The 22 teams participating in the NBA restart were all at the Disney campus together for the first time Friday. None of them, however, made it to the Orlando, Florida, area with their usual travel party. Leaving families behind for several weeks — or maybe even three months, depending on how deep a team goes in the playoffs — during a pandemic isn’t the only hardship that teams are dealing with during this restart.
The Brooklyn Nets plugged a couple holes in their roster Thursday with a pair of well-traveled veteran scorers. The Nets signed three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley as substitute players for the remainder of the season. The Nets will resume play without Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan after they tested positive for the coronavirus.
Nikola Vucevic had to raise his voice a bit to answer a question. Full-scale practices inside the NBA bubble at the Disney complex started Thursday, with the Magic — the first team to get into the campus earlier this week — becoming the first team formally back on the floor. “It’s great to be back after four months,” Vucevic said.
The Brooklyn Nets signed forward Michael Beasley as a substitute player for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, the team announced Thursday. Financial terms were not disclosed by the team for Beasley, who will have to serve a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy last April. Beasley, 31, played 26 games (two starts) for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds, before being traded with Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles Clippers for Mike Muscala on Feb. 7.
The legal fight over NBA rookie Zion Williamson’s endorsement potential now includes an allegation that his family received $400,000 from a marketing agency before his lone season for Duke. Prime Sports Marketing and company president Gina Ford filed a lawsuit last summer in a Florida state court, accusing Williamson and the agency now representing him of breach of contract.
A person with knowledge of the situation says that Kawhi Leonard did not accompany the Los Angeles Clippers on their flight to Central Florida on Wednesday night for the restart of the NBA season. Leonard's absence was excused and he is expected to join the team at the Disney complex near Orlando sometime in the next few days, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not publicly disclose the matter. Yahoo Sports first reported that Leonard was not on the flight to the Orlando area.
Leonard was given permission by the organization to tend to a family matter and is expected to join the team on campus in a few days, sources said.
Patty Mills will play in the NBA restart, and the San Antonio guard said Wednesday that the reason why he's decided to participate is so he can give just over $1 million of his salary to causes in his native Australia devoted to fighting racism. The exact amount, Mills said, for the Spurs' eight remaining regular-season, or seeding, games will be $1,017,818.54. ''So, I'm playing in Orlando because I don't want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to Black communities,'' Mills said.
Every cent of Mills' salary from the NBA restart will be donated to Black Lives Matter and related organizations.
Living for months in a quarantined bubble designed to shield them from Florida's surge in novel coronavirus cases the Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando will be home for some of the planet's best-paid athletes. While spending three months inside Disney World might be a dream come true for millions of children, for many NBA players it will be an endurance challenge of daily testing, dealing with 113 pages of strict health and safety protocols, high-tech monitoring and separation from family and friends. The Denver Nuggets' Troy Daniels took to Instagram on Tuesday to post a picture of his first night meal, which more resembled a tray of airline food than the carefully prepared feast normally served to pampered athletes.
Two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus, Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon plans to head to Florida with the team on Thursday. Brogdon, 27, is in his first season with the Pacers and will be asked to pick up his production in the absence of former All-Star Victor Oladipo.
Over the next two weeks, as NBA teams report to Walt Disney World for training camp, we will dive deep into the big-picture basketball questions left to be answered between now and October.
Many familiar pregame sights won't be back when baseball and the NBA return later this month. There also won't be the ritual of a gaggle of reporters crowding around a manager before the game or waiting for LeBron James or Brad Stevens to emerge for interviews after an NBA game. As U.S. team sports prepare to resume, journalists are facing the same reckoning that their colleagues who cover politics and entertainment have encountered — coming up with new approaches despite reduced access.
Ten years ago, James was sure of what he wanted to say and do, but uncomfortable with how to deliver it. Now, he and his team know whenever they have something to say, they’ll have the ears of everyone they want — even if the audacity can make people uncomfortable.
"Equality" is the early favorite as 12 players choose social justice messages for their bubble jerseys.
On The Decision’s 10-year anniversary, we want to rewind to the summer of 2010 and give everyone a chance to see what may have happened if LeBron had not only made a better decision about airing The Decision, but changed his decision entirely.
Bradley opted out of participating in the 2019-20 season resumption at Walt Disney World on June 23 because of health concerns related to his 6-year-old son.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver reiterated Tuesday that a "significant spread" of coronavirus could burst the league's safety "bubble" and cause a second shutdown of the season. Silver said he fully expects some players who gather in Florida to resume the suspended season will test positive for coronavirus, especially as teams first arrive in Orlando from their home markets. "Certainly, if we had any sort of a significant spread at all within our campus, we would be shut down again," Silver said at Fortune's virtual Brainstorm Health conference.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday voiced concern that a "significant spread" of the coronavirus could potentially expose a "hole in our bubble" and shut down the season a second time. Silver made the comments during Fortune's virtual "Brainstorm Health" conference. Silver expects that players will test positive for the coronavirus but said he's "not sure yet" what the league's threshold will be for having to shut down the season at ESPN's Wide World of Sports campus at Disney World near Orlando.