John Karalis: Grant Williams is officially available to…

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Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA and NBPA agreement comes at a time when players are testing positive and heading into quarantine at an unprecedented rate -- 172 have entered Covid protocols in past two weeks, including a single-day high of 27 on Sunday.
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.”
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.
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: 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.

http://twitter.com/TheTraeYoung/status/1475197208819605513
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans' Naji Marshall has entered Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
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.
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.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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August 11, 2022 | 1:42 pm EDT Update

Jeremy Lin: I didn't like a lot of the side effects of Linsanity

Jeremy Lin wasn’t the first Asian-American to play in the NBA but he was by far the most prominent and noteworthy and the sociological impact of his NBA career has been hugely significant. It’s worth pausing for a second, though, to imaging being the human being at the centre of all that. It wasn’t easy at the time and it’s been something that Lin has had to learn to live with since. “I think for me as a person, it’s been an evolution from trying to run away from it because I felt like I didn’t like a lot of the side effects of Linsanity,” he explained. “Some family issues that it caused, all the privacy that was taken away from me overnight, and the paparazzi chasing down me and my family and my friends… just a lot of scary things that had happened.”
Jeremy Lin: “There were also just the expectations of the world, almost turning me into some type of superhero. I became this phenomenon and I felt like I lost my humanity in the middle of it. Then eventually, I started to understand racism at a better level, at a deeper level. For so long, I tried to run from being ‘the Asian basketball player’, I just wanted to be a great basketball player – because my whole life, everyone was just talking about [my ethnicity]. I just wanted people to talk about my basketball skills for once, so as I started to run from that, I started to really open my perspective, seeing what racism really does and how embedded it is and how deep it is.”
Jeremy Lin: “Culturally, I realised, this moment is much more than basketball, it’s much more than that season, it is much more than just the New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin – this is a story that will be told for years and years and years and that has shattered so many stereotypes, and so many boxes that society has tried to put on minorities. That’s where I’m at with it now and I’m very grateful. So now, I try to tell the story in meaningful ways, beyond just trying to glorify myself for what I did on the court. But to really talk about what that moment meant to a lot of people and why it meant so much.”
Jalen Green looks to build a winning mentality and be the best version of himself as he gears up for his sophomore season, where opposing teams are now more focused on stopping him. “My mindset is to go in and be the best version of myself on and off the court. Like I said, I’d try to build a winning mentality,” said Green in the JG4 press conference at the Adidas Brand Center at Glorietta 3 in Makati on Thursday. “We (the Rockets) are very young. We’re rebuilding right now. We try to go in the right direction and try to keep the same (winning) mindset and try to win.”
August 11, 2022 | 1:32 pm EDT Update

Chris Paul on being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team: I'll never forget it

Chris Paul: For all these years I have just kept my head down and done the work, and I can honestly say that being named to the NBA 75 team, the day we did that huge photoshoot, I’ll never forget it. I met a number of players that I had never met for the first time. Being in the same setting, all of us, at the same time, was the craziest feeling. Standing there and taking a picture with John Stockton and Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson, all of these guys that I have watched since I was a kid. It’s something that will live forever, I’m grateful.