Alonzo Mourning was part of the 2014 class inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, and there was never any doubt that he would be deserving of the honor.
Mourning played 15 seasons, the last five of which came after taking a year off to battle a life-threatening kidney disease. He came into the league with the Charlotte Hornets, but will be remembered by most for the 10-plus seasons he spent with the Heat, and winning a title in Miami in 2006.
More than just contributing statistically, Mourning embodied all of the qualities that Pat Riley valued most, and was the locker room leader from a team culture standpoint.
Here’s Mourning’s Hall of Fame career retrospective video:
And highlights from his speech can be viewed in the clip below.
Nuggets star Nikola Jokic tested positive for coronavirus in Serbia. Gary Harris, Torrey Craig and Michael Porter Jr. didn’t travel with Denver to Orlando, either.
And neither did backup point guard Monte Morris.
Eric Woodyard of ESPN:
This doesn’t explicitly say Morris contracted coronavirus. But like a report on Rockets star James Harden “feeling fine,” an assessment of symptoms invites speculation.
At least Jokic, as expected, arrived at Disney World.
Mike Singer of The Denver Post:
Jokic has finished his quarantine but still needs to undergo physical testing by team staffers before he can practice, according to a team source. Jokic is slated to watch Tuesday night’s practice.
It was already difficult to predict how Jokic would fare physically in the resumption. His illness and delayed travel only add variables.
There isn’t much clarity on the rest of the roster, either. Harris is Denver’s starting shooting guard. Morris, Craig and Porter are key reserves.
When seeding games begin later this month, will the Nuggets resemble the team we saw most of the season? As the team’s top player, Jokic returning is a huge step. But depth was a strength of Denver’s, and that’s in jeopardy.
The Nets – decimated by coronavirus and other issues – signed Michael Beasley.
Now, he has coronavirus.
Beasley traveled to Disney World and began his quarantine, according to Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks. But Beasley’s return to the NBA hit a snag.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The NBA announced that two players tested positive for coronavirus during their initial quarantine at Disney World then returned home or to isolation housing. It’s unclear whether Beasley is one of those two players or another case.
An infected player inside the bubble post-quarantine is the NBA’s nightmare scenario. But I’ve seen no evidence Beasley progressed past his quarantine… which was designed precisely to catch an infection before he spread it to others.
However, this situation raises public-health concerns.
Many jurisdictions have limited gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not enough to say people can decide their own risk tolerances. Because coronavirus is so contagious, everyone who contracts it could spread it to others – including those who are trying to minimize their own risk but can’t feasibly completely isolate.
Because of the NBA restart, Beasley traveled to Orlando and now back. How much responsibility does the league bear to ensure he doesn’t expose others en route?
The Nets also face concerns. They’re already down Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, Wilson Chandler and Nicolas Claxton. Will Brooklyn replace Beasley? If so, with whom?
And of course there’s Beasley. Hopefully, he recovers smoothly. But this is yet another complication for the 31-year-old who still faces a five-game suspension (consistent with a third marijuana violation) and struggled on and off the court with the Lakers last season.
When the NBA created a hotline for players to anonymously report violations inside the bubble, numerous questions emerged. How often would it get used? What consequences would told-on players face? Would other players resent how often Chris Paul called?
Some answers are emerging.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Kings center Richaun Holmes and Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo are each quarantined after breaking protocols. It’s unclear how their violations were detected.
Yes, there is a culture against snitching. That this report is snitching about snitching is truly something.
But there’s too much at stake – health of hundreds of people and a lot of money – to take these protocols lightly. Everyone at the NBA’s Disney World campus is entrusting their safety (and, for players, whose salaries are tied to revenue, livelihood) to those around them. It’s important everyone involved acts responsibly.
The Kings have been hit especially hard by coronavirus.
Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker and Alex Len all tested positive. Richaun Holmes is quarantined after violating the NBA’s bubble protocols at Disney World.
And now Harrison Barnes reveals he was diagnosed with coronavirus.
Presumably, Barnes was among the 19 players the NBA announced tested positive for coronavirus in July in home markets.
“Primarily asymptomatic” is a strange assessment. Does Barnes mean he’s mildly symptomatic?
The Kings already faced an uphill climb for making the playoffs. At best, several of their players are falling behind in training. At worst, Sacramento will have its rotation depleted when games begin.
Hopefully, Barnes recovers and joins the team as he hopes. He has a personal stake in it. Even during the lengthy hiatus, Barnes stuck with his pledge not to shave or cut his hair until the Kings reach .500 (or, as he amended it, make the playoffs) or the season ends.