Stacey King: Tested negative last night but still dealing with after effects like high temperature and still very weak. I have zero strength right now and I’m a ways to being back to my normal self but I’m blessed to have made it through this horrible disease! Covid sucks!!!
Dr. Robby Sikka, former vice president of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, warned that an increase in sports-related Covid cases is a “really bad sign for our country” in the coming weeks. “The leagues have led the way, and I think that this is going to portend a lot more cases as we get into the Christmas holidays,” Sikka said Tuesday evening on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”
I call up my NBA ops sources and their operative phrase is, “Hanging by a thread.” The NBA’s entire operation is teetering as the Omicron variant advances and positive test results accrue. Here’s the update on players in health and safety protocols:
Chase Hughes: Kyle Kuzma will play tonight after missing two games in Covid protocols, per Wes Unseld Jr.
Harrison Wind: Referee Mark Lindsay has gone into health and safety protocols ahead of Nuggets-Timberwolves, I’m told. There will be only two officials on the floor tonight.
Sean Highkin: Chauncey Billups on the NBA COVID outbreak: “We’re paying attention to it. We’re telling our guys to be extra vigilant. We’ve got to protect each other.” The Blazers have been fully vaccinated as an organization since last spring, fwiw.
Bill Oram: Vaccinated NBA head coaches are not required to wear a mask this season, but Frank Vogel is in one for the first time after three players, and additional staff members, entered the league’s health and safety protocols this week.
Jason Anderson: Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis has entered NBA health and safety protocols along with Marvin Bagley III and interim coach Alvin Gentry.
Rod Boone: James Borrego said he expects to play both Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels tonight against the Spurs. Not sure how many minutes each can give but they are part of the rotation in San Antonio.
The NBA G League today announced that the Windy City Bulls will not participate in the upcoming AT&T NBA G League Winter Showcase in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. Additionally, the team’s game against the Grand Rapids Gold on Friday, Dec. 17 has been cancelled.
Tom Orsborn: Pop said Spurs are "very vigilant" about staying COVID free, but he still made it a point at shootaround to give the players a few reminders about "being vigilant about the people they are around, where they go, and all that sort of thing...We are all worried about it."
Tom Orsborn: Outbreaks in the NBA and the NFL are very much on Pop's radar: "You can just listen to the news about the NFL and it makes you more worried. We are all in the same boat, so to speak."
Tony East: Justin Holiday is available to play for the Pacers tonight, Lloyd Pierce says. His first game since November 29, he entered health and safety protocols the next day.
Dave McMenamin: Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who was an assistant coach for the Lakers the last two seasons, said he eschewed any reunion dinners or meet ups with the Lakers last night considering the COVID situation with their team
In the wake of more COVID-19 diagnoses across the NBA, it is exploring modifying current protocols, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The NBA and NBPA are exploring multiple options, and restricting outside access for teams in visiting markets isn’t out of the question, sources told Yahoo Sports. That was the protocol last season before the COVID-19 vaccines became readily available, and unvaccinated players already follow stringent protocols.
The new likely protocols will include players being tested daily, except for their days off. Currently, players are tested weekly.
Josh Lewenberg: MLSE releases a statement re: today’s announcement that Raptors games will be reduced to 50% capacity beginning Saturday. They’ll provide details to ticket holders within 24 hrs. “Enhanced mask protocol” also in effect; those that don’t follow masking guidelines risk ejection.
In the wake of dozens of players entering health and safety protocols in recent days, the NBA and NBPA are in talks to increase COVID-19 testing among players — vaccinated or unvaccinated — for all game and practice days, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts tells The Athletic. It's believed no testing would be required on off-days.
"Now that we are seeing breakthroughs, we believe the need to test more often," Roberts said. "The notion of not testing, I get that people in society are saying, 'I didn't even know I'm sick.' I get the sentiment. I can't get my brain around (how) we're not going to test just because we don't want to know. "Do we continue to test, because we believed before that we needed to know? Or do we stop because we think, 'Well, being positive doesn't mean our players can't perform and make other people sick.'" When contacted for comment, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told The Athletic: "We are working through modified protocols in partnership with the Players Association."
The NBA and NBPA agreed to increased testing around Thanksgiving Day, and the need to ramp up the testing appears evident entering Christmas and the New Years' holidays. The league has a 97 percent vaccination rate among players, and 60 percent of players — and rising — have taken the booster shot. The NBA's first known player case of the Omicron variant was discovered in a recent positive COVID-19 test, sources said. The CDC estimates the new variant is now three percent of U.S. cases.
Neil Dalal: Kyle Kuzma on the stationary bike trying to maintain conditioning as he remains listed as questionable for tonight at Kings Presumably if he returns a second negative COVID test he will exit health and safety protocols pic.twitter.com/apaoq9IBro
Shams Charania: Lakers' Dwight Howard and Malik Monk have entered health and safety and will be out Wednesday vs. Mavericks.
Shams Charania: Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo has entered health and safety protocols and is listed out vs. Indiana on Wednesday.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau broke into a morbid smile when asked before Tuesday’s game against the Warriors which players were unavailable. It’s a COVID-19 outbreak now — one that has invaded the Knicks with a greater force than at any point during the 2020-21 pandemic season. In addition to three players entering COVID-19 protocols, Knicks legend and current broadcaster Walt Frazier has joined them, according to a source.
Jason Anderson: The Washington Wizards are listing Kyle Kuzma as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings. Kuzma has missed the past two games under NBA health and safety protocols.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks guard Wes Matthews has entered into the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
Law Murray: A source tells @TheAthletic that Serge Ibaka was a close contact yesterday and had to test right at gametime. That is why he did not enter the bench area last night until later in the first quarter. Ibaka tested negative but is out for start of trip due to protocols.
Kristian Winfield: James Harden and Bruce Brown have entered the health and safety protocols and are OUT tonight against the Raptors, increasing the Nets' tally to 7 players out tonight.
Ryan Blackburn: Nuggets injure update: Austin Rivers is QUESTIONABLE to return from health and safety protocols. JaMychal Green is OUT and may be out for awhile. Aaron Gordon and Will Barton are both PROBABLE.
Josh Lewenberg: Steve Nash on recent COVID spike: "It's the new normal but it's scary because I don't know that there's an end in sight. This is the world we may live in indefinitely. We've all been affected by this. I've lost family members. The day-to-day life has changed and may not go back."
Aaron Rose: Precious Achiuwa should be cleared to return from covid protocols for the next game, Nurse says. Still not sure if his shoulder is ready though
Rod Boone: LaMelo has been recalled from the @greensboroswarm after practicing with them today but remains out for tomorrow's game in San Antonio. He's not with the team yet. Mason Plumlee (rib contusion) is questionable. Jalen McDaniels is going to be available.
Ajayi Browne: “It’s unfortunate. First we concern ourselves with their health and safety — They’re asymptomatic.” ⁃Steve Nash on DeAndre’ Bembry, Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jevon Carter and James Johnson having COVID.
Rylan Stiles: Kenrich Williams on Thunder staying healthy regarding COVID “It hasn’t been a big reaction, guys are smart on this team. They follow the protocols, we all do. We try to do the right things to prevent that from happening. But there hasn’t been much talk within the locker room.”
Rod Boone: James Borrego said the hope is to get Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels in San Antonio tonight and let them go through shootaround tomorrow morning to see where they are at physically. Sounds like LaMelo remains more on track to return Friday in Portland.
Shams Charania: Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker has entered health and safety protocols and could miss multiple games, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Lakers cancelled practice today.
Omari Sanfoka II: Casey on rising COVID cases across the league: "It's a concern, because you're talking about something you can't control. It affects everybody involved in the league, including families." Said he thinks the league is doing a good job following the science.
Dave McMenamin: The Lakers have canceled practice today ahead of their flight to Dallas because of health and safety protocols, according to the team.
Pacers assistant coach Jenny Boucek has entered the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols, Fieldhouse Files has learned. She was not on the court several hours before the game for individual workouts and then was not on the bench for their game Monday night against the Warriors.
Scott Agness: Just two officials for Pacers-Warriors. Crew chief Courtney Kirkland has entered the NBA’s health & safety protocols. So it’s Michael Smith and Jenna Reneau.
Vivek Jacob: Raptors announce that Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong are self-isolating out of caution and so Paul Jones and Leo Rautins will call the game tonight. Eric Smith and Amy Audibert will call the game tomorrow.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Brooklyn Nets F Paul Millsap has entered the league's Covid protocol, sources tell @Malika Andrews and me.
Daniel Greenberg: The Chicago Bulls have asked the NBA to postpone their game on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons due to so many players being out because of COVID but there has been no action by the league and they will likely have to play that game, per @KCJHoop .
The NBA mandates teams have a minimum of eight active players available to hold a game. To this point, the league has given no indication it will change its stance, although, according to a source, the Bulls are making appeals for it to do so. To this point, the league's focus has been on the number of bodies, not which bodies, that determine whether games will be played or postponed.
As training camps opened, there was a lot of attention on the small number of unvaccinated players. Did that annoy you? CJ McCollum: Yeah, it did. I feel like we were targeted. Obviously, people look up to us. We play a sport for a living. It’s entertainment. People looked at us as the bar. In reality, we are kind of the bar: We got 98 percent of our league volunteered to be vaccinated, whereas the public was 55 percent or 60 percent at that point. No one was talking about corporate America going through the same problem, no one was talking about how there were health care workers going through the same issues. It was us in the spotlight, and I thought it was unfair because we were doing such a great job of educating our players.
Have you had to explain to others why the extra coronavirus testing is a good thing? [The league and union agreed to require additional testing, even for vaccinated players, after Thanksgiving, which has coincided with an uptick in positive tests.] CJ McCollum: I think when we explain to people the importance of knowing — there’s a lot of things that go under the radar in terms of being positive, but being asymptomatic. So I think testing around the holidays when people are flying or traveling, families are coming in from out of town, you’re gathering, you’re more exposed. It just makes sense and the only bad thing that can come from it is finding out that you are positive. But the good news is you’re finding out early and you can save and not expose some of your friends and family.
Scott Agness: Justin Holiday after being away from the team for 13 days: "I'm feeling good. Practice was OK. Obviously, I was just trying to get my wind back, get used to being on the court again." Yes, he is unvaccinated.
KC Johnson: To sum up, Bulls have these 9 players in protocols: White, Green, DeRozan, Thomas, Jones Jr., Dosunmu, Johnson, LaVine, Brown Jr. Plus two broadcasters in Stacey King and Bill Wennington. White and Green have windows open this week to return. Bulls play Pistons Tuesday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Under league rules, the Bulls need to have eight eligible players vs. the Pistons on Tuesday. There have been no Covid-related postponements in the NBA this season, but the Bulls outbreak -- with LaVine and Troy Brown the latest -- continues and postponements could be an option.
KC Johnson: Late Saturday, Nikola Vucevic said “most players” had received booster shots. Bulls also were fully vaccinated as of early November. Billy Donovan said some players are asymptomatic. This could be a bumpy winter for the league.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine has entered into Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
KC Johnson: Troy Brown Jr. has entered protocols as well, per source. Bulls will have 9 players in protocols.
John Karalis: Ime Udoka says he has talked to the team about "tightening up" regarding COVID. Richardson remains in the COVID protocol, and while there is no mandate from the league to change their process Udoka says the team is getting more cautious in response to the league-wide spike
Joe Cowley: According to Donovan, the coaching staff is all negative, which is kind of crazy considering how much they've been around these players.
Julia Poe: Billy Donovan says that despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chicago Bulls players who have tested positive aren't experiencing anything beyond mild symptoms: "We've got a lot of guys sitting at home with no symptoms right now."
Eric Nehm: Bucks injury report for tomorrow: Wesley Matthews is OUT (health and safety protocols). George Hill is probable (right knee hyperextension). DiVincenzo, Lopez and Ojeleye all still out as well.
Ira Winderman: Heat's Caleb Martin out due to health and safety protocols.
KC Johnson: Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson have landed in league’s health protocols. Alex Caruso is available.
Tony East: Lloyd Pierce says that Rick Carlisle had a bit of a headache, which led to him getting COVID tested in the first place. He’s doing better today. Pierce has a lot of head coaching experience, but he’s leaning on assists (Boucek and Weinar) who were with Dallas last year tonight.
Josh Lewenberg: So far, no Raptors players have tested positive, I'm told. They're scheduled to face the Knicks at home tomorrow.
Memphis Grizzlies PR: . @Memphis Grizzlies status update: Dillon Brooks has entered health and safety protocols and is out for tonight's game vs @Los Angeles Lakers .
Michael Singer: Austin Rivers confirmed he had COVID on his IG live and has been quarantining in Orlando (where he has a house). Added the time off’s been good for his mental and physical health. Rivers said he’s been playing through injuries all season.
July 2, 2022 | 3:54 am EDT Update
The Jazz, league sources say, are not amenable to trading Mitchell. They want to build around their star, and they want to do so on the fly. The obvious caveat: If Ainge and Zanik receive an offer from a team that approaches the scale of the Gobert trade, it will be hard to not listen. But, for now, the plan is for Mitchell to be with the Jazz heading into next season.
Also, there are reports that no one on the Nets is safe, that Marks and Tsai willing to do a complete rebuild if necessary. Durant’s deal will likely take place first since Brooklyn will have multiple offers to sift through for him. “I think Kyrie is going to have wait this out because we’re not going to really know what the Nets are going to want to trade him for until we see what Kevin Durant gets traded for,” said ESPN’s Windhorst.
At the same time, the sources say, the Jazz saw Gobert’s super-max contract as a hindrance. Utah’s current core reached its peak as a second-round playoff team, and Ainge thought it needed to move Gobert to break free from that. Other teams were interested, and other packages were available. Once Minnesota’s offer swelled to four firsts, a pick swap, plus Kessler, whom the Timberwolves drafted at No. 22 in the first round of the 2022 draft, the Jazz believed it was time to move, McDaniels or no McDaniels.
July 2, 2022 | 12:32 am EDT Update
The LAPD posted on Twitter that Bridges was arrested for “intimate partner violence with injury,” a felony, on Wednesday following an incident two days earlier in West Los Angeles, and he was booked on a felony domestic violence warrant. He was released on $130,000 bond and has a July 20 court date. The LAPD said it does not release police reports on domestic violence arrests.