LeBron James keeps hearing the same questions, Hows it Going ? Hows the Bubble ? He now has a one-size fits all answer. I just say it's 2020. Nothing is normal in 2020. That's not entirely true, the NBA is a few weeks from playoff mode, and James, just like normal, has himself and the LA Lakers squarely in the mix to compete for a championship. It is a rare bit of normalcy for a player who has appeared in 8 consecutive NBA Finals, from 2011 through and including 2018, and for a franchise that has won 16 championships. On another note, as far as the MVP race, I think I've shown what I'm capable of doing, not only individually but from a team perspective, us being #1 in the West. To have our team at the top of the Western Conference and playing the way that we were playing at that time and the way I was playing, you know, that's definitely a good feeling.
Zero NBA players out of 322 have tested positive for Covid-19 during quarantine inside the "bubble" environment at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Dallas Mavericks and 21 other NBA teams began to enter the "bubble" for the NBA restart on July 7th, the 1st Rd of Covid-19 test results showed only 2 of 322 NBA players tested positive for coronavirus. The number of positive tests decreased from 2 to 0 after about 2 weeks in Orlando, so the "bubble" appears to be working. The two players who tested positive left the Orlando campus to isolate at home or in isolation housing. As the teams and support staff enter the "bubble", they first isolate in their rooms until they produce two negative coronavirus tests at least 24 hours apart. The incredibly low percentage is encouraging enough that the NBA restart protocols are working amid infection concerns. That last sentence kind of confused me, what do they mean about infection concerns ?
The NBA has terminated it's relationship with a Chinese based basketball academy located in the controversial region of Xinjiang, according to a letter league executives sent to a U.S. Senator.The letter was sent to Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) over her concerns regarding the leagues relationship with the communist country. One of the Questions answered was about a training center in Xinjiang, known as one of the worlds worst humanitarian zones. The NBA responded that they had not had any involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year, and the relationship has been terminated.
Former NBA Star Kevin Garnett is part of a group looking to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves, as long time team owner Glen Taylor explores a sale of the franchise. My passion for the Timberwolves to be a championship team is well known, but I have a deeper affection for the city of Minneapolis. I once again want to see Minneapolis as a diverse and loving community that I know it is. Garnett said that no two people love the city more than myself and Glen Taylor, and I look forward to trying to work with him to achieve my dream. Garnett, 44, played in the NBA from 1995-2006, spending 13 total seasons with the Timberwolves and winning a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. He was a 15 time All-Star and was named NBA- MVP in 2004.
Suddenly, Jason Kidd may be emerging as the favorite for the New York Knicks coaching job. There may be a new leader in the race to become the next Head coach of the Knicks, and it may not be who everyone keeps saying who it is, instead the name that may be rising to the top is no less than former NBA Champion and Knicks point guard Jason Kidd, currently an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kidd have replaced Tom Thibodeau as the Knicks primary target as negotiations with Thibodeau apparently are slowing to a crawl. The Knicks have also said that Kidd would not be the only possibility, should the Knicks and Thibodeau be unable to reach an agreement.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said that regrets sending an email that led to his two-week unpaid leave, and ESPN's reasons for suspending him. He said he regretted sending that email, I have not made a habit of doing that, but I sent that one and I regret it. He was suspended after responding to a mass email from Senator Josh Hawley, who has repeatedly questioned the NBA's relationship with China and what he views as the media's lack of coverage on the topic. Whether or not he regrets sending the email, he probably regrets the fact that it about cost him his job. I'm not really sure why they would fire him though for sending an email, as ESPN has let idiot Desmond Howard say things on live TV, and didn't do one thing about it.
Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks are finalizing a 5-year deal that would make him the teams next Head coach.Thibodeau emerged as a top candidate for the Knicks head coaching job earlier this summer amid a franchise search. New York fired coach David Fisdale in Dec. 2019 and promoted assistant coach Mike Miller to interim head coach in his absence. Thibodeau would return to the Knicks after working as an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996-2004.
Soon after first year Head coach John Beilein resigned in Feb., the team agreed to a multi-year contract with JB Bickerstaff as his replacement. Now, the Cavaliers are determining how, or if Kevin Love fits their long-term plans. Love has three years and nearly 91.5 million left on his deal. Last season he averaged 17.6 pts a game, with 9.8 rebounds a game. He turns 32 in September, between a tepid market and no rush to trade him, a trade seems very unlikely. I think the truth being, that no other team is going to pay him that kind of money at this stage of his career, and the Cavaliers are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Kyrie Irving is making sure WNBA players ca sit out the season and not stress about a paycheck. The Brooklyn Nets star is committing 1.5 million to supplement the income of players who choose not yo play this season, whether it be because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons. The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment initiative that Irving launched Monday. It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS. Irving said with the help of ANBA player Natasha Cloud, who chose to sit out, and Jewell Loyd,he connected with several WNBA players who discussed wih him the challenges they faced in deciding whether to play or not. The season began Sat and will be played entirely at the IBG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Rich NBA owners shouldn't have to bleed money, but I cringed when Orlando laid off 31 full time employees earlier this month. The Magic are owned by the DeVos family, whose net worth is in the neighborhood of 5 Billion. The Covid-19 pandemic has cost team owners million's, Orlando included, but laying off 10% of your workforce 4 month's into it just doesn't sit right.
Oh, what a guy will do for food. Lou William's will miss the first two games of the NBA restart after being assigned a 10-day quarantine after a visit to Magic City to pick up food. He was caught popping into an Atlanta area gentleman's club during an excused absence from the Clippers. That's what so bad about some of these professional athletes, they get a sense of entitlement and feel as if they don't have to answer to anyone about anything that they want to do. The Clippers were probably not going to win the NBA Championship regardless, but I'm sure that his teammates are happy that he was able to find something to eat.
An interesting question was thrown at NBA player Gordon Hayward this week when he was asked that with no fans being allowed at the NBA's restart, would players be allowed to talk or say things to a player when he is getting ready to shoot free throws ? Hayward said that he just can't see it being allowed. There is indeed a rule, no opponent in the game can disconcert the shooter once the ball is placed at his disposal, which includes not talking to the free throw shooter, or talking in a loud disruptive manner during any free throw attempt. If caught, and the attempt misses, the referee's can award a substitute free throw.
The gent for free agent Jimmy Fredette has denied a report that Fredette is nearing a contract agreement to return to the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. It was reported Wed that Fredette was nearing a deal with the Sharks. He played for the Sharks from 2016-2019, before signing a two-year deal with Greek club Panathinaikos. They parted way's last month after they no longer could afford to keep him following the suspension of play in Greese. He last played in the NBA with the Phoenix Sun's during the 2018-2019 season. After being drafted with the 10th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks, Besides being with Phoenix last year, he has also played for the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks.
Indiana Pacers guard didn't take long to heat up at the NBA's Orlando restart. Warren scored a career high 53 pts in the Pacers 127-121 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Warren shot 20 of 29 from the field and 9 of 12 from 3pt attempts. He was 12 for 16 with 29pts in the 1st half. He scored 19 1st Qtr points, tying a franchise record.
Meyers Leonard has a brother who served two tours in Afghanistan with the marines. He carries a military-themed backpack, and wears combat boots and has a phone loaded with Navy Seals, who are his friends. He also makes this clear, I absolutely believe Black Lives Matter. Still Leonard simply could not bring himself to kneel for the National Anthem. As the other coaches and players around him knelp, Leonard stood for the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner."
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo had been playing with 5 fouls when he jumped into Boston Celtics Marcus Smart in the lane in the 4th Qtr. Antetokounmpo was first called for a charge that would have sent him to the bench, only for the call to be changed to a block, he must have made the basket plus the foul shot, as the 3 pt play gave the Bucks a 3 pt lead and they went on to win their bubble opener.
San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich has been out spoken over the years in his advocacy for racial justice and equality in America, But the Spurs coach was reticent about why he stood for the National Anthem, rather than take a knee with members of his team and the Sacramento Kings. I would prefer to just keep that to myself, he told reporters after the Spurs 129-120 victory over the Kings. He also said that everybody has to make a personal decision.
It took one Quarter for the 76ers wild side to emerge in their first game at the Orlando bubble complex. As the Philadelphia players walked off the floor after the opening 12 minutes against the Indiana Pacers, Joel Embiid and Shake Milton appeared to get into a significant squabble. It looked as if Embiid said a magic word or phrase to set Milton off, the conversation went from civil to almost physical in about a second. A couple of the Pacer players held Milton back from making a run at Embiid. Being that this happened at the end of the 1st Qtr, my question would be, what happened the next 3 Qtrs ?
The NBA reportedly spent 150 million for the set-up inside the Orlando Bubble. Twenty-Two NBA teams are currently resuming the season, with an end date of Oct.12th for the last possible Finals game. The playoffs are scheduled to tip off Aug.13th. Apparently ESPN has erected 30-plus infrastructures inside and outside the three arenas that house the courts. Throughout the three courts, ESPN will utilize more than 60 robotic cameras. There are around 200 ESPN staffers working on the event, nearly 20 of them are on the air. The hope is to make it feel like a huge event. I have yet to watch the first game, maybe when the games count, I might watch one.