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Rod Beard: #Pistons Dwane Casey said some of the players from health and safety protocols were in the building today. He said the league still has to approve their return and they have to be back in playing condition.
Dane Moore: Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell will remain in COVID protocols and will not play Sunday’s game in Los Angeles, the team says. Jarred Vanderbilt, however, is out of COVID protocols and is questionable to play on Sunday as he ramps back up.
Andrew Greif: Brian Shaw said Luke Kennard’s protocols absence happened so recently today that he’s still figuring out how to start tonight in Brooklyn. Shaw also said he’s been in a lot of communication with Ty Lue and credited Lue with allowing him “full rein.”
Michael Singer: The #Nuggets didn’t hold shootaround this morning because they needed to register all their negative tests, and the timing of their returned results and the court time didn’t match up.
Rob Schaefer: Chris Fleming said Bulls are “pretty hopeful” Lonzo Ball and Alfonzo McKinnie will be back with team early next week. Nothing definitive on status for games yet Both are out of protocols and reconditioning, according to today’s injury report, but didn’t travel for IND/WAS trip
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sacramento Kings C Richaun Holmes has entered Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. He’s averaged 12.6 points and 8.7 rebounds.
Marc Stein: Luka Dončić is exiting health and safety protocols and expected to meet the Mavs in Oklahoma City for a possible Sunday return to the lineup, league sources say. Dončić has missed 10 games recovering from a left ankle injury and a protocols stint. More: marcstein.substack.com
Tim MacMahon: Mavs are optimistic that Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber will clear health and safety protocols and re-join the team in Oklahoma City, sources tell ESPN. Mavs went 5-5 without Doncic, who was out with sore ankle and then COVID-19. @Marc Stein first on Doncic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has entered Covid protocols – and rookie Josh Giddey has exited, according to league portal. OKC plays Dallas on Sunday.
Rod Beard: It looks like #Pistons Cory Joseph is in health and safety protocols again. His designation had switched to "return to competition reconditioning" yesterday. All the DET players who were in protocols are still listed as OUT for tonight vs. #Spurs ... at least for now.
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker has entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. He's out vs. Detroit tonight.
Mike Trudell: Vogel said that his case wasn’t mild, he was definitely sick, but he’s now feeling good, and is excited to be back. He stayed at a hotel so as not to expose his wife and daughters, who made him Christmas Eve dinner that he picked up. They did Christmas morning on FaceTime.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Starting today with the Clippers game, Toronto home games will be limited to 1,000 spectators at Scotiabank Arena, made in accordance with health authorities. Brian Shaw said, "I don't think anything is weird anymore" after all that everyone has been through during pandemic.
Harrison Wind: Another Nuggets player in health and safety protocols: Monte Morris He joins Jeff Green, Bones Hyland and Zeke Nnaji. All four are all out tomorrow against the Rockets, the team says.
Anthony Chiang: Erik Spoelstra is optimistic that the Heat will get players back sooner than expected with the NBA shortening the return-to-play quarantine to five days for those in protocols.
Alex Schiffer: Kessler Edwards has cleared health and safety protocols and is available tomorrow against the Clippers. Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris are the only Nets out.
Andrew Lopez: Jonas Valanciunas has entered health and safety protocols, Willie Green says. Herb Jones was a close contact but will be good to go tomorrow.
Joe Mussatto: Aleksej Pokusevski is out of health and safety protocols. He’ll be available tonight against the Knicks.
Tony East: Kelan Martin has tested positive for COVID-19. He has entered health and safety protocols.
Shams Charania: Wizards hardship guard Brad Wanamaker has entered health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Wanamaker had seven points, seven assists and five rebounds in Washington’s win vs. Cavaliers last night.

http://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/1476694196970872832
As the omicron variant rips through NBA players and coaches, it has reached a season-high among game officials: 36% of the league's referees are in COVID-19 protocols, sources told ESPN on Thursday. With 25 of the league's 70 active referees currently in quarantine, the league's been promoting G League referees to fill out the nightly roster of games, sources said.
NBA referees are 100% vaccinated and are required to be fully boosted prior to Wednesday, sources said. Only a percentage of refs currently on road-trips haven't been boosted, but must do by Wednesday. Officials don't have the protections that teams do with charter flights and five-star hotels, but the NBA has been working with the National Basketball Referees Association on improvements related to travel -- including hotels -- that might serve to lessen exposure to the virus, sources said.
Justin Grasso: Danny Green remains out for tomorrow's game vs. #Nets Shake Milton has been upgraded to questionable and Andre Drummond has been cleared to play #Sixers
Andrew Greif: Clippers G Reggie Jackson has cleared health and safety protocols and is rejoining team in Boston tonight but won’t play, sources told @latimessports. While there is hope he can be available at Toronto and Brooklyn, reconditioning is the next step after entering protocols 12/22.
Adrian Wojnarowski: This is the 10th NBA game postponed this season. Miami had a combination of Covid cases and injuries that left them short of eight available players.
Tommy Beer: Knicks bigs Nerlens Noels and Jericho Sims remain out for tonight's game vs. Detroit. The Pistons have ruled out the following players due to Health and Safety Protocols: Cade Cunningham Isaiah Stewart Josh Jackson Killian Hayes Saben Lee Trey Lyles Rodney McGruder Cory Joseph
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash on Kyrie Irving’s conditioning: “He looks great CONSIDERING he just came back from protocols.” Nash said Irving looks as good as he’s ever looked given the circumstances.
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA is adopting CDC guidance of five-day isolation exit for coronavirus-positive individuals — outside of team environment. For return to team activities, players must isolate for six days and meet testing requirements, or register two negative tests. After five-day isolation, positive players who are masked can now return to their team’s home market via commercial flight, interact in person with individuals in community, and enter indoor settings/establishments that are not the facility.
“No, I don’t have a response to Kareem at all,” James said. “And if you saw the post and you read the tag, you’re literally, honestly asking, ‘Help me out?’ Help me kind of figure it all out. We’re all trying to figure this pandemic out. We’re all trying to figure out COVID and the new strains and the flu. I think people forgot about the flu. People literally forgot about the flu during these times. Like, that’s still going around. This is flu season. So people have forgotten about the flu. People have forgotten about common colds. That happen, especially with a lot of our kids that are in school. My daughter is in first grade so a lot of these kids are getting common colds and getting the flu. “But, no. I don’t have any response to Kareem.”
Kyle Goon: David Fizdale said that he can say that Austin Reaves, who is past the 10-day mark of isolation, is “close” to returning, and there was discussion about the possibility he could join the Lakers on the trip. However as of now he’s still in LA and in the protocols system.
Kelsey Russo: #Cavs J.B. Bickerstaff said Isaac Okoro is available tonight.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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Spencer Dinwiddie just closed a $26 million funding round for his L.A.-based crypto company Calaxy. His most recent score? An all-new contemporary Craftsman-style mansion sited in an exclusive gated enclave of 26 homes, in an incorporated area between Malibu and Calabasas. Originally listed for nearly $7.7 million in December, the price was lowered to $7.2 million before ultimately going to the 29-year-old Los Angeles native for a discounted $6.9 million.
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