July 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Ryan Broekhoff With Family After Wife Tests Positive For COVID-19

Jul 12, 2020 11:12 PM

Ryan Broekhoff did not travel to the Orlando bubble with Philadelphia 76ers teammates after his wife tested positive for COVID-19.

Broekhoff released a statement on Twitter saying that he is focused on his family.

The Sixers signed the 29-year-old Broekhoff during last month's signing period.

Ryan Broekhoff

Tags: Ryan Broekhoff, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Players Required To 'Be In Uniform And Warmups' Upon Arriving To Arena

Jul 12, 2020 8:57 PM

An NBA protocol will require players to "be in uniform and warmups" as they arrive to the arena, sources told Nick DePaula of ESPN.

Players will be dressed in their full uniforms before they board the team bus, with photographers waiting on location to snap pre-game photos.

Team locker rooms at the arena are not equipped with showers, leading to the change in dress protocol. 

Players will leave the arena 40 minutes after each game ends. 

"I think that takes away [from] originally what getting dressed was all about. It wasn't even about the tunnel walk, it was more about getting dressed up and going to work. To me, it's like a mindset, getting dressed and getting ready to go to my game. It puts me in the mindset that I'm ready to work and helps me find my focus," PJ Tucker told ESPN.

Nick DePaula ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA Playoffs

Michael Malone: Nikola Jokic Will Join Nuggets In Orlando 'Very, Very Soon'

Jul 12, 2020 1:51 PM

Nikola Jokic will join the Denver Nuggets in Orlando "very soon," according to Michael Malone. 

Jokic, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Serbia last month, recently retested negative.

"Nikola Jokic will be in the bubble very, very soon. I know that is a big topic of discussion, when's he going to be here. He will be here very, very soon, and excited to see him," said Malone on Saturday.

Jokic will quarantine for two days after arriving in Orlando.

The Nuggets closed their practice facility before leaving for Orlando after two members of their traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Playoffs

LeBron James To Forgo Social Justice Message On Back Of Jersey

Jul 11, 2020 11:27 PM

LeBron James will have his last name on the back of his jersey in lieu of a social justice message when the NBA season resumes.

James added that he had no input on the list of messages that players were able to choose from. 

"It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players. I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It's just something that didn't really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.

"I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey. I had a couple things in mind, but I wasn't part of that process, which is OK. I'm absolutely OK with that. ... I don't need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I'm about and what I'm here to do," said James.

285 out of a possible 350 eligible players picked out a social justice message to use on the back of their jerseys.

JaVale McGee recently said that he would use "Respect Us," while Kyle Korver will use "Black Lives Matter."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Kemba Walker Says He 'Really Needed That Break' To Help Heal Knee

Jul 11, 2020 11:16 PM

Brad Stevens said that he was going to "move very slowly" and continue to monitor Kemba Walker's knee as the Boston Celtics head into the playoffs.

“We’re going to move very slowly with Kemba Walker and let him strengthen (the left knee). And make sure that he’s all good to go as we enter the seeding games and obviously, the playoffs," said Stevens.

Walker missed 14 games this season with left knee issues.

Walker said that the break was much needed in healing his knee. 

“I really needed that break. It definitely helped me get back to myself and start to feel comfortable on my knee."

A. Sherrod Blakely/NBC Sports Boston

Tags: Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Gregg Popovich On Bubble: 'I Don't Know Where Else You Would Be As Safe As We Are Right Now'

Jul 11, 2020 11:02 PM

Gregg Popovich said he briefly thought about sitting out the bubble due to health concerns related to COVID-19, but decided to go after understanding the league's safety protocols for the bubble.  

"From an intellectual point of view and a medical point of view, I would have to say not probably, but I am safer here -- if this bubble works -- I'm safer here than I would be in Texas. For sure. As you see what's going on there," said Popovich.

The 71-year-old was medically cleared to join the bubble.

Popovich added that the return of the season could give the league an opportunity to continue to speak out against social injustice.

"People will enjoy the games and the athleticism and the losses and the wins and the excitement, but the message that the league wants to send is one of equity. And no injustice for anyone and making sure people have to think about it every day. Whether it's a coach or player speaking up, it's the momentum that we have to keep, and the league can be a great communicator for that."

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Kawhi Leonard Joined Clippers In Orlando On Friday

Jul 11, 2020 6:06 PM

Kawhi Leonard joined his Los Angeles Clippers teammates in Orlando on Friday, sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.

Leonard missed the team flight on Wednesday due to a personal matter.

Leonard will quarantine for the next two days.

The Clippers closed their practice facility on July 2nd following a positive COVID-19 test. 

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Andre Roberson Participates In Thunder Practice

Jul 11, 2020 1:20 PM

Andre Roberson returned to Oklahoma City Thunder practice for the first time in almost a year, participating in contact and 5-on-5 drills.

Roberson ruptured his patellar tendon in January 2018, and has experienced several setbacks in his rehab.

"He looked really, really good in terms of the way he was moving ... we'll see how he can continue to build up and develop here over the next week, but he was out there today and he participated in everything," said Donovan.

It is unclear how Roberson will fit into the Thunder team this season.

The 28-year-old Roberson will be an unrestricted free agent after this year. 

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Zion Williamson Says He Focused On Getting 'Fundamentals Back To Square One' During Break

Jul 11, 2020 1:09 PM

Zion Williamson said he focused on improving the fundamentals during the league-wide suspension. 

"It just felt like I was 5 years old again. Just went back to square one, tried to get my body where it needs to be, get my fundamentals back to square one and start from there. So yeah, it was just like starting over at 5 again," said Williamson on Friday.

Williamson worked out with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, during the quarantine period.

Alvin Gentry noted that he saw improvements in Williamson's shooting ability. Williamson also said that he's added new elements to his game.

I think there are going to be parts of my game that you didn't see before that you'll see when we start playing."

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Paul George Says Shoulder Is Fully Healed, Is 'Feeling Back To Myself Again'

Jul 11, 2020 12:29 PM

Paul George said that the time off from the season allowed his shoulder to completely heal, adding that he feels "great again."

"Really, I had some insecurities to start the season off. I had insecurities throughout the season just because I wasn't all the way 100 [percent]. Shoulder didn't feel back to 100.

"Everything was kind of waiting and hoping, believing in the doctors that everything they were telling me was going to come into this moment now where I feel great, no shoulder issues ... Now I feel great again ... feeling back to myself again," said George.

George also added that the return of NBA games were an opportunity to continue to highlight important social issues across the country. 

"I think ultimately as young African Americans we have an unbelievable opportunity to use our voices. I don't necessarily think it's taking away by starting the league. I don't think it's taking away of what's the important issues in our world. We can still address those more so than we've done before with our platforms."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Michael Malone Says He Hopes Nikola Jokic Will Rejoin Nuggets 'In The Next Couple Of Days'

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Mike D'Antoni Travels With Team To Orlando, James Harden & Russell Westbrook To Join At Later Date

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

'Equality' Is Most Popular Social Justice Jersey Message

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Joel Embiid Says He's 'Capable Of Carrying The Team' On Offense

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Bradley Beal To Travel To Orlando With Wizards, Still No Decision On Playing Status

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Dwight Howard To Play In Orlando, Will Donate Rest Of Game Checks To His Non-Profit

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Kings Close Practice Facility Following Positive COVID-19 Test In Traveling Party

Sam Amick/The Athletic

Bucks Shut Down Practice Facility After Receiving Results Of COVID-19 Tests

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Kristaps Porzingis On Adding New Elements To His Game: 'I'll Show It On The Court'

Callie Caplan/The Dallas Morning News

Jacque Vaughn Discusses Relationship With Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant: 'I Believe In Voice And Choice'

Alex Smith/SNY

Serge Ibaka On Raptors: 'Mentally, Everybody Is Ready'

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Players Must Arrange Own Travel If They Miss Scheduled COVID-19 Test Next Week

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Third Heat Player Tests Positive For COVID-19

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Landry Shamet Tests Positive For COVID-19, Unlikely To Travel To Orlando This Week

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Rudy Gobert Says Receiving Backlash Was 'Not Easy As A Human Being'

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

NBA Releases Scrimmage Schedule Set For July 22-28

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Teams To Scrimmage Opponent From Opposite Conference In Orlando

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Jeff Bzdelik Will Not Join Pelicans In Orlando, Alvin Gentry's Status Still Uncertain

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Anthony Davis: Lakers' Title Chances 'Got Higher' With Rest, Says He's 100% Healthy

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Sean Marks: Kevin Durant 'Continues To Be A Very Loud Voice' In Shaping Nets' Future

Ian Begley/SNY