NBA rumors: Victor Oladipo to sit out Orlando restart

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“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo told The Athletic. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing. I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”
Oladipo has spent the past three months training with his physical therapist, Luke Miller. “Vic looks great and feels great and is in the best shape he’s ever been in,” Miller said. “He hasn’t had a setback at all. Now it’s about him taking everything into account, close this 2019-20 chapter and focus on 2020-21, which I believe will be a big one. He’s extremely close to the old VO, but he’s not there yet and he knows the work to get back there.
“He’s a very smart guy, and he’s asked several different doctors and physicians across the country, mentors and former basketball players he looks up to. We treated these past three months as if he was going to come back, so he kept everything high intensity-wise. “We told him from the start that he wouldn’t be 100 percent right away. It takes guys a good two years. It takes two years before you wake up in the morning and say, ‘I didn’t have surgery.’ We’ve talked through this thing — we just forgot to factor in the pandemic. That’s where he is hitting the reset button and focus on 2020-21. That’s where his mindset is.”
Players can have a first and second choice, but they do not have to use the space for a social message if they do not want to, the source said. After the first four nights, a player can still opt to have the message in that space, but their last name will be beneath.
Erik Horne: Danilo Gallinari on if he considered not playing in Orlando w/ his free agency looming: “Never, not in my mind or my agent’s. The main reason is we’re fighting for something. To do it with my teammates, all the work we put in, I don’t want to see it go to waste.”
While players that elect to leave the Orlando bubble without permission would be subject to 10 days of quarantining and two negative tests before they are cleared to return to play, that won’t necessarily be the case for Hayward. He will get permission for departure from the NBA to leave the bubble for such a momentous family occasion. According to a league source, assuming he follows a very specific protocol in regards to travel and his personal interactions from league doctors when he is away, his quarantine period will be far less than 10 days. NBA protocol indicates Hayward would need to be in isolation for as few as four days upon returning to the bubble before being cleared to rejoin the Celtics (assuming he tests negative during quarantine during that time).
Erik Horne: Danilo Gallinari on if he considered not playing in Orlando w/ his free agency looming: “Never, not in my mind or my agent’s. The main reason is we’re fighting for something. To do it with my teammates, all the work we put in, I don’t want to see it go to waste.”
While players that elect to leave the Orlando bubble without permission would be subject to 10 days of quarantining and two negative tests before they are cleared to return to play, that won’t necessarily be the case for Hayward. He will get permission for departure from the NBA to leave the bubble for such a momentous family occasion. According to a league source, assuming he follows a very specific protocol in regards to travel and his personal interactions from league doctors when he is away, his quarantine period will be far less than 10 days. NBA protocol indicates Hayward would need to be in isolation for as few as four days upon returning to the bubble before being cleared to rejoin the Celtics (assuming he tests negative during quarantine during that time).
John Karalis: Gordon Hayward says he will leave Orlando if the Celtics are still playing and his wife gives birth. She is due in September, which means it's possible he'd leave the team during a playoff run, but he says it's an easy decision for him
“I have no idea. It’s definitely frustrating because we’re in Orlando, but it doesn’t really matter,” Fournier said. “My house is going to be a like two minutes away but it’s going to feel like miles away. It’s just a weird feeling knowing that I could be seeing my wife and son everyday, but I’m not. It’s the same for everyone so...I’m not exactly sure how we’re going to feel once we’re inside the bubble, but we’ve just got to get ready for business and just take care of our stuff - that’s the way it’s going to be, so be it.”
Marks confirmed that Spencer Dinwiddie may not be playing in Orlando because he recently tested positive for coronavirus. Dinwiddie, who remains on the Nets’ 36-person travel list, told The Athletic that he is not sure if he will join the team when the season resumes later this month. “I would hope these guys decide to do what's best for them and for their health and family first and foremost. If they decide to go to Orlando, we know we'll be taking best care possible of them,” Marks said. “But at the end of the day it goes back to what I said before: Everybody has a different set of circumstances in their life that they're dealing with whether that's family issues or the health and wellness of themselves. And we need to support those guys whatever decision that they make.”
Jeff Zilgitt: NBA had a call today w/eight teams not going to Orlando that covered many topics, including idea of getting those teams together for group workouts & scrimmages, I’m told. This idea needs agreement from owners and NBPA and no decision has been made. Health/safety are priorities.
Jeff Zillgitt: From every conversation I've had privately and publicly the NBA officials, they are confident they can pull this off while protecting players/staffers/essential personnel inside the controlled environment at Disney. But concerns exists, for sure. There is no way to eliminate all risk, so they're doing what they believe is on the correct side of risk. To answer your question more direct, we're going to find out if the risk is worth it. -- JZ
Tyus Jones and his fiancee welcomed their son Tyus Jr. on May 5. Two months later, the Grizzlies guard was still in awe thinking about how it feels holding him in his arms. "I catch myself staring at him every day just thinking that's my son," Jones said Thursday during a Zoom conference. "They're so innocent, dependent on you and it just creates this bond the second that they enter this world that you can't even put it into words." It made it harder for Jones to accept leaving his family to head to Florida. He trusted the NBA's safety protocols at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex but he struggled not being able to see his son for over a month.
Jones said it was something he and his fiancee discussed often before he made his decision. "It's just trying to decide what's best. Did I feel comfortable leaving? Did I feel comfortable going to the bubble being away from her and our newborn?" Jones said. "Ultimately, I ended up deciding I was comfortable enough doing that but it doesn't make it any easier being there."
Unite Here officials, who represent nearly 30,000 workers at the parks, say the planned procedures will keep their workers safe during the anticipated three months of NBA play at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as well as the Major League Soccer tournament set to start there next week. “We’re confident that we negotiated an agreement that provides the maximum safety possible in the less than ideal world we’re present in,” said Jeremy Haicken, president of Unite Here Local 737, which represents 19,000 food and beverage workers and housekeepers.
The potential hole in the bubble, though, is that workers will come and go from the resort. There are 5,795 workers, according to the Sentinel analysis, who live in ZIPs in Orange and Osceola counties with more than 350 confirmed virus cases since the pandemic started. Disney and the Florida Department of Health are still working out a testing protocol. The health department is in talks with Disney about opening a drive-through style virus test site nearby for resort employees, said Dr. Raul Pino, the health officer for the department in Orange County. “We’re working on the details because it also cannot tax our resources for the community,” he said. Mike Bass, an NBA spokesman, confirmed the league is working with Disney on testing “a subset of their employees.”
Mark Medina: I can't speak for the NBA. But various outlets have applied for credentials. I plan to go to Orlando at least for the first half of it, perhaps longer depending on how it plays out. And I will have to be away from family for that amount of time. Same will the other reporters.
No more than 10 reporters nationally may speak with players or coaches in person (and only in news conference settings) during the resumption of the season, and that select group must pay a hefty price for the privilege. Those reporters will receive “Group 1” access at a cost of $550 a day, which covers a hotel room on the Lake Buena Vista campus, daily COVID-19 testing, three meals a day and transportation between the hotel and practice venue.
The league is preparing to restart the interrupted 2019-20 season in what has been dubbed a "bubble" at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando. "I don't think any of us know what to do to stop it, I'm just hoping when we get to the bubble, it becomes the safest place in America," said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
Critics will say this year's NBA champion will be in the books with an asterisk. Rivers says they should get a gold star for the mental and emotional strength it will take to survive Orlando's "bubble" for the better part of three months without their family. "Use the Navy SEALs as an example. They get deployed. It's very similar to the way I'm looking at it for our players. Feel like that we're getting deployed for a mission in Orlando," Rivers said.
Sarah Todd: Mitchell noted his fears over returning to play, especially where injury is concerned because he has a contract situation. I'll note that the situation is an available extension from the Jazz. If he wanted to leave Utah then there would be no contract situation this summer.
Speaking of the bubble, are you going to Orlando? Or will TNT do your show from Atlanta? Kenny Smith: They’re asking us to go to the [NBA] Conference Finals. But I don’t know if that’s 100% yet. They just sent the request to do it. They didn’t give me the stipulations. We haven’t talked about what the safety precautions are. I guess they’ll do that when we go to Atlanta for the whole month of July. It wouldn’t be until September.
Despite the long odds, why are you excited about the Suns being in Orlando? Monty Williams: We’re a young team building a program. It would not help us at all to sit from March until maybe December, January. … To be able to get back into the gym for the last month and to be able to communicate with our guys about social justice along with concepts and things we want to do as a team, it’s been a good process for us. We have a lot to gain from being in Orlando. It’s going to be a hard deal. But of all the teams there, we have a chance to benefit the most just because we’re such a new program and young team.
Nurse and the rest of his squad have been isolated within a private facility in Fort Myers since June 22, where they will remain until the NBA starts moving teams into ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex on July 9. For now, Nurse says it’s not so bad being in the bubble. “It’s a different feel. The rules and stuff about how many players and coaches are on the floor and at each basket, it feels like we’re going to basketball camp a little bit. We go in at 8:30 and stay there all day because we’ve got limits on how many players and coaches there can be,” Nurse explained.
Nurse says spirits are high, even though the world outside remains tumultuous. Florida set yet another frightening daily high with over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19, and it will be at least seven weeks until the players can bring friends or family members inside the bubble. Nurse said his mood might change a month from now, but for now things are still positive. “I’ve said how much I’ve missed coaching these guys and I just sense these guys like to be around each other, they like to play. The attitude is really good,” Nurse said.
Brian Lewis: Joe Harris is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. But he said he never really considered sitting out the #NBA restart due to COVID-19, and any risk it presented to his health and next contract, which should be the biggest of his career. #Nets
As coronavirus cases rise in different regions across the United States, commissioner Adam Silver has made clear that the league is monitoring the numbers as it prepares to head for Orlando. Silver has described to league executives on conference calls recently that his goal is for the Disney World campus to be the safest place in the U.S. “We have confidence in the plan that we’ve built,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told players and teams on a call this week, according to sources. “It was designed for this.”
Upon arrival to the campus, players will undergo a 36-48 hour quarantine period. Here is what players were told would be available to them while they are in their rooms: Food and beverages; entertainment (fire sticks, gaming hook-ups); wellness resources; events/health applications; and special social justice programming.
Operating the three-month completion of the NBA season at the Walt Disney World Resort will cost the NBA more than $150 million, sources told ESPN. The league is housing 22 teams plus support staff at three resorts, has arranged for seven practice courts and is playing games at three arenas during the quarantine. It is also providing meals, daily coronavirus testing and other medical support, security, transportation and entertainment for more than 1,500 people during the height of the event.
Indiana Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo isn’t ready to commit to playing at the NBA restart in Orlando even though Wednesday is supposed to be the deadline for the 22 participating teams to declare their traveling list of 35. Except, league sources tell IndyStar, it’s not a firm deadline. “Nothing is locked in like a normal roster deadline,” one of the sources said.
“I don’t think anyone can be cavalier about the health risks,” he said. “Our players and our traveling staff have tested negative over the course of our two weeks of mandatory testing. But, it’s a concern, and we have family members concerned about us going into the environment. I do think there will be diligence down there. I do think Adam’s (Commissioner Adam Silver) model of trying to make it the safest place in the country, i think the league will do everything in its power to do that. But I can’t tell you that people aren’t concerned about their health.”
Howard is currently with his family in Georgia, where he is satisfying the NBA's home quarantine and testing protocol required of all players that will participate in Orlando, a league source told ESPN. Howard's 6-year-old son, David, is in his care. David's mother, Melissa Rios, died of an epileptic seizure on March 27 at her home in Calabasas, California.
Not only is Howard juggling his responsibilities as a father with preparation for the finale to the season, but as a Black man he has also been deeply affected by the social unrest facing this country, according to Howard's agent, Charles Briscoe. "Basketball, or entertainment period, isn't needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction," Howard said in a statement issued to CNN through Briscoe last month.
Sean Highkin: Dame says he's not planning on leaving his hotel room in Orlando outside of games/practices/workouts. "I'll have my PS3, my PS4, my mic, my studio equipment. I'm chilling."
The Portland Trail Blazers will be without Caleb Swanigan as the NBA resumes its 2019-20 regular season at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Per Trail Blazers president of basketball operations and general manager Neil Olshey, Swanigan will not join Portland when the NBA restarts. He has decided to withdrawal his name from the NBA’s return to play.
The Blazers will be allowed to sign a replacement for Swanigan’s spot on the roster. Beginning Wednesday, July 1 until August 14, teams in Orlando will continue to be allowed to sign replacement players for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or decides to sit out.
One day in mid-May, the NBA emailed. They wanted to talk. Robby Sikka, vice president of basketball performance and technology for the Minnesota Timberwolves and a physician, sent the note, sparking a month of Zoom meetings and collaborative calls that occasionally stretched into the early hours of morning. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association — busy plotting out the logistics of a potential return to competition — soon hatched a plan with Yale researchers to verify their saliva-based test, which is called SalivaDirect.
Frequent testing — and the infrastructure to support it — presents an enticing research opportunity for scientists. The partnership allows NBA players, coaches and staff who opt-in to supplement their required testing regimen with an extra step that will help bring SalivaDirect closer to public use. Grubaugh said that their team is preparing to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration with the goal of making the test ready for public use by as early as mid-July. Comparing saliva test results to those that originate from the NBA’s regular testing will help validate the effectiveness of SalivaDirect.
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins is back in the gym and ready for the NBA’s Orlando “bubble.” And, as of Wednesday, he expects the team’s full 17-man roster and his full coaching staff to be making the trip. “To my knowledge, we expect everyone to participate in Orlando,” Jenkins said on Wednesday afternoon, in a Zoom news conference on the day before he and his coaching staff will resume mandatory individual workouts with Grizzlies players.
Harrison Wind: Malone says he found out on a call with the NBA yesterday that his family won't be able to visit him at Disney World at all: "Say we get to the NBA finals. We’re there for 90+ days. At no time during those 90+ days will my family be able to come.”
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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
After pausing, and then listing the five teams behind Milwaukee in the standings — Toronto, Boston, Miami, Indiana and Philadelphia — the NBA’s reigning and presumptive Most Valuable Player made his choice for who has the best chance of stopping the Bucks: Themselves. “I think the biggest challenge for us is ourselves,” Antetokounmpo said. “How are we going to play? How hard are we going to play? Are we going to play for one another? Are we going to defend hard? Are we going to be able to rebound the ball? Are we going to be able to make the extra effort? Are we going to dive on the floor? “It’s all about us. It’s all about us.”
“When it comes to the whole ‘all eyes are on me,’ I feel like a lot of eyes have been on me since high school, so that feeling was nothing new. I don’t consider it being thrown in the fire because I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. But it was definitely a dream come true to finally get thrown out there and enjoy the moment,” recalls Williamson. “If I’m being honest with you, it was very frustrating at first. I’m in the game and I feel like I could maybe change the outcome and you hear the horn go off. You know it ain’t for nobody but you because your time is up. It’s one of those sickening feelings, because I’m one of those players that if I could do anything to help my team win, I want to do it. So it was very frustrating at first from that perspective. But outside of that, it was a blast.”
13 hours ago via SLAM
“I have social media but I don’t let social media dictate my life. I will never let that happen,” he says. “But as far as winning Rookie of the Year and competing in that race, I’m a competitor. If there’s a chance that I could win it, I’m going to go after it. I’m not going to doubt that. Ja [Morant] has had an incredible season and he is the current front-runner, but it’s not over until they announce who it is, so, I’m going to keep battling for it. [A few weeks after our shoot, the NBA announced that performance in Orlando would not be taken into consideration for the player awards.—Ed.] But my top priority is getting into the playoffs first.”
13 hours ago via SLAM
Warren didn’t work on his three-point shot during the pandemic. Like many, he couldn’t find a gym. At the parks he went to, the rims weren’t ten feet high. The work, Warren says, came mentally. He watched a lot of film. He “locked in” on his weaknesses. Pacers coach Nate McMillan has encouraged Warren to be aggressive, and Warren has embraced it. “I’ve always been the underdog,” Warren said. “I’m comfortable with that. I just have to keep getting better day by day.”
On a day that felt a lot like the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament, with 12 teams playing in games that spanned almost 12 hours, Booker felt like the biggest star, the leader of the bubble’s Cinderella team running through upset after upset, beating the Indiana Pacers, previously unbeaten in the restart, 114-99. “I mean it’s fun, it’s everything I could ask for. … It’s the winning part that most excited me,” Booker said on a videoconference while wearing a Kobe Bryant shirt. “I’ve been in the NBA five years now and haven’t had that much success. But I’m working hard every day to turn that narrative, to change that narrative. We have a good bunch in here to do it.”

Brown said the Sixers should know within the next 24 hours what the next steps for Simmons will be. The team said in its statement Thursday that treatment options were being considered. Simmons has already been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic. “Yeah, it’s a little frustrating sometimes,” guard Josh Richardson said of losing Simmons. “But that’s the way the game goes. So we’re going to just have to have a next-man-up mentality like we’ve had all year. Guys will pick up the slack, and when we get him back, he’ll fit back in seamlessly.