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Warriors star Stephen Curry
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Second bubble for other eight NBA teams? Not so fast

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The eight teams teams that didn’t qualify for the NBA’s resumption at Disney World – Knicks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Hawks, Hornets, Timberwolves and Warriors – are reportedly considering a second bubble in Chicago.

Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports:

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago:

A safe operation, like the one at Disney World, comes with two major drawbacks:

1. It’s expensive. Accommodations, frequent coronavirus testing, transporting equipment to the site – it adds up.

2. It’s burdensome for participants. They’ll be separated from family and friends in order to limit coronavirus exposure points.

But the campus in Disney World is happening for one reason: Money. Finishing the season will generate a lot of money for the NBA, especially national-TV money for the playoffs.

Will a second bubble produce enough money to justify its existence? I doubt it. These eight teams are done with meaningful games. Maybe it’s worth fulfilling local TV contracts, but that’s a narrow needle to thread. The product would be lousy.

Players on these eight teams will reportedly receive the same share of salaries as players going to Disney World. If that becomes no longer guaranteed unless reporting to a second bubble, perhaps players would be compelled to go. But it’s hard to see much enthusiasm – especially among impending free agents, who should protect their health. Any notable players with injury concerns, like Golden State star Stephen Curry, would also likely be held out.

Many people within these eight teams want to keep playing. There’s concern about a long layoff and a natural desire to do something to improve. But the continuing 22 teams will have historically short layoffs. Extra rest might be an advantage. It’s a completely unprecedented situation. Nobody knows which group – the 22 teams or the eight teams – will be better-prepared for next season.

Amid that the uncertainty of the benefits – and the very clear and high costs – there’s plenty of reason to doubt a second bubble gets off the ground.

But the plan’s supporters have at least enough momentum to make it a discussion.

Report: Eight non-restart teams nearing deal for second NBA ‘bubble’ in Chicago

NBA bubble Chicago
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The eight teams with the worst records in the NBA, the ones not invited to Orlando for the NBA’s restart — Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets — have been asking the NBA to organize workouts and games for them, so they don’t lose ground to the teams that do get training camps and meaningful games.

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen reports that is getting closer to coming together in the form of a second NBA bubble in Chicago.

The details are still being hammered out, and teams continue to push for an alternative plan that would enable them to hold mini-camps within their local markets and to explore the idea of establishing regional sites where teams could scrimmage against each other.

How close it is to happening depends on who you ask around the league, different sources say different things. This second bubble likely would take place in September, while the playoffs take place down into Orlando. There would be roughly two weeks of practices followed by four games each, according to reports.

Not every team is fully on board.

Veterans are less into the idea, but most teams are more focused on developing young players in this kind of setting.

The eight teams had been concerned that going from March to December without meaningful games — while the other 22 teams had training camps and played at least eight “seeding” games — would put the development of their young players and cultures behind. Teams pushed for practices and some organized games, although in what form has varried from team to team.

Michelle Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, reportedly is insistent that if the eight teams get together in Chicago the players be protected by the same protocols in place in Orlando.

“Unless we could replicate in every way the protocol that’s been established for Orlando, I’d be – I’m being tame now – suspicious,” Roberts said last week in a conference call with reporters. “I think there are conversations that could be had if there’s anything we can do with the other eight teams. I know there are some players, particularly young players, that seem concerned they’re not getting enough [opportunities]…

“But I am very concerned and frankly, my concern aside, our players, our teams are very concerned about any — in terms of play that doesn’t have the same guarantees of safety and health that we’ve provided for the teams in Orlando. So yeah, never say never, but there’s a standard. It’s a standard that’s got to be met.”

Mark Tatum, the NBA’s deputy commissioner, quickly agreed with Roberts.

Expect an NBA Chicago bubble to come together in some form. Some of the eight teams on the outside — the Atlanta Hawks with their young core, for example — have pushed hard to get their players opportunities for games and workouts. Each of the eight teams are in different spots, however, and have different motivations. Golden State likely will not send Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, this would be about getting younger players some extra run.

NBA releases new social justice video: ‘The Truth Is #BlackLivesMatter’

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Numerous NBA players have taken part in — and in some cases led — Black Lives Matter protests around the nation.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Karl-Anthony Towns, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Tobias Harris, Mattise Thybulle, Damian Lillard, and many other NBA players took to the streets as part of the protests of police brutality that rose up in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis Police officer. NBA owners — Mark Cuban and Vivek Ranadive — as well as front office people such as Elton Brand were at protests as well.

The NBA weaved footage of a lot of those players together in a new social justice brand video focusing on the social justice movement and the league’s commitment to it.

No setbacks, but until Klay Thompson is back on court team can’t judge recovery

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors expect to have a better idea about how Klay Thompson’s recovery from reconstructive left knee surgery is going once the team can finally reconvene after the long separation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

For now, general manager Bob Myers is encouraged Thompson has experienced no setbacks during the extensive rehabilitation process.

“I think we’ve got to take a look at him when we see him,” Myers said Monday on a conference call. “There’s different versions of 100% — 100% for you or I when we walk around the street is not 100% of an NBA basketball player playing basketball. So until we kind of test him and see him and he’s starting one-on-one and then two-on-two — and obviously the pandemic has not allowed him that opportunity to do those type of things.”

Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee on June 13 during Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and had surgery July 2. He was reevaluated over the All-Star break and the team determined around that time that Stephen Curry’s Splash Brother wouldn’t play at all this season without the team being in the mix for the playoffs following five straight trips to the NBA Finals.

The Warriors finished 15-50 for the NBA’s worst record with Thompson out and with Curry nursing a broken left hand for most of the season. Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant departed in free agency to join the Brooklyn Nets.

As eager as everyone is to see Thompson back to his dominant All-Star self, that will come in due time.

“There’s no rush, clearly. As far as I’ve heard he’s recovering fine, there hasn’t been a setback, but one thing that’s been a little bit difficult in the last couple months is our ability to oversee those things as much as you might normally,” Myers said. “So I imagine at some point when we collectively get together I can also answer that better.”

“I think what people really want to know is has he been playing and what’s he looks like and that’s really the answer to 100% and we won’t know that until we kind of reach that point in time.”

Russell Westbrook to protesters in Compton: ‘Protect your team. Protect your family.’

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Giannis Antetokounmpo and several of his Bucks’ teammates were at a protest in Milwaukee Saturday. Tobias Harris, GM Elton Brand and others from the Sixers were at a protest in Philadelphia. Stephen Curry was at a demonstration in the Bay Area with his family organized by teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson. Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to lead a protest. Numerous NBA coaches have used their voice and platform to discuss race in America.

The NBA community has lifted its voice as part of the national call for change in both police use of force and systemic racism in the United States.

Add Russell Westbrook to that list, he spoke at a rally in Compton, Calif., Sunday, not far from where he grew up.

“Protect your team. Protect your family. In times like this, we need to stick together.”

Compton native DeMar DeRozan was at the protest, also.