Alex Schiffer: Steve Nash said Goran Dragic is feeling better, but still in Atlanta in health and safety protocols.
What could derail this season, however, is the team entering the playoffs without all players vaccinated. The Celtics refuse to say publicly whether all their players are vaccinated, as some teams have declared. And according to an NBA source, at least two frontline players are not vaccinated, which would prevent those two players from participating in road games in a playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.
Ira Winderman: Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra is back in South Florida. He drove to Buffalo and then took a private plane back to Miami. He still must get a negative Covid test or else remain out for five days.
Anthony Chiang: P.J. Tucker is out tonight because of knee irritation. Erik Spoelstra will not coach tonight's game because of health and safety protocols. Chris Quinn will coach.
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash on Goran Dragic, who has COVID: "He has symptoms. He doesn't feel well, but that's all I know."
Mark Medina: Starting today, Crypto.com Arena won't require fans to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to attend any events. This coincides with both state of California and LA County both lifting those requirements for large indoor events.
In 2019, the Lakers purchased an “all-risk” commercial property insurance policy from Federal. The policy covered Crypto.com Arena (then called the Staples Center) and the UCLA Health Training Center, where the Lakers practice. The policy authorized the Lakers to seek reimbursement for “direct physical loss of or damage to” their properties. Although some recent sports insurance litigations have involved virus exclusion policies, this policy lacked one.
Marc J. Spears: Mavs say Trey Burke (health & safety protocols) will miss tonight’s game against the Lakers.
Shams Charania: NBA-NBPA statement following Mayor Eric Adams announcing exemption for unvaccinated athletes and performers to perform in NYC: pic.twitter.com/m4i0ReiwsH
Ian Begley: Statement from NBA & NBPA following NYC’s updated vaccination requirement, in part: “We support the Mayor’s determination that the old rules treating hometown and visiting players differently no longer made sense.” Full statement: pic.twitter.com/MjIMwGSmmX
Shams Charania: Kyrie Irving is eligible to make his home debut at Barclays Center on Sunday vs. the Charlotte Hornets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . New NYC exemption for in-town athletes and performers will be effective immediately beginning Thursday.
Shams Charania: Sources: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be cleared for home games as New York City will on Thursday change private sector vaccine mandate to allow exemption for athletes and entertainers in workplace. Unvaccinated Yankees and Mets players also now eligible for home games.
Shams Charania: NYC Mayor Eric Adams will level the playing field for in-town athletes and performers to match the rule that allows unvaccinated individuals to perform in NYC, sources familiar with the situation tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . Now, NYC local athletes will have the same guidelines.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Story filed to ESPN w/ @JeffPassan : Progress toward further changes to NYC’s private-sector vaccine mandate has inspired confidence that Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving could be back on court for home games in near future. Yankees and Mets players would be cleared before Opening Day too.
The progress toward further changes to New York City's private-sector vaccine mandate has inspired confidence that Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving could be back on the court for home games at the Barclays Center in the near future and that New York Yankees and Mets players who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine would be cleared to play at home prior to Opening Day in April, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
New York Mayor Eric Adams' office has been working with health officials on a plan that would impact more than only unvaccinated, high-profile professional athletes in the area, sources said, and although no final decision has been made, there's increasing hope that a rollback of the mandate that restricts NBA and MLB players from participating in home games will be lifted in the near future.
Adams said Tuesday that "baseball, basketball, businesses ... they have to wait until that layer comes," but sources believe a plan is progressing that could have Irving on the court as soon as next week, sources said.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are two of the most notable people in the world that have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Both stars have received much criticism from those who support the vaccine while also receiving lots of support from those who are against the vaccine. One such person who has now come out in staunch support of the duo is former NBA star John Stockton. The Hall of Famer recently stated that he has a list of “hundreds” of vaccinated athletes that have “dropped dead on the field.”
Will Guillory: The Pelicans have upgraded CJ McCollum to questionable for tomorrow's game vs Phoenix. He's missed the last two games after going into Health & Safety Protocols
New Orleans Pelicans coach Willie Green said CJ McCollum is progressing well after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols last week and that there is a chance the high-scoring guard can return to the floor Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns. “We’re hopeful,” Green said. “We’ll see how it goes. He’s got to get a couple negative tests. He’s progressing.”
Brian Lewis: Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving not being able to play at home: "I dont get it; just feels like at this point now somebody's trying to make a statement or a point to flex their authority. But everybodys looking for attention & thats what I felt like the mayor wants right now, some attention." #Nets
Malika Andrews: Kevin Durant, in part, on Kyrie Irving being in Barclays but unable to play: “It’s ridiculous… At this point now someone is trying to make a statement or a point to flex their authority. There are unvaccinated people in this building already.”
Shams Charania: Kyrie Irving is joining his Nets teammates and coaches in the locker room at halftime, sources say. Irving is able to move freely inside Barclays Center as a spectator — a special one, at that — but is not able to play.
Anthony Puccio: Kyrie Irving walks to his courtside seats… in his home arena. pic.twitter.com/8NKAHwFrfm
Christian Clark: CJ McCollum is out tomorrow against the Hornets, the Pelicans say. He's been placed in the health and safety protocols. New Orleans won't have McCollum or Brandon Ingram.
The NBA insider also pointed out the recent change in mandates the New York Mayor Eric Adams put into place recently. Things seem to be moving in the right direction for Brooklyn, which is a positive sign for the Nets and Irving’s home debut this season. “Certainly you’ve seen a progression in the mayor’s office of alleviating restriction but still the performer restriction that keeps Kyrie Irving out hasn’t changed.”
There is no official word from the Suns that Booker has cleared the league's health and safety protocols. Booker has missed Phoenix's last three games in protocols and wasn't with the team in Orlando for Tuesday night's matchup against the Magic.
Kellan Olson: Devin Booker (health and safety protocols) and Cam Johnson (right quad contusion) remain out for the Suns tomorrow against the Magic. No changes to the injury report.
Duane Rankin: Devin Booker (protocols) OUT for tomorrow's game at #Bucks. Didn't travel with team. Cam Johnson (right quad contusion) OUT as well. #Suns
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash has not cleared the health and safety protocols yet, so Jacque Vaughn will be talking after practice today. Nash has yet to post 2 consecutive negative COVID-19 tests, but today is Day 6, so he is expected to return for tomorrow’s matchup against the Celtics.
Brain Lewis: #Nets Head Coach Steve Nash will not coach tonight’s game due to health and safety protocols. Assistant Coach Jacque Vaughn will assume head coaching duties until Nash returns. #NBA
Alex Schiffer: If the NYC vaccine mandate is lifted, Steve Nash said Kyrie Irving is working toward being able to play full-time. Doesn’t see him needing to ease into a heavier load should it happen.
Shams Charania: New York City has a plan to phase out the vaccine mandate in the coming weeks, Mayor Eric Adams says, at which point Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving would be cleared for home games. Spokesperson adds that current rules remain in place.
Mike Vorkunov: NYC Mayor Eric Adams came closer today to saying he'll get rid of vaccine mandate & phase out vaccine passport. Adams: "Yes, I can’t wait to get it done... I’m not going to get ahead of the science because I’m ready to get ahead of all of this & get back to a level of normalcy." pic.twitter.com/6Kr9DtOjkd
Tim Bontemps: Adam Silver says he isn’t sure what will happen with New York City’s vaccine mandate, but says that he continues to see other mandates and regulations easing across the country. Said he expects any decision to be made to be based off New York’s case rates of COVID-19.
A. Sherrod Blakely: "We have to learn to live with this virus. It's not likely to go anywhere. There will probably be other variants, but we have tools to deal with them. I feel as a country, we're better equipped to deal with that now." - Adam Silver
TD Garden, in alignment with the city of Boston, will end the requirement for proof of vaccination starting Monday, Feb. 21. The Boston mask mandate will continue to be in effect, requiring all guests 2 and older to wear a face mask at all times while indoors, except when actively eating or drinking.
Neil Dalal: Daniel Gafford is not on the Wizards injury report presumably indicating he will return from his bout with COVID tonight at Nets Rui Hachimura is listed as questionable with his right ankle sprain Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal are out
Stefan Bondy: Asked Nash if he's optimistic about Kyrie after Silver and Adams comment: "Everyone realizes there is a little bit of a strange loophole that there are other (unvaccinated) athletes and entertainers who can come to New York and perform. So we’re hopeful there’s a resolution."
On Monday, the Ontario government announced that the province will be ramping up its reopening timeline. The NHL's Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the NBA's Toronto Raptors will be permitted to increase 50 percent capacity beginning on Feb. 17. In addition, if public health officials believe that it's a safe environment, then arenas could move to full capacity beginning on March 1.
Eric Koreen: In a statement, MLSE says it hasn’t determined whether or not its facilities will still mandate full vaccination in coming games. Says decision will be made "based on further discussions with public health officials."
Chase Hughes: Wes Unseld Jr. says Daniel Gafford tested positive twice yesterday and isn’t feeling well. Sounds like he is symptomatic as he enters protocols.
Tony East: Goga Bitadze and Domantas Sabonis are available for the Pacers tonight, Rick Carlisle says.
James Boyd: #Pacers injury report/illness report: Domantas Sabonis (COVID-19 protocols), Malcolm Brodgon (sore right Achilles) and Goga Bitadze (bruised right foot) have all been upgraded to questionable tomorrow against the #Cavs.
Scott Agness: Sabonis is close to exiting protocols. He’s been working out at his sweet home gym. Isaiah Jackson is making progress, participating in shooting drills, but remains out. Probably for another week. Carlisle said it was a “moderate” ankle sprain. Bitadze is questionable.
Anthony Chiang: Omer Yurtseven is out of protocols and joined the Heat in Charlotte for tomorrow's game vs. Hornets. Martin (Achilles), Strus (quad) and Tucker (knee) are questionable. Butler (toe) is probable. Morris, Okpala, Oladipo and Silva are out.
Omari Sanfoka II: Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk will both play tonight, Dwane Casey said. Will be Grant's first game since Dec. 10
Marc J. Spears: Hornets say Hornets F Gordon Hayward has been cleared from the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols but did not travel with the team to Boston. Hayward will be listed as out for tomorrow’s game and will remain in Charlotte for conditioning as he returns from H&S Protocols.
Omari Sanfoka II: Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk aren’t listed on the 7:30 injury report, meaning they could return tomorrow against the Pelicans. Grant hasn’t played since Dec. 10 due to a thumb injury and health and safety protocols.
Adam Spolane: Kevin Porter Jr has cleared Health and Safety Protocols and will play tonight per Stephen Silas
Ky Carlin: Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins says that Tyus Jones will play tonight against the #Sixers. He had been out due to the health and safety protocols.
James Boyd: Rick Carlisle said he’s not sure how long Domantas Sabonis will be out. Gone at least six days or if he registers two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart. #Pacers
Scott Agness: Pacers center Domantas Sabonis has entered healthy and safety protocols and is out tonight vs Clippers.
Andy Larsen: Donovan Mitchell didn't go through shootaround today due to his concussion. Also asked acting head coach Alex Jensen about Quin Snyder's symptoms: "He's feeling alright, it's not too bad, but that could change."
Sarah Todd: Quin Snyder, Danuel House are both in the NBA health and safety protocol. Alex Jensen is the acting head coach for the Utah Jazz
Adrian Wojnarowski. Utah’s Quin Snyder is the 18th NBA head coach to enter the league’s Covid protocols this season.
Ira Winderman: Heat center Omer Yurtseven has entered NBA health-and-safety protocols, likely leaving him away from the team for at least the next three games. Kyle Lowry remains away from the team for personal reasons.
Damichael Cole: Taylor Jenkins said Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson have both been cleared from health and safety protocols. Jones is listed as out while Anderson is questionable. Jenkins mentioned conditioning as to why Jones is still listed as out. Anderson will go though pregame warmups.
Jim Owczarski: Forgot to note that Lindell Wigginton exited the league's health and safety protocol the other day for the #Bucks
A majority of fans approve of how Irving has handled his decision, the survey conducted for ESPN by Hart Research found. Overall, more fans approve of how the Brooklyn Nets star has handled his vaccination status (45%) than disapprove (40%, with 15% saying they don't know). Those numbers climb to 46% approval, 41% disapproval and 13% don't know for self-described NBA fans.
Overall, the survey found that two in three sports fans want to see athletes vaccinated (66% to 34%), 55% agree that athletes have a responsibility to publicly disclose whether they are vaccinated or not (36% disagreed; 8% did not have a feeling one way or the other), and 59% think unvaccinated players are hurting their team because they are more likely to miss games (33% disagree; 8% don't have a feeling one way or the other).
Damichael Cole: Desmond Bane is officially active today. Bane missed the last three games due to health and safety protocols. Taylor Jenkins said the Grizzlies will be smart, but Bane will not be on a minutes restriction.
Scott Agness: T.J. McConnell has cleared health and safety protocols so he’s back on the team bench after being away for the last four games. Pacers don’t have any players in the protocols. TJM is still rehabbing from hand surgery almost two months ago.
Paul Garcia: Coach Pop says Becky Hammon and Darius Songalia are back from H&S protocols, but now Chip Engelland has entered protocols
Rod Boone: Gordon Hayward has entered health and safety protocols and is out for tonight's game against the Pacers. #Hornets still can't get to full strength for more than a game or so.
Anthony Chiang: Tyler Herro is listed as probable for tomorrow's game vs. Knicks. Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, KZ Okpala and Victor Oladipo remain out for the Heat.
June 28, 2022 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Knicks are trading center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks to the Pistons, sources tell ESPN. The Knicks will unload $19M more in salary, clearing the way for cap space to try and sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson.
Jon Krawczynski: Really nice prestart to free agency for Wolves to get Taurean Prince wrapped up. Valuable piece as a leader and do-it-all forward. The second year on the deal is nonguaranteed, sources tell @TheAthletic. @Adrian Wojnarowski first on agreement.
Bobby Marks: Prince is extension eligible because he is still under contract by Minnesota. He would have become a free agent later this week if a deal had not been reached. There is no trade restriction because he signed a 2 year deal.
Michael Scotto: Sources: The Cleveland Cavaliers won’t tender a qualifying offer to center Moses Brown, @HoopsHype has learned. The 7-foot-1, 22-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent. Brown could be an intriguing development option for NBA teams around the league.
JD Shaw: Point guard Jared Harper will be playing summer league with the New Orleans Pelicans, @HoopsRumors has learned. Harper signed a two-way deal in March and will soon be a free agent. He averaged 21.2 points and 7.2 assists in the G League.