NBA rumors: James Harden, Bruce Brown enter health protocols

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Ryan Blackburn: Nuggets injure update: Austin Rivers is QUESTIONABLE to return from health and safety protocols. JaMychal Green is OUT and may be out for awhile. Aaron Gordon and Will Barton are both PROBABLE.
Josh Lewenberg: Steve Nash on recent COVID spike: "It's the new normal but it's scary because I don't know that there's an end in sight. This is the world we may live in indefinitely. We've all been affected by this. I've lost family members. The day-to-day life has changed and may not go back."
Aaron Rose: Precious Achiuwa should be cleared to return from covid protocols for the next game, Nurse says. Still not sure if his shoulder is ready though
Ajayi Browne: “It’s unfortunate. First we concern ourselves with their health and safety — They’re asymptomatic.” ⁃Steve Nash on DeAndre’ Bembry, Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jevon Carter and James Johnson having COVID.
Rylan Stiles: Kenrich Williams on Thunder staying healthy regarding COVID “It hasn’t been a big reaction, guys are smart on this team. They follow the protocols, we all do. We try to do the right things to prevent that from happening. But there hasn’t been much talk within the locker room.”
Pacers assistant coach Jenny Boucek has entered the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols, Fieldhouse Files has learned. She was not on the court several hours before the game for individual workouts and then was not on the bench for their game Monday night against the Warriors.
Daniel Greenberg: The Chicago Bulls have asked the NBA to postpone their game on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons due to so many players being out because of COVID but there has been no action by the league and they will likely have to play that game, per @KCJHoop .
The NBA mandates teams have a minimum of eight active players available to hold a game. To this point, the league has given no indication it will change its stance, although, according to a source, the Bulls are making appeals for it to do so. To this point, the league's focus has been on the number of bodies, not which bodies, that determine whether games will be played or postponed.
As training camps opened, there was a lot of attention on the small number of unvaccinated players. Did that annoy you? CJ McCollum: Yeah, it did. I feel like we were targeted. Obviously, people look up to us. We play a sport for a living. It’s entertainment. People looked at us as the bar. In reality, we are kind of the bar: We got 98 percent of our league volunteered to be vaccinated, whereas the public was 55 percent or 60 percent at that point. No one was talking about corporate America going through the same problem, no one was talking about how there were health care workers going through the same issues. It was us in the spotlight, and I thought it was unfair because we were doing such a great job of educating our players.
Have you had to explain to others why the extra coronavirus testing is a good thing? [The league and union agreed to require additional testing, even for vaccinated players, after Thanksgiving, which has coincided with an uptick in positive tests.] CJ McCollum: I think when we explain to people the importance of knowing — there’s a lot of things that go under the radar in terms of being positive, but being asymptomatic. So I think testing around the holidays when people are flying or traveling, families are coming in from out of town, you’re gathering, you’re more exposed. It just makes sense and the only bad thing that can come from it is finding out that you are positive. But the good news is you’re finding out early and you can save and not expose some of your friends and family.
Scott Agness: Justin Holiday after being away from the team for 13 days: "I'm feeling good. Practice was OK. Obviously, I was just trying to get my wind back, get used to being on the court again." Yes, he is unvaccinated.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Under league rules, the Bulls need to have eight eligible players vs. the Pistons on Tuesday. There have been no Covid-related postponements in the NBA this season, but the Bulls outbreak -- with LaVine and Troy Brown the latest -- continues and postponements could be an option.
KC Johnson: Troy Brown Jr. has entered protocols as well, per source. Bulls will have 9 players in protocols.
John Karalis: Ime Udoka says he has talked to the team about "tightening up" regarding COVID. Richardson remains in the COVID protocol, and while there is no mandate from the league to change their process Udoka says the team is getting more cautious in response to the league-wide spike
Joe Cowley: According to Donovan, the coaching staff is all negative, which is kind of crazy considering how much they've been around these players.
Julia Poe: Billy Donovan says that despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chicago Bulls players who have tested positive aren't experiencing anything beyond mild symptoms: "We've got a lot of guys sitting at home with no symptoms right now."
Eric Nehm: Bucks injury report for tomorrow: Wesley Matthews is OUT (health and safety protocols). George Hill is probable (right knee hyperextension). DiVincenzo, Lopez and Ojeleye all still out as well.
Tony East: Lloyd Pierce says that Rick Carlisle had a bit of a headache, which led to him getting COVID tested in the first place. He’s doing better today. Pierce has a lot of head coaching experience, but he’s leaning on assists (Boucek and Weinar) who were with Dallas last year tonight.
Josh Lewenberg: So far, no Raptors players have tested positive, I'm told. They're scheduled to face the Knicks at home tomorrow.
The Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors separately announced Thursday morning that they had canceled practice out of "an abundance of caution" due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. Both teams played home games Wednesday night, with the Pacers defeating the New York Knicks and the Raptors losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both are scheduled to host games Friday, with the Pacers getting a visit from the Mavericks in the first meeting between Dallas and its former coach, Rick Carlisle, now coaching Indiana, while the Raptors host the Knicks.
Katy Winge: Bones Hyland has been upgraded to doubtful for tomorrow’s game vs the Pelicans. He’s getting closer to being cleared. Nikola Jokić has been added to the Nuggets injury report with a right forearm contusion. He is probable.
Shams Charania: Sources: Beginning Jan. 15, any NBA player who is not fully vaccinated will be unable to enter Canada to play games in Toronto. Canadian government will require all individuals entering Canada to be fully vaccinated.
Michael Singer: Billy Donovan said he hasn’t heard any talk about a league suspension/pause given the surging COVID cases. Said the question is always if or what the number would need to be for a team to have too few players to compete. Reiterated he hasn’t heard that talk.
NBA players who have not received the COVID-19 booster dose will be subject to game-day testing starting Dec. 17, sources tell The Athletic. Also on Dec. 17, team personnel who have yet to receive the booster shot are no longer permitted to interact with players, travel with their team or continue with Tier 1 status.
Phoenix Suns lead assistant Kevin Young didn't make trip for Suns rematch against Golden State as he's under NBA's health and safety protocols, league sources inform The Republic. Young is the only one out under health and safety protocols as this will be third game straight game he's missed after testing positive for COVID-19, league sources say.
Mike McGraw: According to injury report, Javonte Green is in health and safety protocols. He played vs Knicks last night. Also, Alex Caruso is questionable for BKN on Sat with hamstring. #Bulls
Toronto Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson might have put his playoff status in jeopardy by attending a Toronto Raptors game at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday. Bethel-Thompson is being held out of practice Friday for attending the game, a violation of the CFL’s COVID protocol which states he must now quarantine for four days, according to TSN’s Dave Naylor.
A four-day quarantine would rule out Bethel-Thompson for the Argonauts’ East Division Final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at BMO Field on Sunday. The Argonauts are owned by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Partnership, the same group that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto Marlies and Toronto FC, among other entities.
Shams Charania: NBA statement on LeBron James: pic.twitter.com/amAumGxLO9

http://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1466546092531671040
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid said "it's going to take awhile" for him to fully round back into form after an extended bout with COVID-19. Embiid had his second straight rough shooting performance in Wednesday's 88-87 loss to the Boston Celtics. "I would never use it as an excuse but obviously I think it's going to take me awhile to get back, especially legs and cardio and all that stuff," Embiid said after going 3-for-17 against Boston, making him a combined 7-for-33 across Philadelphia's past two games. "But every single day I got to keep working hard, and keep getting better."
Embiid, however, shouldered the blame for the loss. "I can't be playing the way I've played these last two games, especially when it comes to shotmaking," Embiid said after finishing with 13 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, two steals and three blocks in 33 minutes. "If teams are going to double me and I'm not going to get easy baskets, I have to create for myself and my teammates, and I've got to make those shots."
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August 11, 2022 | 3:12 pm EDT Update
In addition to retiring Russell’s number, the NBA will pay tribute to the Boston Celtics’ legend throughout the 2022-23 season. All NBA players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table. The Celtics, for whom Russell played his entire career and coached, will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon. Russell’s jersey number, which he wore for his entire 13-season career from 1956-69, will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player. Players who currently wear No. 6 will be grandfathered.

August 11, 2022 | 2:41 pm EDT Update