The Bucks were in the process of being eliminated by the Bulls in humiliating fashion, and Giannis Antetokounmpo evidently decided that he wasn’t interested in sticking around to see the final result.
Late in the second quarter with his team trailing by 30 points, Antetokounmpo tackled Mike Dunleavy long after he launched a three-point shot that splashed home, and was ejected as a result of his inappropriate actions.
It’s unclear if Dunleavy did anything in this particular game to earn such violence, or if his play throughout the series had gotten under Antetokounmpo’s skin.
Either way, the Bucks are on their way to a long summer vacation, and the young Antetokounmpo decided to head out a little bit earlier than the rest of his teammates.
Report: NBA deprioritizing playing regular-season games for local TV
LeBron James advocated for playing some regular-season games before the playoffs so everyone could get back into shape. But Steve Kerr called it very unlikely the Warriors would play another regular-season game. Perhaps, playoff-bound teams like the Lakers will play tune-up regular-season games while Golden State – the only team officially eliminated from the playoff race before the hiatus – doesn’t. It’d be a little odd to have such different formats, though. (Then again, these are odd times).
Considering this report, we ought to give more credence to the idea that Kerr knows something about the NBA’s plan and that the regular season is finished.
Lakers update that all players ‘currently symptom-free of COVID-19’
Nearly two weeks ago, the Lakers announced that two of their players tested positive for the coronavirus. “Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician… All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine,” the Lakers said at that time.
On Tuesday, the team provided an update saying nobody on the team is showing any symptoms after a couple of weeks of quarantine.
“All Lakers players are currently symptom-free of COVID-19. The team will continue to follow the health and safety guidelines set by government officials, the Lakers and the NBA,” the statement said.
The Lakers’ players who tested positive were never publicly identified (in fitting with HIPAA regulations).
A total of 10 NBA players — plus five members of staff associated with teams — have tested positive for the virus that has upended life in the United States. None reportedly have had to be hospitalized. Players such as Marcus Smart and others have recovered and free from the virus.
I think everybody in the league feels it’s almost impossible to have a draft if you still have a season that’s ongoing.
You can’t have a draft while teams are still playing. You can’t have some teams able to do trades because their season’s done and then some teams unable to do trades because they’re still playing.
It doesn’t strike me as difficult to hold the draft before the season ends. Teams wouldn’t be allowed to trade current players. The restriction would apply across the board, just like the interrupted pre-draft process. That’s not ideal, but compromises must be made amid this chaos.
Importantly, holding the draft sooner could appeal to both sides of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
It’d be an opportunity to hold a revenue-producing TV event. Obviously, drafted players wouldn’t attend a mass gathering. But with sports fans starved for content, people would watch the selections. A handshake with NBA commissioner Adam Silver is only a small part of the festivities.
The National Basketball Players Association should also push for an earlier draft. Prospects want information sooner so they can prepare for their next step – whether that’s the NBA, returning to college or playing overseas. That said, the union has bigger priorities than potential future members.
So, it’s easy to see why postponing the draft has gained momentum, even if that’s not a no-brainer solution.
Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell headline televised NBA video-game tournament
Will players use their own teams? If so, will Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton both use the Suns, Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley both use the Clippers? If not, the most interesting aspect of this tournament – to non-esports aficionados – could be reading way too much into which teams players pick.