Chris Haynes: Boston Celtics center Al Horford tested negative yesterday and twice today, clearing him to play in Game 2 tonight against Miami Heat, league sources tell @YahooSports, @NBAonTNT.
Indiana star Trayce Jackson-Davis tested positive for COVID-19 and did not attend the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago, a source confirmed to IndyStar. The 6-9 forward was not able to participate in any of the athletic testing Wednesday at Wintrust Arena, nor will he join in the scrimmages scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Chris Haynes: How Al Horford can return after positive COVID-19 test: 1. Two consecutive negative PCR tests at least 24hrs apart 2. Two consecutive PCR tests at least 24hrs apart w/ CT values greater than 30 starting no sooner than Day 4 & Day 5 (where Day 0 is date of initial positive test)
Tim Reynolds: Ime Udoka says he's good after being sick yesterday, and confirms that Derrick White left today for the birth of his child. Will play Saturday. On Horford: "Al is still doubtful." Tests pending. On Smart: "Marcus is looking better." Will try it pregame before final decision.
Jared Weiss: Marcus Smart has been upgraded to probable with his foot sprain, per Celtics. Al Horford is now doubtful in the health and safety protocol that he entered yesterday.
NBA Central: “The Celtics have had multiple positives in their traveling party in this past week, so there has been some concern about this,” 😯 - ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t @celticsblog ) pic.twitter.com/CEXlkuxMEL
Jared Weiss: Erik Spoelstra on illness starting to affect availability in this series with Horford in protocol and Udoka sick: “It’s really disappointing. Every time you think it’s behind us, it’s not and it’s really frustrating for us. You don’t want to see it on both sides.”
While Brown was understandably excited about this new opportunity, he tried to focus on the task at hand: beating the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Warriors were up 2-1 in the series and Monday's game was pivotal. Little did Brown know, he would be thrust back into a head-coaching role sooner than expected. “Steve called me on his way in at about 4:45, and said he just wasn't feeling well and there's a chance that he may not be able to coach tonight,” Brown recalled. “We've done this drill before, and so I said, ‘Okay.’ He came in, got tested; I get a call back at 5:15 saying that he's out. So that's how I found out [I’d be the head coach]."
Despite everything the Warriors were dealing with, they managed to beat the Grizzlies 101-98 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. “I'm so proud of them," Brown said. "Our leader in Steve being out with COVID right before the game. Draymond, emotionally, he's our emotional heart and soul, and for him to get hit with something that impactful, not only was it tough for him, but we felt it. We felt it as a group. It was a tough night for us. But at this point in the year, you win ball games. It doesn't matter how you get there, but you win ball games. We found a way to win tonight and that's why I'm excited. “When we went in the back, [Warriors assistant] Chris DeMarco says, ‘Punch 42. Dive 52.’ I'm like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘We just kept handing the ball off to the fullback left and right, and at the end of the game, we kicked a field goal to win it. Hell of a football game.’ And that's what it was. But that's playoff basketball. Sometimes it's grimy. Sometimes it's gritty. They turned it into that in Game 2 in Memphis and we lost. They turned it into that again tonight, especially with Ja [Morant] out, but our guys found a way."
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr had been masked up the last few days, indicating some level of concern. Voice hoarse in last couple press conferences. Tested positive for COVID today.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Taylor Jenkins says Steven Adams remains in health and safety protocols. He said Desmond Bane was feeling general soreness when he was being looked at during Game 1.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Steven Adams (health and safety protocols) remains out for Game 1 on Sunday. Ziaire Williams is questionable with knee soreness.
Meghan Triplett: Steven Adams is still in health & safety protocols and is day-by-day, per Coach Jenkins. Jenkins said he is not sure when he will exactly be clear but said he trusts that he will be back quickly. Ziaire Williams is also day-to-day with knee soreness.
Christopher Hine: Steven Adams is out for Game 6. He's entered health and safety protocols. Ziaire Williams is doubtful because of right knee soreness.
Chicago: Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols) has been downgraded to questionable. Alex Caruso (concussion protocols) has been downgraded to questionable.
Rob Schaefer: DeMar DeRozan on Zach LaVine entering protocols: "It sucks. Before basketball, more than anything, just health-wise." Added he checked in with LaVine this morning: "He was just frustrated... I was just trying to be there, keep him positive mentally more than anything."
Rob Schaefer: Billy Donovan described Zach LaVine (protocols) as “questionable” for Game 5 tomorrow. Said there’s still more testing to do. But LaVine won’t travel with team today Donovan did add he knows LaVine “didn’t feel great” this morning
K.C. Johnson: LaVine obviously won’t travel with Bulls when they bus to Milwaukee today. Team/LaVine will follow league procedure for follow-up testing in advance of Game 5. Obviously, LaVine’s availability is in serious jeopardy.
Julia Poe: Chicago Bulls assistant coaches Chris Fleming and Damian Cotter tested positive for COVID-19 this week. They will not travel with the team to Milwaukee tomorrow. Coach Billy Donovan said both coaches are experiencing cold-like symptoms.
Kyle Neubeck: Charlie Brown Jr. is in the health and safety protocols and won’t play for Blue Coats today, Sixers say
Kristian Winfield: Goran Dragic has cleared health and safety protocols and is available tomorrow for the Nets’.Play-In Tournament game against the Cavaliers.
Alex Schiffer: We are told at Nets practice that Goran Dragić is still in health and safety protocols.
Noah Levick: Asked Joel Embiid about his perspective on the Matisse Thybulle eligibility issue: Embiid said the Sixers need Thybulle and it’s “unfortunate.” He said “hopefully” Thybulle would be eligible for a Raptors series because of the positives he brings to the team.
But forward Al Horford, who missed the team’s game in Toronto March 28 because of personal reasons, told the Globe he is fully vaccinated and would be eligible to play in Toronto. Horford previously said he would be “ready to play wherever,” but did not share his vaccination status.
Horford said he was aware that his absence from the recent Toronto game made some wonder about his future availability, but added that he would be able to play. He said this remains a personal matter for the players, and he declined to go into further detail. “It’s something I haven’t wanted to discuss,” Horford said. “I think with the Celtics, we made it clear we’re not going to discuss those things, and it’s a health matter, and we all respect everybody’s individual perspectives. That’s why I’m not going to get into it and talk about it. But I’m ready to go.”
Alex Schiffer: Nets list Seth Curry as probable for tomorrow's game against Cleveland. Goran Dragic remains out in health and safety protocols.
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
June 26, 2022 | 6:52 am EDT Update
Not much of Murdock’s take was optimistic if you’re a Nets fan. Indeed, he referred to the franchise’s current situation as “destruction” in the podcast and suggested perhaps more firmly than other pundits that Durant could indeed leave. “The vision is on the verge of crumbling,” he wrote. “It didn’t have to be this way,” he said, summing up. “This team … and it’s ironic. Kevin came to reconcile relationships, build relationships with his BFF’s and it’s not working out. It’s doing the exact opposite. And you juxtapose that with Golden State winning…” “Now, you have reports that Kyrie is looking elsewhere. I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks. I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well.”
And Murdock reiterated reports that Durant, who had in the past recruited free agents, is not doing that now. “At least right now, he’s one of those guys who doesn’t want to recruit, isn’t in the position to recruit or doesn’t feel like he is a position to recruit whether you like that or not.
At the center of it, Murdock pointed out multiple times is the Nets relationship with Irving. “His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means. I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.’”
Still, Durant believes the Nets didn’t support Irving particularly when they decided not to play him at all in October, after he refused to get vaccinated like all but a handful of NBA players, then brought him back in October. “That’s just how he feels. ‘Hey man, I brought this guy in, him and Kyrie, and the front office didn’t do enough to support him at a time when we needed to support him.”
Moreover, Murdock pointed to the Nets decision to dump Adam Harrington, their long-time assistant coach and director of development, as a big negative for KD. Durant and Harrington go back to KD’s time in Oklahoma City when Harrington was his shooting coach. “And here’s another thing, KOC, the Nets got rid of Adam Harrington. who’s very close to Kevin. He’s one of Kevin’s guys. And that had a big ripple effect on how Kevin feels about this right now. He’s still in this figure-it-out mode but there is some fire to that smoke that he’s kind of reevaluating where he stands with this.”
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving won a ring together before, and it may not have been their last … ’cause Matt Barnes tells TMZ Sports the Lakers could be smelling champagne if Kyrie Irving joins L.A. Matt — who played for the Purple and Gold for two seasons — spoke about the recent Irving rumors out at LAX this week … and he told us if Uncle Drew ends up with the Lakers, it could result in the franchise’s 18th championship.
The Hawks could still pursue Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton in free agency. Sources tell The Athletic that the Hawks’ interest in the 23-year-old would be contingent on landing him for less than a max contract. That may not be an option, as the Pistons, who have the cap space for a max contract, are expected to be aggressive in their pursuit of Ayton in free agency.