcoming series against Cleveland, scheduled for Sunday/Monday, is up in the air, given today's news. Either way, it will be a minute before we see the Wizards in their full form.
Fred Katz: The Washington Wizards are now up to five players who have tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell @ShamsCharania and me.
Quinton Mayo: Can confirm @Shams Charania @Fred Katz report that the Washington Wizards are now up to five players who have tested positive for coronavirus. I’ve also heard that at least one additional player has returned an inconclusive test.
Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone acknowledged Tuesday night that Michael Porter Jr.'s absence from the team is because he's had the coronavirus. After the Nuggets' 122-116 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in New York, Malone was asked why his team hasn't been able to put together a complete performance this season. While answering, he explained why Porter hasn't been with the team.
"Well it would be nice if we were fully healthy," Malone said. "We were without two starters tonight -- no Gary Harris, no Michael Porter. I don't think we have been whole the whole year. JaMychal Green was out early, Michael Porter has been out with COVID, and Gary was not here due to personal reasons. I think that's one thing that will help us."
September 17, 2021 | 4:34 am EDT Update
Marc Gasol is a name to watch. He just wiggled his way away from the Lakers and, according to an ESPN report, plans to remain in Spain while sorting out the next (and perhaps last) phase of his playing career. Gasol nearly signed with the Warriors last summer — and might have done so had Thompson not ruptured his Achilles before free agency. It may never materialize, but he has the exact passing acumen and center skill set that has traditionally fit Kerr’s offense best, similar to David West and Andrew Bogut.
Frank Vogel’s former assistant coach Jason Kidd left the Los Angeles Lakers to become the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. He joined fellow former NBA stars Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins on ESPN’s The Jump to talk about his visit to Slovenia for the signing of a 5-year $207 million super max extension with Luka Doncic. “One, [Slovenia] is a beautiful country,” Kidd recalled his visit to Luka’s homeland. “I had a lot of fun and spending time at dinner with Luka and also at the press conference. What an incredible 22-year-old. He’s wise before his years. So I’m just excited to have the opportunity to coach him.”
“It was incredible again. Another beautiful place,” Kidd said on ESPN’s The Jump. “I got to hang out with KP. We had a couple dinners, I got to see him work out. But I also got to just see him on his turf I think a lot of times we don’t get to see our Europeans their homes. So I got the opportunity to go over there and hang out and we had a great time. “KP’s incredible not just a basketball player but a person. We all know.. well, I just learned that he loves the fights, the boxing matches and stuff like that. You look at just learning something new about a person by going to their hometown was something that I was excited about doing and I had a great time.”
There’s no denying that Denver Nuggets stud Michael Porter Jr. is one of the brightest young talents in the NBA today. However, for those who may not be too familiar with his injury history, there was actually one point in his career that people doubted if he would ever be able to play again. Apparently, one of his biggest non-believers happened to be the head doctor for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Nuggets forward remembers that exact moment to this very day: “All Top 10 teams have their doctors there and they’re just evaluating me,” Porter said in a recent appearance on JJ Redick’s The Old Man & the Three podcast. “The guy from the Clippers was the head doctor and he’s the one that wrote the report, it’s like, ‘yeah, he probably will never play again.’”
In this Club Shay Shay clip, the new Phoenix Suns big man JaVale McGee tells Shannon Sharpe what to expect in his former Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson’s return: “I expect the old Klay. I can maybe see him slacking on defense in the first month because in the offseason you don’t get those reps. But offensively, he didn’t hurt his arm, so that boy is going to shoot.”
UFC fighter Ryan Spann trains at the gym owned by ex-NBA star Deron Williams … and the light heavyweight contender once sparred with the hooper — AND GOT HIS BUTT KICKED!! “Deron whooped my ass one day. I’m dead serious. You can call him and ask him,” Spann told TMZ Sports.
Context? We talked to the 30-year-old, 6’5″, 205 lb. fighter just days before he’s set to face 6th ranked LHW, Anthony Smith … and we asked the 11th ranked fighter if he ever rolled around with 6’3″ Williams at their gym, Fortis MMA in Dallas. “I was training for a fight, and coach was like, ‘Deron, get in.’ And, I already knew he hooped, and I knew who he was, but I never got to go with him,” Ryan said, “I think it was my 2nd or my 3rd round with a fresh body, and you put Deron in, I was like, ‘Oh s**t, nice, I get a round off.’ Little did I know Deron used to wrestle. And, he was about 230 at the time.”
Gabrielle Union, the wife of former Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade, recently opened up about the trauma she endured when Wade had a child with another woman during their relationship. Union and Wade weren’t married at the time, but they were several years into a relationship with each other. “In 2013, before we were married, Dwyane had a baby with another woman,” Union wrote in her new memoir. “It should go without saying that we were not in a good place in our relationship at the time that child was conceived. But we were in a much better place when he finally told me about the pregnancy. To say I was devastated is to pick a word on a low shelf for convenience. There are people — strangers who I will never meet — who have been upset that I have not previously talked about that trauma. I have not had words, and even after untold amounts of therapy I am not sure I have them now. But truth matters.”