Christian Wood

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Jazz center Rudy Gobert
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Report: More NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus than reported so far

Leave a comment

At least 19 NBA players have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus:

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

I can tell you for a hundred percent fact: There are more players that have tested positive than have been reported or revealed.

To some degree, I understand players wanting to maintain their privacy – especially once they stopped interacting with masses of fans who’d benefit from being alerted.

But that’s generally not how the NBA works. Player injuries are announced, and we have repeatedly been told – as the NBA tries to resume its season – to treat coronavirus like an injury for players. The NBA’s push to draw revenue from gambling has been bolstered by promoting transparency, at least on paper. This violates that spirit.

It’s especially troubling as the league launches an ambitious plan for playing amid the pandemic. There are reasons to believe the plan is sound. There are reasons to believe the plan has shortcomings. But the NBA should be open with the underlying data.

As of mid-May, all the diagnosed players reportedly recovered in short order. Hopefully, the fact that other players have kept their diagnoses secret suggests they also recovered without complications.

Troy Weaver takes over as GM, looking to ‘restore’ Pistons

Troy Weaver Pistons
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Leave a comment

DETROIT — The timing eventually worked out for Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons introduced Weaver as their new general manager on a video conference Monday. The former Oklahoma City Thunder executive joins a Detroit team that was interested in him previously – and he takes over a GM spot that was vacant for a couple years.

“We had actually tried to talk to Troy a couple years ago. OKC wasn’t quite ready to let him go,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said. “So he’s been on our radar for a while.”

The Pistons shook up their front office two years ago. Stan Van Gundy had been the coach and team president, and after Detroit moved on from him, there was no official GM. Ed Stefanski took over the front office, and Dwane Casey was hired as coach.

Now Weaver will fill the GM role, with Stefanski remaining as a senior advisor to Gores.

“Troy, Ed and Dwane will work on a day-to-day basis with each other,” Gores said. “Troy will have normal, and even higher than normal, GM responsibilities.”

Weaver said he felt loyal to the Thunder and wanted to help bring a championship to Oklahoma City – but he thought now the fit was right with the Pistons.

The Pistons haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, although Weaver described the situation as a “restoring” and not a rebuild. The Pistons went 20-46 this season and traded Andre Drummond in February. They hope to have more flexibility going forward.

“We didn’t have a lot of cap room at the time when Ed came on, so we felt like we really needed to clean things up,” Gores said. “I think he did a great job. … The reason Ed did not come on as GM, we had decided that Ed was going to be one level kind of above that, and that we needed to leave that spot open for our next 10, 15 years, for somebody like Troy.”

Although the Pistons dealt Drummond and bought out point guard Reggie Jackson, they still have an expensive star on the roster in Blake Griffin. Weaver mentioned Griffin and guard Derrick Rose immediately when asked about Detroit’s roster.

“Those guys have had some injury history, and they’re looking forward to building their careers back, so that stood out. Excited to get them healthy and help us move forward,” Weaver said. “Then the second piece of it is the young players on the roster – Sekou (Doumbouya), (Luke) Kennard, Bruce Brown, Svi (Mykhailiuk).”

Weaver did not want to discuss forward Christian Wood because of his free agency.

The Pistons announced the hiring of the 52-year-old Weaver last week. He spent the past 12 seasons with the Thunder, including three-plus years as vice president of basketball operations. He served eight seasons as vice president/assistant general manager.

Weaver, Gores, Casey, Stefanski and Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem were all on the video conference Monday.

“I always recognized Troy as one of the top talent evaluators – you just look at the finished products in OKC, he had a big part of doing that. Not only that, he’s a man of his word,” Casey said. “He’s genuine, he’s real, and I will say this, and in today’s time, with all the unrest, here’s an opportunity for an African American man to be named to this position, and I’m going to credit Tom and Arn and Ed for opening up the door for the opportunity for him to step in.”

Gores was asked about the importance of diversifying the front office with this hire.

“Did we put an emphasis, and make it a priority? Yes,” Gores said. “But at the same time, can’t take an ounce away from Troy. He was the best person in the world for this job.”

After covering the Jazz then being placed in a coma due to COVID-19, cameraperson released from hospital

Jazz center Rudy Gobert vs. Pistons
Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the first NBA players test positive for coronavirus.

From there, multiple potential connection points emerged. Pistons big Christian Wood – who faced Utah in Detroit a few days prior – was diagnosed with coronavirus and has since recovered. A cameraperson who worked that game, including shooting inside the Jazz locker room, was also diagnosed with coronavirus and even put into a medically reduced coma.

Ansar Khan of MLive:

A freelance cameraman who contracted the coronavirus after working a Detroit Pistons game and spent several weeks in a medically induced coma has been released from the hospital.

Kelvin Calhoun is recovering at his mother’s home in Detroit, his sister said Tuesday.

This is great news.

2020 PBT Awards: Sixth Man of the Year

Clippers Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams and Thunder guard Dennis Schroder
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NBA regular season might be finished. Heck, the entire NBA season might be finished. Even if play resumes with regular-season games, there’d likely be an abridged finish before the playoffs (which will also likely be shortened).

So, we’re making our 2019-20 award picks now. If the regular season somehow lasts long enough to reconsider our choices, we’ll do that. But here are our selections on the assumption the regular season is over.

Kurt Helin

1.  Montrezl Harrell, Clippers

2.  Dennis Schroder, Thunder

3.  Derrick Rose, Pistons

A Clipper gets my vote, and for the first time in years, it’s not Lou Williams (who would be fourth on my ballot). Montrezl Harrell improved his game this year defensively and he continues to bring energy and grit off the bench that has made the Clippers’ second unit one of the most feared in the league. Schroder had a fantastic season, mostly when paired in a three-guard lineup with Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Rose faded a little at the end and the Pistons didn’t win much, but he averaged 18.1 points a game and was the team’s best player for chunks of the season.

Dan Feldman

1. Montrezl Harrell, Clippers

2. Dennis Schroder, Thunder

3. Christian Wood, Pistons

After finishing a deserved third for this award last year, Montrezl Harrell improved his scoring skill and played stingier defense while maintaining his energetic style. That moved him past Clippers reserve teammate and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams. Harrell and Williams work well in tandem, but it seems Harrell has taken a little more ownership of their shared production.

Dennis Schroder scored more effectively than ever. He also diversified his all-around game to fit with the Thunder’s other point guards, Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Schroder absolutely deserves credit for helping make that trio work.

Christian Wood narrowly topped Bucks guards George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo, who both did plenty to help replace Malcolm Brogdon. Wood made so many productive plays inside and out, especially as a starter after the Pistons traded Andre Drummond. That’s part of being a good reserve, stepping up when the starter is unavailable.

Keith Smith

1. Dennis Schroder, Thunder

2. Montrezl Harrell, Clippers

3. Lou Williams, Clippers

It seemed like this might be another year where the two Clippers could have split the award, but Dennis Schroder was just a bit better than both. In his second year coming off the Thunder bench, Schroder has put together the best season of his career. He’s averaging 19 points per game, while shooting 46.8% from the field overall and 38.1% from three, both career highs. And he’s also averaging 4.1 assists per game and 3.7 rebounds per game. To top it off, Schroder is regularly a part of the closing lineup for the surprising Thunder.

L.A.’s two bench stars could be mainstays on this ballot if they stay in reserve roles with the Clippers. Williams has hit Jamal Crawford-territory, where award could be named for him. He had another outstanding scoring season at 18.7 points per game, but what stood out was Williams’ career-best 5.7 assists per game. Harrell also continued to impress with 18.6 points on 58% shooting, to go along with 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

After nine days on ventilator due to coronavirus, Pistons scout Maury Hanks back home

Pistons scout Maury Hanks
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pistons scout Maury Hanks – who previously worked for the Nets and Raptors – was hospitalized due to coronavirus.

Now comes good news.

Marc Robbins of WFSB-TV:

Brad Botkin of CBS Sports:

After battling the coronavirus for nine days on a ventilator inside the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, beloved Detroit Pistons scout Maury Hanks has been released from the hospital and is resting comfortably at home, CBS Sports confirmed on Saturday.

Hanks will now self-quarantine for two weeks in his home as his full recovery hopefully continues to move in a positive direction.

Pistons big Christian Wood reportedly received multiple coronavirus tests in order to be cleared. I wonder whether Hanks will get that comforting closure or, like most people, just have to wait out an asymptomatic period.

Either way, Hanks is clearly heading in the right direction, and that’s a welcome update.