ESPN host and analyst Jay Williams won’t broadcast the remaining games of the NBA Finals because he has tested positive for coronavirus. Williams, who in a video posted online said he is vaccinated, is “doing OK.” He will, however, miss the remainder of the NBA Finals in his role as an analyst on ABC’s live on-site studio coverage during games alongside Maria Taylor, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jalen Rose. “The last couple of days for me have been challenging. But I wanted to be the first to tell you guys that you will not see me at Game 5, Game 6 or a potential Game 7 of the NBA Finals because I have tested positive for COVID. I have received both my shots. I am fully vaccinated. But this is our new normal.”
Williams will quarantine in a hotel room for the next 10 days. His 2 1/2-year-old daughter is immunosuppressed, he said, so he and his family have been "hypersensitive" to the virus. "This is a great reminder ... that we have to continue to be as diligent as possible," he said.
To be clear, he is in Team USA’s COVID-19 protocols. The Athletic does not report a player’s status as it relates to the virus without the player announcing/confirming it. He is still in Las Vegas, sources said, but is quarantined while awaiting further information, and no decisions will be made until Beal and Team USA have all the facts. The Olympics begin July 23 in Tokyo, with Team USA’s first game set for July 25. Generally speaking, any athlete who tests positive for the virus now will not be permitted to compete.
Is any other Team USA player or coach in the protocol? No, sources said. Nor would the team be in danger of disqualification from the Olympics due to contact tracing. Last week, three players on the select team — Immanuel Quickley, P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges — were sent home after being placed in COVID protocol. If a player or coach is vaccinated, it can impact whether they are placed in the protocol.
Stefan Bondy: Immanuel Quickley did not test positive for COVID-19 but was pulled from Team USA Select camp because of contact tracing, according to a source.
Gabriel Deck tested positive for coronavirus, the Argentina Basketball Confederation announced Friday. Deck, 26, has been retested ahead of the planned trip of the senior Argentina national team to Las Vegas. The results of the second test are pending. He will rejoin the national team training camp once he is cleared, assuming the second test confirms he contracted COVID-19. In the meantime, he remains isolated. He is asymptomatic and in very good health, as noted by the CABB.
Kellan Olson: Chris Paul said he messed around a bit on the court at his house but other than that didn't do anything while he was under health and safety protocols. On testing positive for the virus: "Shit happens."
Gina Mizell: Chris Paul said that a few "stars in our league" called to check on him while in protocols and told him "they just love the way our team is" as far as playing together and for each other #Suns
There is optimism within the Phoenix Suns organization that Chris Paul, out for the start of the Western Conference finals because of the league's health and safety protocols, could return for Game 3 on Thursday in Los Angeles, sources told ESPN. However, as of the start of Game 2 on Tuesday against the LA Clippers, Paul had yet to be cleared, sources said.
Marc Stein: The Suns say Chris Paul remains in health and safety protocols. Further updates on his status will be provided as appropriate.
Marc Stein: The NBA announces that one player, out of a possible 164 tested for COVID-19, has returned a confirmed positive test since June 9 ... after three consecutive weeks with zero positive tests leaguewide.
Tim Reynolds: Suns say they will update Chris Paul's protocols situation on Saturday. Earliest Game 1 of the West finals is Sunday.
Clutch Points App: Jalen Rose says Chris Paul has been vaccinated. Hopefully that means he won't miss too much time after entering the NBA health and safety protocol
NBA Central: Chris Paul tested positive for COVID-19, per @Gambo987 pic.twitter.com/RhJUyFO8jG
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul has entered the NBA's health and safety protocols and is sidelined for an indefinite period of time, sources tell The Athletic. Paul's status is up in the air for the start of the Western Conference finals, according to sources. Paul’s Suns will face the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series, which is tied 2-2.
Depending on the medical circumstance, an isolation period could be shorter for a vaccinated individual. The NBA has yet to release the schedule for the conference finals, but if a Game 7 is needed in the Jazz-Clippers conference semifinals, it will be played Sunday.
Shams Charania: Sources: Zero NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 337 tested in the last week.
Shams Charania: Sources: One new NBA player tested positive for coronavirus out of 496 tested since May 12.
Over the last three weeks, De’Aaron Fox has endured headaches, body aches, chills and a serious case of restlessness, while helplessly watching his Kings fade from the playoff race without him. A particularly potent strain of the coronavirus walloped Fox on April 22 and has kept the Kings’ star point guard quarantined at home ever since. (He is expected to be cleared for basketball activities soon, assuming he passes NBA protocols.) In the meantime, Sacramento lost rookie stud Tyrese Haliburton to a season-ending knee injury.
First, Fox has to get out of the league’s health and safety protocols. The coronavirus “hit me like a truck,” he said, with headaches, body aches, chills and dehydration. It also hit his fiancé, former Cal point guard Recee Caldwell, though both are fine now. They’ve passed the time in quarantine watching a lot of TV and engaging in daily battles of Ping-Pong. (“It gets competitive, because the scores are usually super close,” Fox said.)
Alex Schiffer: Nic Claxton, who missed seven games due to health and safety protocols said he tested positive for COVID-19 but didn't have symptoms. Had to quarantine in Miami and had just a bike and 40-pound weight to work out with.
Shams Charania: Sources: Four new NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 492 tested in the last week.
Losing starting point guard Dennis Schroder to the NBA’s health and safety protocols for the game against the Raptors left some of the Lakers wondering about the process and how it works. “I’m not sure if he has it or not. I don’t know,” Kuzma said about whether or not Schroder tested positive for the coronavirus. “But it’s just very unfortunate that the league’s protocols and how they go about things. I’ve had inconclusive tests and been negative, and we’ve had a bunch of guys with that. And it just sucks. Obviously, it’s just a lot of public media control with, I feel like, how the protocols are ran. So, I mean, that’s just my opinion. But it’s tough.”
Shams Charania: Sources: Two new NBA players tested positive for coronavirus out of 488 tested since April 21.
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.”
May 27, 2022 | 5:43 pm EDT Update
Sources nonetheless maintain that one option already being weighed by team brass is the prospect of joining the sign-and-trade bidding for the Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine, amid a growing belief around the league that LaVine, as he heads into free agency, has more interest in leaving Chicago than initially presumed. Atlanta, Portland and San Antonio — all of whom possess either the cap space or the trade pieces to more readily chase him — have already been mentioned as likely LaVine suitors.
The word choice there does not appear to be accidental. Sources with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking say that the team, for all of Dončić’s individual brilliance, remains intent on finding at least one more All-Star-caliber player to complement him, fearful that it would be too difficult to win another championship without one.
The Mavericks, again, know they must address their shortcomings on the front line, but sources indicate that their oft-reported interest in Gobert is somewhat overstated because of Gobert’s offensive limitations and the offensive success they just had in the playoffs with a 5-out style that left the paint uncluttered.
Sources say Dallas remains hopeful of making a significant upgrade at the first opportunity, after acknowledging with its midseason exile of Porziņģis to Washington that its first attempt to secure a starry sidekick for Dončić was a misfire.
Callie Caplan: Luka Doncic’s exit interview: On personnel decisions: “I’m involved. Two-way conversations with me, Nico, Fin and J.” On Jalen Brunson’s free agency: “He’s going to deserve all the money he gets.” Favorite moment this season? “I don’t know.” — until he was reminded of Game 7.
The pick that seems even more certain to be on the move is Portland’s at No. 7, with sources saying the Blazers will push to immediately put a competitive team around Damian Lillard rather than start over. Detroit’s Jerami Grant has been the hot name here, but the Blazers could look at other options.