Hornets guard Terry Rozier
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Terry Rozier: I didn’t know Michael Jordan’s Bulls three-peated twice until watching ‘The Last Dance’

Leave a comment

Michael Jordan led the Bulls to championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Terry Rozier – who now plays for the Jordan-owned Hornets – was born in 1994. Jordan led the Bulls to championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Like many younger people, Rozier gained new perspective by watching “The Last Dance.”

Rozier, via Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report:

“Just actually seeing this documentary, I learned so much,” he said. “I didn’t even know that they won three straight [championships two times]. I’m just being honest. … To do things like that in this league, you have to be super special.

Rozier previously said Jordan was the reason he chose Charlotte in free agency. And to not know even this?

Whatever else you think about Rozier, I respect this admission. It takes guts to be this embarrassingly honest.

Second bubble for other eight NBA teams? Not so fast

Warriors star Stephen Curry
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.

Report: Eight eliminated NBA teams won’t be allowed to hold mandatory practices

Hawks guard Trae Young vs. Knicks
Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The eight NBA teams not resuming the season at Disney World – Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Cavaliers, Hawks, Hornets, Timberwolves and Warriors – wanted more opportunities to play. That could have been mandatory practices and/or games.

But the league won’t allow it.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

The eight teams not involved in the Orlando restart were pushing for mandatory Organized Team Activities to make up for missing out on the Orlando restart. But the NBA and its players association won’t allow any of it to be mandatory, according to sources.

The league hasn’t ruled out informal group-setting team workouts, based on state social-distancing laws, but only voluntarily and with strict guidelines, according to sources.

The NBA is executing a highly burdensome – both in terms of cost and discomfort for participants – operation at Disney World. Why? Because that’s the only way to safely make money.

The eight done teams won’t produce that type of revenue. Their late-season games are a wasteland, even in normal times. It’s just not worth enacting the procedures that would make it safe for these teams to continue.

Especially for impending free agents. Why should they be forced to continue working with eliminated teams they might leave this offseason?

The eight done teams have whined they’re at a competitive disadvantage for next season. But they didn’t just get arbitrarily eliminated. Though this wasn’t planned and wasn’t ideal, they were eliminated due to their poor records. It’s only a matter of degree before complaining that playoff teams in a normal season get an unfair advantage going into the next season.

In reality, this offseason will be historically short for some teams and historically long for others. We’ve never seen anything like this, and there’s no telling how it will affect teams next season. These eight teams might be better off with the extra rest.

At this point, they just must hope that’s the case.

NBA still working on plans for eight teams not in Orlando restart

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

There is a 113-page handbook detailing the protocols for the 22 teams at the NBA’s Orlando restart, detailing everything from daily coronavirus testing to throwing out decks of cards after a night of booray.

For the eight teams not in Orlando — all of whom want to have team workouts and some games, maybe like a mini Summer League — there is no plan. Yet.

“I think there are conversations that could be had if there’s anything we can do with the other eight teams,” Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, said Friday in a conference all with reporters. “I know there are some players, particularly young players, that seem concerned they’re not getting enough [opportunities]. I think our teams are incredibly smart and creative and can come up with ways to get their guys engaged, if not now, before the season starts.

“But I am very concerned and frankly… in terms of play that doesn’t have the same guarantees of safety and health that we’ve provided for the teams in Orlando.”

“I couldn’t agree more with Michele, that we want the same standards to be met,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said on the same call. “And there have been conversations that we’ve been having with the Players’ Association on how to present and whether or not we can do that. We know it’s something that our teams would love to do, that some of the players would love to do, but as Michele said, it has to be done in the right way, and we’ll continue having those conversations with Michele and her team on what that looks like.”

At some point, those eight teams will have some kinds of workouts, which have been compared to NFL OTAs. The teams want games as well, but as the 113 pages of NBA protocol demonstrate, it’s not that simple to play games.

But the league needs to figure something out.