April 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Medical Personnel From Major Leagues Meet With White House Coronavirus Task Force Member

Apr 29, 2020 1:30 AM

Chief medical officers from all major sports leagues met with Seema Verma, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, to go over the role sports would play under President Donald Trump's plan to re-open the American economy.

Verma encouraged teams to follow testing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Verma also emphasized the importance of finding innovative ways to have sports while keeping athletes, team personnel, and fans safe.

The call lasted over an hour, according to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who was representing college football.

"We learned that there were likely going to be a lot more tests available, both the antibody tests and point of contact tests, which was a good thing for all of the pro guys and colleges. They said the number of tests was going to go up dramatically in the coming months. They thought we were going to have the necessary tests to do what we needed to do," said Bowlsby. 

Tom VanHaaren/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Zion Williamson On Staying In Shape During Stoppage: 'Honestly, I'm Ready Now'

Apr 28, 2020 1:30 AM

Zion Williamson told TNT's Ernie Johnson that he is currently in shape to resume the season.

"Honestly, I'm ready now. I've been staying in shape, working on myself and just staying ready. You never know when the time is going to come when they're going to say, 'All right, let's resume.' I don't want to have to look around at my teammates and say, 'Sorry, guys, I'm not ready.' So I'm staying ready for my teammates," said Williamson.

Williamson said that he has a basketball hoop at his house, with Pelicans players participating in workouts over Zoom alongside team training staff.

Williamson added that he was just finding his rhythm in the NBA when the season was suspended.

"It sucks because I had just come back after sitting three, four months without playing basketball or playing in an NBA game. As soon as I felt like I was getting going, this happens. It sucks from that perspective. But I think it's a good thing because it gives me extra time to work on my knee and work on my body overall."

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

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

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Warriors' Practice Facility To Remain Closed Due To City Ordinances

Apr 26, 2020 12:45 PM

The Golden State Warriors' practice facility will remain closed due to the city's social-distancing orders, league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The NBA recently announced that they will allow teams to open their practice facilities on May 1st for individual workouts in cities with loosened restrictions. 

The NBA will find other arrangements for teams in markets that have yet to loosen restrictions. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said on Friday that she would "very likely" extend the city's social distancing measures past May 3rd.

Logan Murdock/NBC Sports Bay Area

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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NBA To Allow Certain Teams To Re-Open Practice Facilities For Individual Workouts On May 1st

Apr 25, 2020 6:14 PM

The NBA will allow teams to re-open practice facilities in areas where local governments eased stay-at-home orders on May 1st, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Team will be allowed to host voluntary, individual workouts, with group practices still prohibited.

The NBA will work with teams in markets that haven't loosened restrictions on other arrangements.

Wojnarowski adds that certain players were asking teams whether they should travel to Georgia, with the state opening up certain businesses. Teams prefer its players to workout in safe and clean environments, as opposed to general fitness centers.

The latest decision does not mean that the return of the season is imminent, with the league still unsure of if and when games can resume. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

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Kawhi Leonard Loses Lawsuit Against Nike Over 'Klaw' Logo

Apr 25, 2020 5:59 PM

Kawhi Leonard lost his copyright lawsuit against Nike alleging that the sneaker company stole his "Klaw" logo.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman ruled that the two designs were "substantively different."

"It’s not merely a derivative work of the sketch itself. I do find it to be new and significantly different from the design," ruled the judge.

Leonard was looking to take his "Klaw" logo to New Balance

Darren Rovell

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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James Dolan Recovers From COVID-19, To Donate Plasma For Medical Research

Apr 23, 2020 1:46 AM

James Dolan has fully recovered from COVID-19 and will donate plasma for medical research.

Antibody tests are seen as a key in potentially developing treatment for the virus. Individuals who recovered from the virus must have a high volume of antibodies to become a donor.

Dolan had mild symptoms of the virus, including a loss of smell. 

MSG also sent an internal email on Monday informing qualified employees that they will be paid through May 31st. 

Larry Brooks/New York Post

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

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Rich Paul: Mitchell Robinson Is 'Just Scratching The Surface'

Apr 21, 2020 1:51 AM

Agent Rich Paul discussed the potential of his new client Mitchell Robinson, saying that Robinson is still maturing and learning the game.

“His growth comes with understanding how to play the game at this level. ... It’s a lot of things to learn. Once he’s able to learn those things, he’ll then be in position to showcase other talents he has. He can take the outside shot, put the ball on the floor, post. You don’t want to rush into that. You have to understand the details of the game first," Paul told Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Robinson, who signed with Paul in February, is on his fifth agent of his career.

Paul added that he can also help Robinson off the floor.

“I felt like I can help him. A lot of times young players, they just don’t know. As an agent — and I don’t like the word — you get the perception that it’s all about money. And it’s not all about that. You have a unique opportunity to help someone build great habits on and off the basketball floor. A lot of times they’re in situations they can’t control, the economic environment they grew up in."

Marc Berman/New York Post

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

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Sekou Doumbouya Returns To France During Stoppage Of Play

Apr 19, 2020 1:03 AM

Sekou Doumbouya returned to France to be close to his family during the NBA's stoppage in play.

The league recommended against non-essential travel, but players could go to another city with the agreement of their team.

International travel could potentially lead to logistical concerns once play resumes. 

Doumbouya is averaging 6.4 points in 38 game this season. 

ESPN

Tags: Sekou Doumbouya, Detroit Pistons, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Nuggets To Promote Calvin Booth To General Manager

Apr 18, 2020 7:45 PM

The Denver Nuggets will promote Calvin Booth to general manager, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Booth was previously an assistant general manager for the Nuggets.

Booth replaces Arturas Karnisovas, who was named the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Bulls. 

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Arturas Karnisovas To Focus On Drafting, Player Development With Bulls

Apr 16, 2020 2:03 AM

New Chicago Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas outlined his vision for the team during his introductory press conference, emphasizing player development through the draft. 

"We are the second youngest team in the league, a great young core; the Bulls drafted well. Players want to play, but at the end of the day they want to win. My job is going to be to facilitate that. It was a huge thing for us in Denver and it's going to be huge here in Chicago. We're going to have to improve our players. There's three ways of building teams – through your draft, through free agency and through trades. I think building through the draft and developing your players is the key to getting better every year," said Karnisovas.

Karnisovas said that his next step was to hire a general manager who will compliment his skills.

Karnisovas added that he had discussions with Jim Boylen about implementing a high-paced, entertaining style of play. 

"I already had a conversation with Jim (Boylen), kind of talking about what kind of style of play I would like, what kind of players I like. I like high pace, moving the ball. We were able to be a very good passing team in Denver. It's a very entertaining brand of basketball. I like multi-positional players. I like guys with high basketball IQ that play off each other. ... Just looking at their play last year, obviously they won — now I would say we won — 22 games. I watch a lot of games. I will continue to evaluate. The rebounding and shooting were a couple of the issues." 

Sam Smith/NBA.com

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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David Blatt's Consulting Contract With Knicks Expires

Ian Begley/SNY

Kendrick Nunn: Heat Are In Playoffs So 'Give That Rookie Of The Year To Kendrick Nunn'

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Masai Ujiri Says 'Still Plenty Of Work To Be Done' In Repairing Relationship With DeMar DeRozan

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

David Griffin: Pelicans 'Just Scratching The Surface Of What We're Capable Of'

Jim Eichenhofer/NBA.com

Kevin Garnett Says His Dream Is To 'Go And Buy The Seattle SuperSonics'

Tim Reynolds/The Associated Press

Knicks, Nets Help Donate 1 Million Masks To Essential Workers

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Chad Buchanan Declines Bulls Interview, Will Remain With Pacers

Shams Charania/The Athletic

NBA, ESPN Working To Televise H-O-R-S-E Competition

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Adam Silver: NBA To Return Once It Receives 'All Clear' From Public Health Officials

Adam Schefter & Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Windhorst: 'Significant Amount Of Pessimism' That NBA Will Restart Season

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Mike Budenholzer: Bucks Operating With 'Mentality That We Will Play'

Eric Woodyard/ESPN