NBA rumors: Victor Oladipo to play in bubble after all?

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Andrew Greif: Rodney McGruder: "The bubble's unique but it's been pretty exciting" being together again. During the hiatus, Rodney said he watched a lot of film.
Chris Haynes: Of the 322 players tested for Covid-19 since arriving on July 7, two players tested positive, the league announces. pic.twitter.com/MMatWQUbkd

http://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/1282780322590007296

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Lowry is certainly going to give it. In all matters. As a member of the players’ association competition committee, he worked with the league in setting up every facet of life for the 22 teams that are now gathered near Orlando for the resumption of the suspended season later this month. He was involved in developing testing protocols, scheduling, what is allowed and what’s not, and has made it clear to his teammates how important that is. He is the franchise’s conduit to a healthy existence.
“I think that we’ve done a good job so far with the safety aspects, the health aspects. I think there’s definitely going to be some adjustments that need to be made, but that’s the one thing about our league and our professionals, is that we make adjustments on the fly and we’re able to.”
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant called out those players that took issue with the conditions, saying that he wasn’t a “silver spoon guy” and that the options have been fine. Redick agreed with that assessment on Sunday during his media availability with reporters. "Getting outside and golfing yesterday was key. The bubble life has been fine. I think Ja Morant said it best: The hotel is fine, the food is fine, everything is fine. We’re here to play basketball, to further our mission. We have a responsibility and a job to do. It’s fine."
His path from experiencing poverty in Greece to becoming a multimillionaire MVP included sacrifice, which he refuses to lose sight of despite his current status. "I'm in a situation where I'm extremely blessed and I cannot complain. Obviously, it doesn't matter where you are in life, there's always something to complain, there's always a problem and an issue," Antetokounmpo said. "But I try to kind of not focus on that. So as I said, my apartment in Greece, when I was younger, with my four brothers, was way smaller than the suite that I have in the hotel, so I'm just trying to enjoy the moment.
"This is something special," he continued. "Hopefully, this pandemic never happens again so we never are able to come back in the campus, but at the end of the day, this is part of history, so just being able to be here, participate in this, I'm just trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy every moment, trying to enjoy basketball. I'm happy that we're back playing basketball, something that I love doing, so there's nothing really to complain about." Even before entering the NBA's campus at Walt Disney World, Antetokounmpo said he thought "this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win" because of the circumstances. He jokingly admitted that he "sucked" during the Bucks' first five-on-five scrimmage at Monday's practice but thinks everyone will shake the initial rust once the ball is tipped for real competition.
Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo unintentionally broke quarantine, making him subject to an extended quarantine period and enhanced coronavirus testing, league sources told ESPN. After players entered the league's bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort last week, anyone who either is caught leaving for an unauthorized reason or who broke the initial quarantine period (which covered being confined to your hotel room until passing multiple coronavirus tests in a longer-than 24-hour span) will be subject to the league's re-entry protocols.
This means having to undergo enhanced coronavirus-19 testing - meaning the ones with the long swab up the nose, as opposed to the less invasive ones players are getting during their time in the bubble -- in addition to a 10-day quarantine period in their hotel room. Caboclo left his room during the initial quarantine period, a source said. He was unaware that he was not allowed to do so, despite the league informing all players and staff of the protocol. "He should've known," the source said. "It was no secret."
Sources told ESPN that Caboclo's time in quarantine is now down to eight days. He is expected to rejoin the team once his quarantine is complete. The Rockets are still awaiting the arrival of stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Orlando, as well as forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said Sunday that all three are likely to rejoin the team sometime this week.
The league’s first crack at sponsored entertainment for the players fell flat. On Saturday night, the NBA brought in three disc jockeys to spin records at poolside parties at each of the three Disney hotels housing players. Almost no one showed. “The first time I heard about the DJ thing was (Sunday),” Davis said. “Dwight (Howard) told me he was the only one there. I think, quite frankly, a lot of guys didn’t know about it. I know the NBA is trying to make this as comfortable as possible and as relaxing as possible for us, and just make everyone feel as home as possible.”
Jose Juan Barea: Thanks for the hard work @nba. You’re doing an amazing job making us as comfortable as possible during these strange times. Great hotels and food, plus we get @Dallas Mavericks basketball back. Don’t listen to the negativity. We appreciate all you are doing to get us back on the court!
Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies forward: "I'm an only child, so this is nothing new, being by yourself. A lot of people, if you have brothers, man, it probably feels a little weird. If you have families, if you have kids, it's probably a little weird. But I'm doing my thing."
Jose Juan Barea: Thanks for the hard work @nba. You’re doing an amazing job making us as comfortable as possible during these strange times. Great hotels and food, plus we get @Dallas Mavericks basketball back. Don’t listen to the negativity. We appreciate all you are doing to get us back on the court!
Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies forward: "I'm an only child, so this is nothing new, being by yourself. A lot of people, if you have brothers, man, it probably feels a little weird. If you have families, if you have kids, it's probably a little weird. But I'm doing my thing."
Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic has still not arrived in Orlando as of late Sunday, Malone told reporters on a video conference call. “We’re still kind of working around all the details of getting him here,” Malone said. “No real update, but I know that his arrival should be happening relatively soon.”
NBA players are spending their downtime inside the Orlando bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in various ways. Some are playing video games while others are working out in their rooms. As for Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, he’s passing the time a little differently. When he isn’t draining ridiculous trick shots, Doncic spends his time fishing. After the Mavericks held practice Sunday evening, he said that he brought his fishing gear to the bubble with him. Fishing is is a hobby that he’s enjoyed for some time. “In the summer, I go fishing a lot of times in Croatia,” Doncic said. “Almost every day, I go out there and go fishing.”
Players will get dressed in full uniform in their respective hotel rooms at the trio of designated resorts, then board a team bus for an expected fifteen-minute drive to the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World and the HP Field House's primary game court.
With limited apparel flexibility, face masks will also serve as one of the few opportunities for self-expression en route to games. Some players planned ahead, creating customized masks with social justice messages, personal brand logos or hometown area codes. The league has already provided all players and team personnel with face coverings as part of their arrival package in Orlando. A batch of ten co-designed NBA x Stance masks with different prints, logo executions and graphics were waiting for players in their hotel rooms. When arriving for games, players will have the option to wear the league-provided masks, their team-issued face coverings or a face covering of their own choosing.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Asked specifically about Gary Harris and Michael Porter Jr. and if they are there in Orlando, Michael Malone declined to confirm or deny. Malone only says there are some who still aren't in Orlando.
Meyers Leonard: 👑 King of the Bubble. Accepting all challengers 👑 @NBABubbleLife @CoorsLight

https://twitter.com/MeyersLeonard/status/1282461490394664960
Kelly Iko: Rockets VP of BBall Ops Rafael Stone to @TheAthletic on the bubble: “It feels like the number one goal was to create the safest way possible. There are no guarantees in life and in the world, but they get an A from me in terms of creating a safe environment.”

https://twitter.com/jj_redick/status/1282421103093219335
Fred Katz: Disney logistics since we’re all learning: The NBA gives 3-hr practice windows to each team since they’re sharing facilities. If a team wants to have a day off, that might be reflected in their schedule but it’s not like the NBA knows when it tells them the time they have the gym . These are boring logistics. But that’s why the language was misleading with the Wizards technically “canceling” a practice they were never scheduled to have. They’ll be back on the court tomorrow
Tania Ganguli: Dwight Howard and Danny Green are expected to be at practice this evening with the Lakers. Both were unable to practice yesterday. Howard, because he had to take one more test than the rest of the team, and Green because of a glitch with his testing.
Jason Jones: Look who’s getting on a plane ... Buddy Hield https://www.instagram.com/stories/buddylove242/2351718212167415294/?utm_source=ig_story_item_share&igshid=1wvb58vceuos0

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All 22 teams in the NBA restart had to pack more than ever, for a road trip like none other. Every team is assured of spending at least five weeks at Disney, and some could be there for three months. The challenges for players and coaches are obvious, but the challenge for equipment managers - among the unsung heroes of this restart plan - aren't anywhere near as visible to those watching games from afar. ''This is what equipment managers were built for, honestly,'' Orlando Magic equipment manager Jacob Diamond said. ''We have some of the smartest guys around the league that do what I do and at the end of the day, for us, it's really no job too big, no job too small. Our coaches are relying on us, our players, and this is history right here. So, it's kind of cool to be a part of it - even though it's extra work.''
Toronto Raptors equipment manager Paul Elliott prides himself on typically taking only what he needs. He tends to take 45 bags on a standard road trip; by NBA standards, that is packing light. Not this time. For this trip, Elliott's count was 176 bags. And while most teams only had to move their operation once - from their home facility to Disney - Elliott had to pack the Raptors up twice, first from Toronto to their pre-camp workouts at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, and then again to get the stuff up to Disney. ''I looked at it as what they were going to take for a two-week Western road trip, took what I would usually pack for that, and kind of quadrupled it,'' Elliott said. ''I just had to make sure I had enough options for these guys to accommodate them when they need. I just want to be prepared.''
CJ McCollum: "I've enjoyed my time in the hotel room, it was therapeutic. We've all got cellular devices so we were able to reach out to our loved ones. I've got books, I've got video games, I've got wine, so I'm in a good space. Something that will stick with me. I think perspective. You've got a better appreciation for life, especially after you spend 48 hours in your hotel. You appreciate the little things a lot more. You appreciate relationships and situations you're in. You also appreciate outdoors a lot more."
The five-time All-Star believes the league's resumption will expose those who have not been working behind-the-scenes during lockdown. "I've been seeing guys coming in and out, working out hard in the weight room and pretty much staying ready," he said. "Once they let us know when we were going to be playing and what the whole format was everybody took it up a level there and then. When we got out on the floor nobody was out of shape, nobody was moving slow, nobody was bent over the whole time. It felt like everybody did what they should be doing to be ready to come in and hit the ground and go.”
Ira Winderman: Jae Crowder, on Heat's team room at Disney, "That's our safe haven. That's where we all get together and talk it out." Said team watched UFC there on Saturday night. Said having family photos on walls is particularly comforting.
Marc Stein: After an even 120 nights in a row at home -- personal record since 1993 -- it's time to go Bubble ... Seven consecutive days in quarantine without leaving the Walt Disney World room starts later this evening
Mark Medina: About to enter the NBA campus in Orlando. Will be tested this afternoon and then in quarantine for a week 🙏
Taylor Rooks: I’ve officially entered quarantine - among the media members living in the actual bubble. Can’t leave room for 7 days, testing everyday. I’m a little nervous, but the NBA is taking all necessary steps. This is a historic thing to be a part of. Looking forward to sharing content
Eric Woodyard: Pacers Coach Nate McMillan says there’s no restrictions on how they’re using Victor Oladipo in practices, although he isn’t playing in Orlando. Victor has been on all the practice teams and still playing regularly. “He’s been going hard,” McMillan said.
The NBA is also supporting testing research through partnerships with the Yale School of Public Health and the Mayo Clinic, among others. MLB said it is offering free COVID-19 tests and antibody tests to health care workers and first responders in its home cities. And BioReference said in a news release it is working with MLS to provide antibody tests for the public in Orlando. Despite those good-faith efforts, sports risk losing the battle of perception as long as athletes are receiving multiple tests in a virtual bubble, while citizens in hard-hit areas wait in their cars or long lines for hours, often in vain, for the same test. "I think sports in general will be an easy target to say, why are we doing this?" said Roberts. "But you could say that about a hundred things. You don’t need your nails done. You don’t need your tacos. But those are obviously part of the economy."
Coach Doc Rivers confirmed Saturday that the Clippers' All-Star forward did arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort as expected after Leonard was excused by the team to tend to a family matter when the Clippers flew to Orlando on Wednesday. "Kawhi, he is here, he is going through the protocol," Rivers said. He will be quarantining for two days.
Mark Berman: Houston graphic artist Terence Tang (@tinlunstudio)designed special shoes for #Rockets guard @Ben McLemore to wear in Orlando: “I’ve wanted to do sneaker art for NBA players for a really long time..To have it convey such a strong & meaningful message,that’s just icing on the cake” pic.twitter.com/aGR9tBRnun

http://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1282142341751541760
Ohm Youngmisuk: Denver coach Michael Malone said Nikola Jokic "will be in the bubble very very soon and excited to see him." No new arrivals yet today for the Nuggets among those who have yet to make it to Orlando but Malone said he expects a big arrival from Europe shortly.
“My wife changed my diet a few years ago, and that was huge,’’ Crawford said in explaining his longevity. “And I’m just staying in love with the game. I didn’t turn 40. I turned 20 twice.’’ COVID-19 research states Crawford could be at more risk than his younger mates. Following NBA rules, he is in the middle of a six-day quarantine in Orlando before he can be cleared for practice Wednesday.
Jonathan Feigen: MDA: "Every coach has to be excited now. It's like training camp again." Earlier said, "I'm excited because I know what we can do. And being around these guys is infectious -- no pun intended."
Mike Trudell: Vogel on getting players ready: “We still have a lot of time. We have to be intelligent with that. Watching our guys work out last week, we put them through some pretty rigourous 1-on-1 work, and they seem to be in decent shape.” (They’re going to get full-court work in today)
Shams Charania: Live DJ sets poolside for players on NBA’s Disney campus for the first weekend, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.: - DJ Nasty at Gran Destino/Corondao Springs - DJ Jay R at Grand Floridian - DJ ET at Yacht Club
Kellan Olson: Jevon Carter said the NBA is allowing them to use the court later on at night if they'd like. Players coordinate with staff and such to get that worked out. In no surprise, Carter said he's going back to his room for a quick nap after practice then he will be back tonight.
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August 7, 2020 | 3:11 pm EDT Update
August 7, 2020 | 3:00 pm EDT Update
Although Black Lives Matter continues to get resistance from disingenuous people seeking to distort and diminish its purpose, the meaning in the message has remained consistent: the fight for equality should transcend partisan politics. The league doesn’t fear a backlash for embracing the phrase, believing that anyone upset enough to stop watching its games would be alienating themselves. Equality isn’t up for debate.
“We didn’t view ‘Black Lives Matter’ as a political matter. We viewed this as a broader movement. This is a human rights issue,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in a telephone interview with The Athletic. “Black Lives Matter has come to represent a broader movement around racial inequality and we support our players, our coaches, our staff, our teams, in speaking out on these critically important issues.”
Sure, there was money to be made for network partners but there also was the potential for something powerful to emerge for what they believed was a necessary distraction at this time. “Our league has a long history of addressing racial and social issues,” said Tatum, who is Black. “You go back to Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and the lineage from those guys today, to LeBron (James). A guy like Malcolm Brogdon. A guy like Jaylen Brown. We have a responsibility and an obligation, given the prominence of our players and the influence that they have. We’ve always encouraged our players to take a stand on issues that are important to them and they are doing it.”
Storyline: Social Justice Messages
August 7, 2020 | 2:01 pm EDT Update
It started out as most of these things do: With an ill-advised tweet. On July 13 when the NBA announced the schedule for its restart games, the eyes of Toronto Raptors fans narrowed on an Aug. 9 date with the Memphis Grizzlies. In recent years following the franchise’s move from Vancouver to Memphis, Canada’s former second team has morphed into, well, Canada’s second team. Armed with former Raptor Jonas Valanciunas and exciting Canadians in Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke – with recent cameos from Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and Bruno Caboclo – the Grizzlies were a natural Western Conference rooting interest for Raptors fans.
When the Raptors and Grizzlies were awarded expansion franchises for the 1995-96 season, a healthy rivalry was anticipated. While some rivalries are built on playoff series and animosity, others are based on proximity. A pair of new Canadian teams expected to struggle out of the gate were natural to pit against each other, and putting something on the line was a clever way to make sure both sides had a chance at bragging rights during some lean years. The decision was made that the Raptors and Grizzlies would square off in each preseason, with the winner being awarded The Naismith Cup, in honour of the Canadian inventor of the sport, James Naismith.
If the choice to award the Cup in exhibition games strikes you as strange, consider that the teams, in conjunction with NBA Canada, used it as an opportunity to host the events around the country. The five Naismith Cup matches held between 1995 and 2000 (the 1998 game was cancelled due to the lockout) were played in Winnipeg, Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton, and Ottawa. That’s a tradition the Raptors do their best to continue to this day, holding recent training camps in Victoria or Quebec City, and exhibition games in Montreal, Vancouver, and London. (They still owe St. John’s a game, as former Raptors general manager and current CEO of Canada Basketball Glen Grunwald is quick to remind us.) The touring Naismith Cup games were well-attended, ranging from 8,190 to 15,104 fans in attendance.
August 7, 2020 | 1:25 pm EDT Update
August 7, 2020 | 12:17 pm EDT Update
On the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down the latest scuttlebut: Well, the latest is, you really got only one shared goal between these eight teams and that is to get some kind of formal group activities authorized by the league and the players association. How that plays out and the form that takes, there are different goals. There are some teams that wouldn’t mind doing a bubble. There are other teams that would rather stay in their own practice facilities and not travel. There are other teams that want to do regional scrimmages against another team. And complicating this is that Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players association, is on record as saying: Unless there are the exact same safety protocols going on in Orlando for the second bubble, it’s a non-starter for her.
The league’s attention mostly has been in Orlando, obviously, and that was a signficant financial undertaking. So you’d also have to factor in that, what kind of financial undertaking would they commit to these eight teams. It did look like there was some positive momentum for, not a bubble, but for each team to be able to hold some sort of offseason training sessions, group sessions in their own facilities, like OTAs in the NFL. And I don’t think that’s dead, but there’s certainly not as much optimism as there was maybe a week, ten days ago for that. I mean, it’s fluid, and there’s nothing definitive yet, but you may be staring at that dreaded eight month window between formal group activities for these eight teams.
I’ve heard from players that the lack of a crowd feels awkward. The normal energy isn’t there. That stinks. But the quiet has benefits for TV viewers: We hear every “Hell no!” from bench players mocking opponent shooters. Those shooters hear it, too; the bubble is producing record levels of mean-mugging and bad words directed at bench jokesters. A reminder for refs: Shooters who return taunts at yappy benches should be immune from technical fouls.
August 7, 2020 | 9:23 am EDT Update
Durant believes Crawford can add a lot to a team even in a limited role. “You need people like that on your roster, even if they’re the 15th, 14th man,” he said. “I think Jamal can provide a lot for you in that role, you know what I’m saying? If you can throw somebody like him out there, end of a playoff game or end of a game, he can definitely win you a game, hit some shots. “And you minimize his role? Give him a few minutes with the third unit or the second unit? He’ll get buckets. He can swing a game, be an x-factor still.”
LeBron gave a weird answer about this. He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: “It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.” What did he mean? The food? The fishing? Tee times not abundant enough? I wrote down on a piece of paper what I thought he meant and showed it to him, and his answer was “Hell, nah.” So, whatever. It was an interesting thing to hear and there is obviously something on LeBron’s mind beyond Davis and his other teammates bending the rim with the bricks they’re throwing up there.
In 20 minutes against the Mavericks, Zubac put up a perfect: 21 points and 15 rebounds on 10/10 FGs. His play earned massive praise from his teammates. “Zu is like a little brother,” Paul George said. “He’s got a ton of upside. He really has tons of potential. He can do a lot of things. I’ve seen it. I’ve been on the other end when he was with the Lakers and he dominated.”
How did how does the knee feel right now? And as you project forward to the playoffs? Do you see it being any kind of, you know, inhibition to your ability? Kemba Walker: Well, it feels good man. That’s me being completely honest. You know, the whole reason I’m only stretching is to see how it reacts after every game. And it’s been it’s been doing well and it’s me feeling better and better after every game, so I’m definitely trending upwards. I think I’m gonna be fine. I think I’ll be fine.
Storyline: Kemba Walker Injury
Obviously the physical aspect of recovering from an Achilles tear and then an ACL tear is intense. When I saw you around the Lakers this year you looked like you were in great shape. How hard is the mental aspect of the recovery? DeMarcus Cousins: It’s tough, no lie. I’d be lying to say it’s been an easy journey or it hasn’t been tough. It’s definitely been a rough journey. But that’s the nature of this business. That’s what separates the guys that last 15 years in the league to the guys that have a short stint. The thing that I preach to a lot of young players and the younger generation in general, when it comes to being successful or being the best you can be in the business, whatever the field may be, it’s going to take a commitment. There’s going to be ups and downs but as long as you’re committed to whatever you’re doing in life, that’s what it’s going to take. I accept this is part of the business. All I can do is work my tail off to get back to where I want to be.
Do you feel like you’re missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience by deciding not to play? DeMarcus Cousins: I miss basketball in general. I’ve been playing this game since I was a kid, and I’ve never been away from it for this long, so I’m missing it more than ever. But due to the circumstances, it’s a different game right now. Nothing but respect to the guys who went out there to the bubble and are doing what they’re doing. For me, it just wasn’t the right situation or the right time to be trying to force myself. It’s already me battling to get healthy and the obstacles in front of me. On top of that to add the different elements that are amongst us, it wasn’t the right time for me. I look forward to next season.
August 7, 2020 | 1:39 am EDT Update

Kemba Walker seriously considered the Knicks

Kemba Walker, the four-time All-Star point guard who joined the Boston Celtics in 2019 after eight years with the Charlotte Hornets, said the Knicks were “very serious” contenders for his services: “To be honest, yes. Yes, very serious. Very,” Walker said on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia. “… Before Boston actually came along, the Knicks was one of my top priorities, actually, because I was thinking they were gonna get another player, but it didn’t work out.”
Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the supposed hierarchy system has somewhat been ignored, as concerned parties deemed that their pleas will be addressed quickly if they cut off the middleman. Instead of using the so-called “snitch hotline”, players are reaching out directly to Commissioner Adam Silver. “Much has been said about the anonymous tip hotline intended for players and staff to report violations inside the bubble. But what I found out was that players have been circumventing that process. Multiple players are personally calling Commissioner Adam Silver to issue their complaints about things they’re seeing in the bubble,” Haynes revealed during the third quarter of the Clippers-Mavericks game on Thursday.

Mo Bamba had coronavirus in June

In the last several months, Mo Bamba has employed his platform as a professional athlete to encourage children to stay in school, urge adults to vote in the upcoming election and ask people to donate money to provide food for children, the elderly and frontline workers in need. And now, he’s imploring you to do something else. Something he has learned from painful experience. He wants you to take precautions against the coronavirus. On Thursday, Bamba revealed to The Athletic that he suffered from COVID-19 in June.
The illness temporarily robbed him of his senses of smell and taste, made him unusually fatigued and caused muscle soreness. “I think the lesson is to take it seriously, to take it as seriously as possible,” said Bamba, who added he doesn’t know how he contracted the coronavirus. “I think we all play a part in making sure that we all stay safe. It’s going to take everyone.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Infections
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