Doc Rivers knows somebody needs to step up and be the man tonight with Kendrick Perkins out (Sheed, we’re looking at you). Paul Pierce loves him some pressure. And Kevin Garnett loves everything but playing point guard.
The Basketball Hall of Fame originally planned to induct Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett in August.
But coronavirus interfered.
Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Hall, told ESPN Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020, one of the most star-studded lineups ever which includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, will be moved to spring of 2021.
Colangelo stressed there will be separate ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, even though both events will now be held in the calendar year 2021. “We won’t be combining them,” he said. “The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration.”
I’m so glad each class will be honored separately. Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and the rest of this class – Tamika Catchings, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Patrick Baumann – deserve their own night.
So does Paul Pierce and whoever gets selected in the next class.
Life can end at any moment. Bryant’s death was a tragic reminder of that. But there’s no specific urgency here. The Hall of Fame should wait until it’s safe to hold a proper celebration of this class… then the next one.
The NBA has been sued by the owners of the building that houses the NBA Store, who say the league owes more than $1.2 million after not paying rent in April or May.
The league responded by saying it doesn’t believe the suit has merit, because it was forced to close the New York store due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NBA Media Ventures, LLC is required to pay $625,000 of its $7.5 million annual fee on the first day of each month under teams of its lease with 535-545 FEE LLC, according to the suit filed Tuesday in New York.
The NBA entered into the lease agreement for the property at 545 Fifth Ave. in November 2014.
Counting other fees such as water, the owners of the building are seeking more than $1.25 million.
“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Under those circumstances, we don’t believe these claims have any merit,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “We have attempted, and will continue to attempt, to work directly with our landlord to resolve this matter in a manner that is fair to all parties.”
The NBA suspended play on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and faces hundreds of millions of dollars in losses this season, even as it works toward trying to resume play in July.
Anyone hoping for a rapid return of the NBA is going to be disappointed (and hasn’t been paying attention to how Adam Silver operates).
The NBA continues to carefully move toward a return to games, likely with 16 or more likely 20 teams in Orlando at the Walt Disney World resort complex. Expect players to report in mid-July with games now looking like they start late July to early August, allowing more time for the league to get medical and testing protocols and equipment in place. This according to multiple reports, including Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources: The NBA is working on multi-phase medical/safety protocols toward restart of play. Current projections have in-market training camps in July, then camps/scrimmages in Orlando, then resume play late July/early August.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 27, 2020
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reiterated that timeline. While Adam Silver and the NBA owners will be on a conference call Friday, no hard-and-fast timeline decisions are expected at that point.
The format for the NBA’s return also is not yet set, but momentum has shifted in the past couple of weeks away from bringing all 30 teams into the Orlando bubble/campus to finish some portion of the regular season. That would be too many people and too much risk for too little reward.
Instead, the restart likely will have either 16 teams — going straight into the playoffs — or 20 teams, with a play-in tournament of some kind (maybe a World Cup soccer-style group phase). And, as Marc Stein of the New York Times notes (and he is not alone), there is a push to have the clumped 9-12 seeds in the West — Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Sacramento — be the four additional teams brought in (along with the 16 playoff teams).
Prediction: The NBA invites 20 teams to Orlando
*30 too many to host comfortably
*24 too arbitrary + some non-playoff teams want to play and some don't
*16 is fairest if all 30 can't be invited … but 20 is the easiest compromise
*Top 8 in each conference and West 9-to-12
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 27, 2020
Teams who last in the playoffs past the first round could be in Orlando for months, which is why the NBA will allow family members to come to Orlando for the later rounds, report Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.
Conversations have centered on the timing of family arrivals at the Walt Disney Resort, which are likely to start once an initial wave of teams are eliminated and the number of people within the league’s bubble decreases, sources said.
Family members would be subjected to the same safety and testing protocols as everyone else living in the NBA’s biosphere, sources said.
Considering how long players on contending teams could be in Orlando — from mid-July until mid-to-late September, and maybe longer — allowing family to join them is the right thing to do.
NBA Commissioner Silver is trying to make a return as safe as he can and build as much consensus as he can, although he will not get anything absolute in either case. It’s in his nature to move cautiously, especially through uncharted waters like these. The NBA will have games again this summer, but earlier timelines have proved to be a bit optimistic.
George Floyd died Monday while saying “I can’t breathe” as a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground and put his knee on his neck for an extended time. A video of Floyd’s death prompted a severe backlash, including the firing of four police officers, FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigations, and public protests.
Floyd’s death also sparked frustration and outrage among NBA players and they took to social media to speak out, as they have had to do too often in the past with the deaths of black men at the hands of police. Many followed the lead of LeBron James in posting on Instagram an image of a policeman kneeling on Floyd’s neck juxtaposed with Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the sidelines of an NFL game during the national anthem.
No one around the NBA was hit harder than former player and current ESPN analyst Stephen Jackson, who knew Floyd and was devastated by the news. He called Floyd by his nickname, Twin.
Other NBA players took to Twitter and Instagram, here is just a sampling.
If I was in attendance I would have been arrested for sure https://t.co/odtTz8cKhg
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) May 27, 2020
This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US???? https://t.co/wesEwd4Bb2
— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 26, 2020
If you let your coworker do that to another human being without trying to stop him or talk to him out of it, you are as gulty as he is. Frustrating for the majority of good cops that take a lot of risk doing their job the right way everyday. https://t.co/HncJfZcVeD
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 26, 2020
Black Man Pleads For His Life As White Cop Keeps His Knee on His Neck Minutes Before He Died in Minneapolis (Video) – https://t.co/htOV0nbWPL. Now I’ve heard it all: “A FORGERY in progress??!!”” Is that supposed to suggest armed and dangerous? #icantbreathe
— Michele Roberts (@MRobertsNBPA) May 26, 2020
It’s just makes me even more infuriated, there’s no excuse for this. Just PUNK ASS COPS doing PUNK ASS THINGS.. No matter what transpired before, he’s contained, no reason to squeeze the life out of him for the world to see. It’s MURDER.. https://t.co/HpLiJjEYyg
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) May 26, 2020
I’m scared for myself and my BLACK kids with SOME of these crazy people and cops… I hope to God they don’t get into some stuff and the cops come and possibly KILL them
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) May 26, 2020
— Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) May 26, 2020
Heartbroken at this, bystanders can't go tackle the officer off the man because we know how that would play out. Only one here to help is the other officer standing there letting it all happen. SHAME!!!! https://t.co/ljDSBdH1SB
— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) May 26, 2020
SICKENING!!! I HAVE NO WORDS MAN!!! https://t.co/vrFJAcRw55
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 27, 2020