March 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Donovan Mitchell, DeMarcus Cousins Planning To Play In Players-Only NBA 2K Tournament On ESPN

Mar 31, 2020 1:27 AM

The NBA is planning a players-only NBA 2K tournament that will be broadcast on ESPN, league sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.

The 10-day tournament is expected to launch on Friday, and will feature 16 players.

Donovan Mitchell and DeMarcus Cousins are expected to participate in the tournament.

The league is still finalizing details on the tournament, according to sources.


Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Donovan Mitchell, DeMarcus Cousins, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

ABC/ESPN To Release 10-Part Michael Jordan Documentary Starting April 19th

Mar 31, 2020 1:10 AM

ABC/ESPN has decided to move its release of their 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan to April 19th.

The documentary, titled "The Last Dance," was originally scheduled to release in June.

ESPN declined to confirm the new start date, though sources say that the release will be announced on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. 

Andrew Marchand/ESPN

Tags: Michael Jordan, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

James Dolan, MSG To Pay Event Staff Through At Least May 3rd

Mar 28, 2020 5:06 PM

James Dolan and MSG have agreed to pay its event staff through at least May 3rd.

They have also created a hardship fund that's received $2.3 million in donations.

MSG had previously guaranteed payment through April 5th, though that cutoff date is now open-ended should the COVID-19 pandemic extend through the summer.

The relief fund includes a $1 million donation from MSG, a $1 million donation from the Dolan Family Foundation, and $300,000 from MSG management. 

Stefan Bondy/NY Daily News

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Danilo Gallinari Helps Fund 400 COVID-19 Testing Kits, Medical Supplies In Oklahoma City

Mar 28, 2020 1:07 PM

Danilo Gallinari will fund 400 COVID-19 testing kits and other medical equipment such as N95 masks in Oklahoma City, with an emphasis on helping high-risk individuals such as health care professionals and people over 65.

"Knowing what's going on in my country and what my family has been through both in France and Italy, if I can help mitigating or at least avoiding some of the troubles we had early on in Italy, and we can do better here in OKC and the States in general, that's good," said Gallinari.

Gallinari was vocal in asking the league to play behind closed doors after seeing the impact of the virus in his native Italy.

Gallinari praised the league's decision to suspend the season when it did.

"I wasn't predicting anything, or I wasn't a magician. I was just telling everybody what was going on in Italy was something very possible in the States, too. Fortunately, [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver did an amazing job, closing everything right away, so we didn't go through Phase 2. We never even played games with no fans. After what happened, it was great for him to do what he did and stop everything."

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

John Calipari: Knicks Should Not Give Up On Kevin Knox

Mar 25, 2020 1:49 AM

John Calipari addressed Kevin Knox's struggles in the NBA, saying that the New York Knicks should not yet give up on the former Kentucky Wildcat.

"He was so young. Some guys are even younger than their chronological age, which is young. And guess what? He's one of those. He was the youngest player in that draft. ... It's going to take time. What you don't want to do -- and teams have done this in that league -- they give up on a young, young player too soon. And now all of a sudden, the guy comes back and they look and the whole thing in New York will be, 'Well what if we had him? We gave him away. We should have held on longer. Why did we do that?'" said Calipari.

Knox is averaging 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds this season, down from 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds during his rookie season.

Calipari added that Knox will take longer to develop due to his youth and size, but should eventually improve his shooting.

Knox is currently shooting 35.9% from the field.  

"Young guys take longer to develop, especially when they're big. And guys with his size and his skill, the game is going to him. In other words, if you're long, if you're lanky, if you're a basketball player, if you can shoot it -- shooting has become a premium in the NBA. If you can't shoot it, it's hard to become significant guy, or the No. 1 or No. 2 guy. You've got to be No. 3, 4 or 5 if you can't shoot. That's easy because in the NBA, over time, what happens is, guys shoot the ball better. they shoot it better."

Danny Abriano/SNY

Tags: Kevin Knox, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

James Dolan, Charles Oakley To Mediate Dispute Over Phone On March 31st

Mar 23, 2020 1:29 AM

James Dolan and Charles Oakley were ordered to mediate their dispute over the telephone by a federal appeals court. 

The mediation, presided over by former New York State Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos, will take place on March 31st.

The dispute between Dolan and Oakley began after Dolan ordered Oakley to be ejected by Madison Square Garden security during a game in 2017.

Oakley's civil suit against Dolan was thrown out on February 19th, though Oakley filed an appeal a day later. 

Adam Silver and Michael Jordan previously tried to intervene between the two.

Daniel Wallach/The Athletic

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

David Griffin Highlights On-Court Chemistry Between Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Nicolo Melli

Mar 22, 2020 4:44 PM

David Griffin praised the chemistry between Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, and Nicolo Melli as one of the keys to the New Orleans Pelicans offense.

“A big part of it is the chemistry you see with Lonzo and Zion. They have a special connection. I think Nicolo Melli getting more minutes, and him starting to become a key part of the rotation has been essential as well.

"Those three guys work incredibly well as a unit. Zion gives us another player who can create vertical thrust in the offense, and Lonzo can pick defenses apart with his passing," said Griffin.

Melli is shooting 39.1% from three since Williamson made his season debut.

“Melli, when there is that dive thrust (by Williamson) toward the rim, (Melli) is going to be pulling bigs away from the basket. He is absolutely essential when Zion’s on the floor, from a spacing standpoint. When you see the relationship between those three growing, it just exponentially improves our team.”

Griffin also gave an update on second-round pick Didi Louzada, who is currently playing in Australia's NBL.

"His development on a very veteran team that had the best record in their league the vast majority of the season, as a starter and defensive stopper, is exactly what we wanted. The future is very bright there as a potential three-and-D stopper who can guard multiple positions.”

New Orleans Pelicans

Tags: Zion Williamson, Nicolo Melli, Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

P.J. Tucker Announces Opening Of New Sneaker Store In Houston

Mar 22, 2020 4:19 PM

P.J. Tucker announced that he will open a sneaker store in Houston during an Instagram Live Q&A.

"We're looking to do the grand opening in October. We've got a lot of dope collabs coming. We're going to have some fun with it, and I'm excited about that," said Tucker.

The location of the shop wasn't announced, though Tucker did reveal The Better Generation handle on Instagram.

Tucker recently renewed his sneaker deal with Nike.

"I've never wanted my own [signature] shoe. Even when I was a free agent and trying to sign with companies, when they were trying to sell me to get my own shoe, I was like, 'I don't want to do that.' I've never wanted to be locked in on one shoe," said Tucker.

Nick DePaula/ESPN

Tags: P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Adam Silver On Suspended Season: 'It's Too Soon To Tell What The Economic Impact Will Be'

Mar 22, 2020 1:53 PM

Adam Silver said it was too early to determine the financial hit of suspending the NBA season, but "it's not a pretty picture."

“It’s too soon to tell what the economic impact will be. We’ve been analyzing multiple scenarios on a daily if not hourly basis and we’ll continue to review the financial implications. Obviously, it’s not a pretty picture but everyone, regardless of what industry they work in, is in the same boat," said Silver.

The shutdown will cost the league 259 games by April 15th, which was supposed to be the final day of the regular season.

The league announced that players will receive their full salaries on April 1st, but they could recoup salaries for lost games on April 15th. estimated that league losses could approach $1 billion if no more games are played. 

NBC Sports

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Spencer Dinwiddie Announces Parternship With Crypo Lender Cred

Mar 22, 2020 1:29 AM

Spencer Dinwiddie announced a partnership with crypto lending firm Cred.

The partnership allows fans to invest in crypto assets at a 10% annual interest rate.

“I believe blockchain can radically reshape the nature of financial services for the better, and the Cred team is well-positioned to make this happen. I believe in Cred’s mission to provide more equitable and inclusive financial services to people, leveraging blockchain technology, and their team has unmatched expertise in capital markets, blockchain, and traditional financial services. This partnership comes at a critical time, where I can educate my fans on the power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain while they earn interest on their digital assets," said Dinwiddie.

“In an environment like this I think everyone is looking for that extra assurance. It just highlights the value of stablecoins,” added Cred CEO Dan Schatt.

Dinwiddie has previous experience in the cryptocurrency space, including launching his own Ethereum-based investment plaform on January 13th.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

NBA Announces 'NBA Together' Campaign In Response To COVID-19 Pandemic

Brian Martin/

NBA To Pay Full Salaries On April 1st, Could Recoup Salaries For Canceled Games On April 15th

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Heat To Provide Disaster Relief Assistance For Part-Time Employees

Anthony Chiang/Miami Herald

NBA's Best Case Scenario Believed To Be Mid-To-Late June Return With No Fans

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Hornets Establish Fund To Help Support Part-Time Employees

Charlotte Hornets

Referee Courtney Kirkland Tests Negative For COVID-19

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Bulls, Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets Among Teams To Provide Financial Support For Event Employees

Ohm Youngmisuk & Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Rudy Gobert Donates $500,000 To COVID-19 Related Relief

Sarah Todd/Deseret News

All Members Of Raptors' Organization Test Negative For COVID-19

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Adam Silver Suggests NBA Finals Could Take Place In July If Season Resumes

Joseph Staszewski/New York Post

Teams Still Allowed To Practice After NBA Suspends Season

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

NBA Could Move Games To Neutral Cities, Sites Not Affected By Coronavirus

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

NBA Schedules Conference Call With Owners, GMs To Discuss Coronavirus

Marc Stein/The New York Times

NBA Wants Teams To Have Contingency Plan For Coronavirus By Tuesday

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Nets Players Felt Kenny Atkinson Lost Portion Of Locker Room

Ian Begley & Corey Hersch/SNY

NBA Could Limit Locker Room Access To Players, Team Personnel Due To Coronavirus

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Draymond Green Signs Endorsement Deal With Converse

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Zion Williamson Signs Multiyear Partnership With Fanatics

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Leon Rose Highlights 'Young Talent, Significant Future Assets' In Letter To Knicks Fans

Danny Abriano/SNY

Russell Westbrook After 41-Point Game Versus Celtics: 'I Think I'm Moving In The Right Direction'

Tim MacMahon/ESPN