Andy Larsen: FYI: the Jazz broadcast crew didn’t travel with the team on this road trip, citing coronavirus concerns. Team says they’ll broadcast from home “for the next several road trips.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups has entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
Chris Haynes: Scott Brooks will serve as replacement head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers with Chauncey Billups entering health and safety protocols, league sources tell @YahooSports.
Alex Schiffer: Steve Nash said there’s no changes to the Nets’ health and safety protocol list. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are still in. He expects LaMarcus Aldridge to rejoin the team when they’re back east.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has entered Covid protocols and will miss tonight’s game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Suns assistant Kevin Young is likely the choice to become acting coach in Williams' absence, sources tell ESPN.
Josh Robbins: Wes Unseld Jr. said the Wizards are "hopeful" that Bradley Beal will play tomorrow against the Heat. But Beal's return is contingent on testing negative.
Jared Weiss: Grant Williams expects to return from COVID tonight, per source. Williams is listed as questionable in health and safety protocols and just boarded a flight to Minneapolis for tonight’s Celtics vs. Wolves game at 8 ET.
Jim Owczarski: #Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo said he would never have known he had COVID-19 unless he had been tested. He said being asymptomatic helped him keep his conditioning up over the 10 days out - even if the ball felt weird once he got back on Dec. 25.
Chase Hughes: Anthony Gill has entered COVID protocol, also Thomas Bryant, per head coach Wes Unseld Jr. "I'm having a hard time keeping track of it. It changes by the hour."
Chase Hughes: Kyle Kuzma said he was pretty sick during his stint in Covid protocol. Said his first game back "was a struggle" because of how the symptoms and not playing for a few days affected his breathing.
Marc Berman: MSG Network broadcast crew won’t be traveling for this four-game road trip and will do games remotely, per source, with Covid-19 swirling. Walt Frazier is actually on a pre planned vacation to his second home in St. Croix.
Shams Charania: Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has entered health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium .
Rod Beard: #Pistons Cory Joseph and Josh Jackson are in health and safety protocols ahead of tonight's game at #Spurs. DET has entered eight players in the protocols this week.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is entering Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
Cody Taylor: B.J. Johnson and Chuma Okeke are out today at Miami due to health and safety protocols, the Magic announced. R.J. Hampton has been cleared from protocols and is available for today’s game.
Shams Charania: Three more Trail Blazers (five total) have entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols – Robert Covington, Ben McLemore and Keljin Blevins, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium .
New York Knicks PR: Jericho Sims (health and safety protocols) is out for today’s game against Atlanta.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to make his return to the lineup vs. Boston today (2:30 PM ET, ABC), sources tell ESPN. After 10 days in protocols, the two-time MVP had a strong workout on Friday and -- barring a setback -- is expected to be available.
Shams Charania: Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo will make his season debut on Christmas Day vs. the Boston Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. DiVincenzo was set to return Dec. 15 from June ankle surgery before entering protocols. Now, he’s back.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Hawks center Clint Capela has cleared Covid protocols and will play vs. the Knicks (noon, ESPN). Capela averages 11.5 points and 12.8 rebounds. Hawks still have eight players in protocols, including Trae Young. More on a two-hour NBA Countdown at 10 AM ET on ESP
Tommy Beer: Knicks announce Kevin Knox II has been cleared from health and safety protocols and rejoined the team
Toppin said he “didn’t have a lot of symptoms” after testing positive for COVID-19, but he mostly spent his 10 days idled in his bedroom away from his family. He said he worked out with elastic bands and watched “a lot of basketball” and a couple of Netflix shows. “Man, I was aching in that bed. I’ve never been in bed for that long,” Toppin said. “Like, that was the longest 10 days of my life, I ain’t gonna lie to you.”
Marc Stein: The Celtics just issued a five-tweet injury report for their Christmas Day game at Milwaukee. Among the key updates: Al Horford (health and safety protocols) and Marcus Smart (left hip contusion) are now questionable. More from me: marcstein.substack.com
Chris Kirschner: For tomorrow’s game at New York: Cam Reddish (right ankle sprain) is probable. Delon Wright (left ankle sprain) is probable. Clint Capela (health and safety protocols) is out Sharife Cooper (health and safety protocols) is out. Danilo Gallinari (health and safety protocols) out
Sarah K. Spencer: Hawks injury report for Christmas Day game adds that Onyeka Okongwu is out in health and safety protocols. That's nine players in protocols for them. Both Cam Reddish and Delon Wright are probable to play. pic.twitter.com/B4MXbX60jK
NBA Central: LeBron James' last IG post 🤔 pic.twitter.com/JDn9HgJpMX
Shams Charania: The Portland Trail Blazers have two players entering COVID-19 health and safety protocols – Dennis Smith Jr. and Trendon Watford – and remainder of the team will now be re-tested, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After playing one game on a 10-day deal, Atlanta's Wes Iwundu has entered Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. Iwundu played 23 minutes in the Hawks' victory over the 76ers.
Zach Lowe: Giannis Antetokounmpo has been cleared from health and safety protocols; he's expected to get on the court today and decide tomorrow whether to play on Christmas against the Boston Celtics, sources tell @Adrian Wojnarowski and me.
Chris Haynes: Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young (H&S protocols) is not expected to be cleared in time for the Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks, league sources tell @YahooSports.
When the Nets were pulling Brown off the court, they delivered Harden his testing news in the training room. Beyond the din of the Barclays crowd, Harden looked at Brown, and Brown looked at Harden, and they wondered what in the world was happening. "You feel anything?" Harden asked him. "I'm good," Brown said. "You?" No symptoms, Harden told him. Feeling fine.
On a weekly league medical call on Dec. 14, one team health official said the Bulls expressed frustration that they had a number of asymptomatic player cases, with each required to be sidelined for 10 days. Given the urgency of their situation, the Bulls were testing everyone, but they asked, why wasn't every other team doing the same? The Bulls believed there were more asymptomatic players out there, and that the league, by not mandating daily testing, wasn't doing enough to try and find them, a source said. To the Bulls, it felt unfair -- that they were suffering from a competitive disadvantage.
For the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, mandated daily testing in a league with a nearly 97% player vaccination rate didn't make sense. And their respective infectious disease experts agreed, according to league sources. Instead, as the winter months approached and cases started to surge nationally, the league urged booster shots, increased testing around Thanksgiving and advised continued vigilance.
Privately, several team executives and team health officials believed not testing everyone was financially motivated, though league officials have disputed this characterization to ESPN. For now, when a team has a positive case, that team is encouraged -- but not required -- to test all players and potentially impacted staff to see how far the virus has spread; the same is recommended when a team faces another team that has detected a positive test.
But the circumstances this winter are different. While nearly all players are vaccinated, team health officials note that almost one-third of players received the Johnson & Johnson single-shot dose, which offers the lowest level of protection compared to Pfizer and Moderna. There are concerns about waning immunity; only about 65% of eligible players have received booster shots, roughly 275 total players, sources say.
Kyle Goon: David Fizdale confirms that Dwight Howard is going to play tonight, helping the team’s depth with Trevor Ariza in protocols.
Christopher Hine: Chris Finch said Karl-Anthony Towns is currently asymptomatic, which is good news considering Towns said he had a tough battle with COVID last season.
Dane Moore: No excuses from Chris Finch when talking about being down seven bodies tonight, including KAT: "I've been in the G-League. This is no different than the G-League. You lose your best players in warmups sometimes -- you just throw new guys in, and the guy goes out and plays."
Bill Oram: No real surprise here, but Lakers head coach Frank Vogel remains in health and safety protocols, meaning David Fizdale is in line to serve as acting head coach for a third straight game.
Omari Sanfoka II: League source confirms Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saben Lee and Rodney McGruder are all in COVID protocols.
James Edwards III: Rex Kalamian said he's been on the phone all day with Dwane Casey to prepare for Miami, and then an hour ago, things chanced with less players being inolved. "On the bus, I told the guys, 'let's go. we have a game.'"
Shams Charania: Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns has entered COVID-19 protocols.
Stefan Bondy: Obi Toppin and Quentin Grimes are available tonight but RJ Barrett needs more conditioning, per Thibodeau
Chris Kirschner: Kevin Huerter is still out for tonight’s game. Sharife Cooper is now in health and safety protocols and is out for tonight’s game.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: The Detroit Pistons have a Covid outbreak that includes Isaiah Stewart, Killian Hayes and Saben Lee entering the league's protocols. The Pistons are preparing to play at Miami tonight.
Justin Grasso: Doc Rivers says that everybody in the health and safety protocol is feeling fine. Shake Milton was the only one with symptoms he believes #Sixers
Jim Eichenhofer: Willie Green said Nickeil Alexander-Walker is "feeling fine" but is in health and safety protocols. #Pelicans are without both Valanciunas and NAW tonight at Orlando. They were the only New Orleans players to have appeared in all 32 games (Temple, Murphy next with 30)
Khobi Price: R.J. Hampton is out of the NBA's COVID-19 healthy and safety protocols. He won't be available tonight vs. the Pelicans as works on his conditioning.
Shams Charania: Wizards‘ Bradley Beal has entered health and safety protocols and is listed out tonight vs. Knicks.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA is nearing an agreement with the NBPA to lessen the quarantine period for Covid-positive players, sources tell ESPN. In some testing cases, the current 10-day quarantine protocol could be shortened to clear players for return. This a similar model to the NFL’s new plan.
Shams Charania: Lakers‘ Trevor Ariza has entered health and safety protocols, team says.
Shams Charania: The NBA and NBPA are in talks on shortened quarantines for players who test positive for COVID-19, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Sides are discussing allowing players to return faster – as soon as six days – based on testing cycle threshold.
Chris Kirschner: For tonight’s game at Philadelphia: Clint Capela (health and safety protocols) is out. Danilo Gallinari (health and safety protocols) is out. Solomon Hill (right hamstring tear) is out. Kevin Huerter (health and safety protocols) is out.
Chris Kirschner: De’Andre Hunter (right wrist injury recovery) is out. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (health and safety protocols) is out. Lou Williams (health and safety protocols) is out. Trae Young (health and safety protocols) is out.
Shams Charania: Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom has entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. He becomes the eighth Celtic to enter protocols.
August 10, 2022 | 6:04 pm EDT Update
Moritz Wagner: “Spending the summer with the guys who make this experience quite unique was my highlight of the year last year and was something I looked forward to with excitement all season. The fact that my ankle isn’t healed is difficult to accept at first, but it’s part of the game. This team is special and I’m looking forward to watching the boys play and supporting them”.
Just hours after the announcement about Mo Wagner missing the Eurobasket, the German team bounced back with an 87-83 win over Belgium in a very close game. Franz Wagner with 23 points and five rebounds and free agent Dennis Schroder with 21 points and seven assists got the job done. Daniel Theis added 8 points for the winning side, which didn’t use Karim Jallow, Maodo Lo, Johannes Thiemann, and Johannes Voigtmann.
The demolition process of the Sacramento Kings former home has started. Demolition of Sleep Train Arena is underway and some of the work can be seen from the exterior. The popular “6th Man” statue has also been removed. The plan is to completely demolish Sleep Train Arena to make way for redevelopment in the same space.
August 10, 2022 | 4:15 pm EDT Update
A jersey worn by basketball star Michael Jordan during one of the most famous seasons in his NBA career is expected to reach up to $5 million at auction. Jordan wore the Chicago Bulls jersey in Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals, and it will be one of only two of his jerseys worn in a finals game to ever appear at auction, according to Sotheby’s.
An estimate of $3 million-$5 million is the highest ever for a Jordan jersey, or any piece of Jordan memorabilia, the auction house said. The 1997-1998 season is known as “The Last Dance,” and was the subject of a 2020 ESPN/Netflix documentary series by the same name.