Garrett Temple

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie done for season after coronavirus diagnosis

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No Kevin Durant. No Kyrie Irving. No DeAndre Jordan. No Wilson Chandler. No Nicolas Claxton.

And now the Nets will be without Spencer Dinwiddie, who has been battling a symptomatic case of coronavirus.

Spencer Dinwiddie:

The Eastern Conference playoff race is shaping up to be ugly. The Nets are decimated. The Wizards won’t have their best and second-best players, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans. The Magic will probably be without Jonathan Isaac (who looked so promising) and Al-Farouq Aminu.

I don’t know how Brooklyn will proceed. Tanking raises ethical questions in normal times. When sending players to an uncomfortable bubble in the midst of a pandemic, it’s especially troublesome.

But the Nets have a clear incentive: They’ll keep their first-round pick only if they miss the playoffs. Otherwise, it goes to the Timberwolves (via the Hawks from the Taurean Prince trade).

Presumably, Brooklyn – with a healthy Durant and Irving and maybe a third star – would convey a much later pick next season (when the pick is still lottery protected).

In the meantime, Caris LeVert can step up as lead guard with Irving and Dinwiddie sidelined. Chris Chiozza should get an opportunity at point guard. Garrett Temple can play a larger role. Tyler Johnson adds backcourt depth.

Jordan’s and Claxton’s absences leave Jarrett Allen as the Nets’ only option at center (which could be freeing after a season of having to look over his shoulder). But he could use a backup. Maybe Amir Johnson.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Johnson, 33, hasn’t played in the NBA this season. He spent the last couple seasons with the 76ers, becoming gradually less effective. But he’s a savvy veteran who should fit in quickly.

Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie says he tested positive for coronavirus

Spencer Dinwiddie coronavirus
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Spencer Dinwiddie, the point guard who was the Brooklyn Nets’ leading scorer heading to the NBA’s restart in Orlando, said he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that could keep him from joining his teammates at the restart.

Dinwiddie made the announcement through Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Over the past few months, I have been diligent about protecting myself and others from COVID-19 by following all designated protocol and quarantining,” Dinwiddie told The Athletic. “I was ready and prepared to rejoin my teammates as we were to be an early entry team in the resumed season. I flew private to return to New York, passed multiple COVID-19 tests over my first several days in New York and was able to participate in a couple practices within the first week.

“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive. Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando.

“Hindsight is 20/20.”

Dinwiddie said he will self-quarantine for 14 days, then see how he is feeling and re-evaluate whether he should join his teammates in Orlando. Dinwiddie had been working out in preparation for the restart and had even planned out the social justice message he wanted on the back of his No. 26 jersey — a reference to the current national debt.

Dinwiddie had pushed Brooklyn back into the playoffs this season, averaging 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds a game. With Kyrie Irving missing much of the season (and Kevin Durant not playing at all), Dinwiddie had served as the team’s primary playmaker and an anchor of consistency as lineups kept changing due to injuries.

The Nets will be without Durant, Irving, Wilson Chandler (who bowed out over the weekend), and now possibly Dinwiddie. If Dinwiddie cannot play, it likely forces Garrett Temple into a much larger role, and leaves Tyler Johnson (just signed as a free agent) and Chris Chiozza as the other guys at the point.

Brooklyn is just half a game ahead of the largely-healthy Orlando Magic for the seven seed in the East. If the Magic pass the Nets, it puts Brooklyn at risk of Washington forcing play-in games after the eight “seeding games” and before the start of the playoffs.

 

 

Kyrie Irving, Avery Bradley lead coalition of players questioning restart plan

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Even long-time veterans of the social justice movement — including Black Lives Matter — say it feels different this time. There is a broad-based groundswell of momentum that could lead to important changes in police departments and how they interact with communities of color. There is momentum toward removing some of the systemic racism that has been embedded in our nation for countless generations.

Kyrie Irving, Avery Bradley, and a coalition of NBA players, other athletes, and entertainers, want to discuss where the NBA — specifically an NBA return — fits into those changes.

Irving and Bradley led a call with at least 80 players on it Friday night with a lot of questions about the NBA’s restart, on Monday they released a statement to ESPN. From the story by Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews.

Irving, Bradley and the coalition of players want to pursue some concerns further with the league, sources said, including: the investment of resources and ideas of all league constituencies — from the commissioner’s office, ownership level, management and the players’ association — in social justice reform.

Among concerns surrounding the league’s return to play after a three-month shutdown in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, sources said the coalition is citing: a surge in positive coronavirus cases in Florida, conditions surrounding the restrictive environment in the bubble, insurance and liabilities for players based on possible illnesses, and injuries in a truncated finish to the season.

The ESPN story contains the full statement from the coalition, which is worth reading in its entirety. Here is just a sampling:

“This is not about individual players, athletes or entertainers. This is about our group of strong men and women uniting for change. We have our respective fields, however, we will not just shut up and play to distract us from what this whole system has been about: Use and Abuse.

“We are all fathers, daughters, leaders and so much more. So what is our BIG picture? We are in this for UNITY and CHANGE!”

Players absoloutly should be asking a lot of questions right now.

There is an ongoing dialogue among players about whether the restart is a distraction to the BLM movement or provides players a bigger platform to make their point, and not everyone agrees. Irving made his feelings known (even if some question his motives), and players such as Dwight Howard, CJ McCollum, and others have said they are not sure players should go to Orlando for the restart. On the other hand, LeBron James has supported going, and a lot of players such as Garrett Temple, Austin Rivers, and others have supported that same idea.

There is no one right answer for all players; it’s a personal decision that weighs social justice, health and safety concerns, and the financial impacts short and long term of not playing. Players can choose not to play and will not be punished, but they also will not be paid.

There is going to be a lot of talk among players in the coming days and weeks, but the time is coming when each man and woman will have to decide for themselves what they want to do. What’s right for one person may not be right for another. Ultimately, that’s how democracy and freedom of choice work, it is by its nature messy and at times uncomfortable. That’s how we know its working.

 

Patrick Beverley: ‘If [LeBron James] said he hooping. We all hooping.’

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Patrick Beverley and LeBron James have had a beef on the court dating back years.

Off the court, Beverley understands the power structure of the NBA.

Stars such as Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard, CJ McCollum, and others have questioned if now is the right time to go to Orlando and play, saying it would stall the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the game’s biggest star, LeBron, has championed a return to play and says players can impact social justice movements from Florida. Beverley took to Twitter to suggest how this is all going to play out.

There has never been a situation like this in the NBA before. While star players usually have been able to bend the will of the rank and file players their way in the past, this may be a different situation.

Each player has to balance his concerns about the Black Lives Matters movement, their health and safety, time away from family, getting paid for this season, and the dramatic impact not playing would have on their financial futures. It’s a lot. Players such as Irving see not playing as the best option, while LeBron and guys such as Garrett Temple say it’s a false choice to pick between playing and social justice, that players can accomplish both.

Players can choose not to go to Orlando and face no punishment, but then they don’t get paid.

But whether to play or not is a deeply personal choice, and while they can speak of unity and backing each other up, not everyone is going to reach the same conclusions. Or take the same actions.

Beverley, for his part, is ready to continue his beef with LeBron on the courts in Orlando.

Nets’ Garrett Temple studying for LSAT during coronavirus hiatus

Nets guard Garrett Temple
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Since going undrafted out of LSU in 2009, Garrett Temple has carved out a decade-long NBA career with the Rockets, Kings, Spurs, Bucks, Bobcats, Wizards, Kings again, Grizzlies, Clippers and now Nets. Just five other active undrafted players – Udonis Haslem, J.J. Barea, Anthony Tolliver, Wesley Matthews and Ish Smith – have played so long in the NBA. It’s impressive perseverance.

But Temple is 33. His playing career won’t last forever.

So, he’s spending the NBA’s coronavirus hiatus preparing for his next step.

YES Network:

Temple:

I’ve actually started practicing for the LSAT prep. I’m a person that’s thought about going to law school when I’m finished playing, and what’s a better time than now to be able to put in three, four hours a day of studying for a test that allows me to get into law school? So, that’s what I’m doing right now.

Honestly, I’ve thought about it over the past three years, probably. My dad kind of put a seed in my head. I was thinking more MBA. I have my undergrad degree in business, so I was thinking more MBA. And my dad was telling me law school is something that’s pretty prestigious, having a law degree and just teaches you to think in a different way. And I’ve always been a pretty big-time debater. I’m very literal. So, when I get into arguments, I’m a type of person that you probably just want to stop arguing with me, because I’m going to nitpick every single thing that you said. And then getting into the space of watching that movie “Just Mercy” and talking to Bryan Stevenson and having a conversation with him and a few other lawyers that I admire, just understanding how much of an impact you can with a law degree in a lot of different ways. You don’t even necessarily have to practice law. But just having that knowledge is something that intrigues me.

How persuasive is Temple? He was a finalist for Teammate of the Year in the same season he got into a locker-room fight with a teammate.