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Updated Sunday April 5, 2020 at 3:00 a.m. ET

The NBA and ESPN are working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition involving several high-profile players, sources told ESPN. Discussions have been ongoing among the NBA, NBPA and ESPN about a competition among several players in isolation -- presumably using home gyms -- that would include them competing shot for shot in the traditional playground game, sources said.

The Class of 2020 will arguably be the most star-studded in the history of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. All eight finalists -- led by the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett -- were selected Saturday for enshrinement and will be inducted Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bryant, Duncan and Garnett will be joined by 10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever; coach Kim Mulkey of three-time women's NCAA champion Baylor; five-time Division II coach of the year Barbara Stevens of Bentley University; four-time NCAA coach of the year Eddie Sutton; and former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, a two-time title winner.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, in collaboration with Huang Ping, China's consul general have collaborated to donate one million surgical masks to be distributed to New York City's essential workers. In addition to the masks, Nets owner Joe Tsai and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai, are donating 1,000 ventilators to bolster resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA and WNBA, in addition to players and teams, have committed $50 million to coronavirus-related relief efforts. Two days before Saturday's donation, Cuomo announced that New York's stockpile of ventilators was projected to last only six days. And New York officials have said the state has yet to reach the peak of the virus.


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who expressed optimism last week that the NBA season could resume as soon as mid-May, has backed off discussing any potential timetables for the league playing games again. "I have no idea," Cuban said Wednesday on ESPN's Get Up. "I mean, the only thing I know is that we're going to put safety first and we're not going to take any chances. We're not going to do anything that risks the health of our players, our fans, our staff, the whole organization. So right now, I really don't have anything new to say."

Fifteen days after the Brooklyn Nets announced that four players had tested positive for COVID-19, general manager Sean Marks said the team's roster is free from coronavirus symptoms. Speaking to reporters during a conference call on Wednesday morning, Marks said the Nets' traveling party has completed a two-week quarantine and will continue to adhere to the government-issued social-distancing guidelines. "As it pertains to the team," Marks said, "I sense -- like all of us, like the rest of New York and really the rest of the globe -- we're trying to deal with this as best we can."

Washington freshman Isaiah Stewart is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Wednesday. "I plan on declaring for the 2020 NBA draft and signing with Roc Nation," Stewart told ESPN in a phone call.

Stewart, the No. 26 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, was one of the most productive big men in college basketball, earning All-Pac-12 first-team honors as an 18-year old. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Stewart -- who has a 7-foot-4 wingspan -- averaged 17 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for the Huskies, shooting 59% from 2-point range and 77% from the free throw line.


The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are discussing scenarios for withholding up to 25 percent of players' remaining salaries in a league escrow should regular-season games eventually be cancelled, sources tell ESPN. The NBA continues to be hopeful that there will be a resumption of some part of the regular season and playoffs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but the uncertainty surrounding the league's ability to fulfill its full 82-game regular season will ultimately be a financial cost that's shared among owners and players.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement maintains that players lose approximately 1 percent of salary per cancelled game based on a Force Majeure provision, which covers several catastrophic circumstances, including epidemics and pandemics. Once there's a cancellation of games, the Force Majeure is automatically triggered under the language of the CBA.

Already, 10 percent of players' salaries are held in escrow by the league. The significant decline in Basketball Related Income (BRI) would result in the projected $380 million of escrow returning to the 30 NBA teams after the season. The amount of projected revenue loss without the application of the Force Majeure would exceed the current amount of escrow available to teams. As a result, the NBA would need others means to offset the loss. In the case where salaries decrease (as a result of games missed) to a point where there's a shortage in the escrow system, the 10 percent currently withheld would likely be returned to the players.

Toronto's cancellation of all city-led and permitted events through June 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic does not apply to professional sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL, MLB or MLS, a spokesman for Mayor John Tory said Tuesday. Don Peat said the move applies to events that get city permits such as parades and festivals, but not sporting events that include the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays or Toronto FC.

Two weeks after two unnamed Los Angeles Lakers players tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Tuesday that all of its players are currently symptom-free. After the Brooklyn Nets revealed that four of their players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for the virus, the Lakers quickly arranged for their players to be tested because their last game was against the Nets on March 10 at Staples Center. The NBA suspended its season indefinitely the following day.

ESPN is moving up the release of its Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance" from June to April. The 10-part series will now begin April 19. The move was announced on Good Morning America on Tuesday in response to fans asking for more programming while sports are on hold because of the coronavirus. The series will be available outside the United States on Netflix.

In a setback to the resumption of professional sports, the Chinese government issued an order Tuesday delaying the restart of the Chinese Basketball Association and other group sporting events, according to documents obtained by ESPN. The CBA's attempts to return to action after being shut down since January because of the coronavirus is seen as a test case for American sports leagues, especially the NBA.

The General Administration of Sport, the body that issued the order, gave no timetable for when it plans to lift the new restriction. The CBA had been making plans to split its 20 teams and send them to two cities to play each other in empty arenas within a month, a plan the NBA might consider down the line.

The CBA planned to house teams in quarantined hotels with multiple temperature checks per day to try to avoid the risk of exposure and spread of the virus. More than a dozen American players, including Jeremy Lin and Lance Stephenson, returned to China within the past two weeks to start a 14-day quarantine with the expectation the season could begin soon.

Arizona freshman Zeke Nnaji is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Tuesday... Nnaji, the No. 34 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, emerged as one of the top big men in college basketball while earning Pac-12 freshman of the year and All-Pac-12 first-team honors.


ABC/ESPN’s highly anticipated 10-part Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” is being moved up to April, The Post has learned. Sources said the start date will be Sunday, April 19. It was originally slated for June. ABC/ESPN plans to make an announcement on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, according to sources. NY Post

The NBA is planning a players-only NBA 2K tournament that will feature the league's sharpest video gamers and it will be broadcast on ESPN, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The league hopes to launch the event Friday, with the 16-player tournament lasting 10 days and including Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell and four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, among other big-name players, sources said. Yahoo Sports

Shaquille O'Neal is playing some defense while the NBA season remains suspended. The Hall of Fame center attempted to clarify his brief appearance on the hit Netflix documentary "Tiger King," saying that while he loves big cats, he "had no idea" what was going on at the Oklahoma ranch owned by Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the now-imprisoned title character known as "Joe Exotic."


While the backcourt is starting to take shape, the frontline is loaded with question marks. Was Lauri Markkanen’s slump in his third NBA season just an outlier, or will the Bulls have to adjust their evaluation on his potential? Can Wendell Carter Jr. have success as an undersized center and find a consistent role in the offense? Can Otto Porter Jr. stay healthy long enough to contribute? Markkanen’s future is the biggest question facing the franchise right now. Was he held back by the changes to the offensive system this season, or does he simply lack the aggressiveness necessary to average 20 points and 10 rebounds over a full season? NBC Sports Chicago

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago, has been cleared by the Massachusetts Department of Health, he announced Sunday on social media. Smart and the Celtics were in Milwaukee on March 11, preparing to play the Bucks the next night -- in front of no fans -- when the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus before that night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Boston, having played Utah the week before, went home from Milwaukee the next day, and players self-quarantined before Smart tested positive for the virus.

The Kings and Legends Hospitality donated nearly 5,000 pounds of food to the Sacramento Food Bank and the Sacramento County Office of Education to help feed families affected by school closures and other individuals in need. The Kings plan to host a blood drive with Budweiser, which is working with the Red Cross to bring in blood donations across the country. Kings partner Xfinity has put together a library of free educational resources for all ages. In addition, the Kings have created color sheets and downloadable activities in partnership with First 5 California for young fans at Sacramento Bee


But in terms of the Warriors' asset that likely will have the greatest determining impact on their success next season, the $17.2 million trade exception they received for sending Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer stands apart from the rest. Trade exceptions cannot be combined with others, so through the Iguodala trade exception, Golden State cannot acquire a player making more than $17.2 million (technically, it's $17,185,185.) However, trade exceptions can be split, so the Warriors could theoretically use the Iguodala trade exception to acquire multiple players, as long as their combined salaries don't exceed that amount. NBC Sports Bay Area

Madison Square Garden executive chairman and chief executive officer James Dolan has tested positive for the coronavirus, joining 10 NBA players and a number of staffers from other teams who have been disclosed to have the fast-spreading virus. The Knicks announced the news late Saturday night in a tweet, noting: “He has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. He continues to oversee business operations.” NY Newsday

Dolan, 64, is the first owner of a major sports team in the United States revealed to have tested positive for the virus. NY Newsday

According to a source, Dolan is self-isolating with his family in the Hamptons and his test came back earlier this week. The Knicks said he “continues to oversee business operations.” Dolan, who owns the Knicks and Rangers, is 64 years old. He did not attend the Knicks’ final road trip to Washington and Atlanta, but sat baseline at the Garden for their final home game on March 8 against the Pistons. Detroit’s Christian Wood became one of 10 players to test positive. NY Post

Earlier in the day, Dolan had reached agreement to pay his arena workers in his many venues through at least May 3 while establishing a $2.3 million relief fund for them. NY Post


ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke has received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 but says she is symptom-free more than two weeks after her initial concerns of an illness. Burke addressed her diagnosis with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday's episode of The Woj Pod. She told Wojnarowski that she was tested March 17 but did not find out until eight days later, on Wednesday, that she had a positive diagnosis.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that guard Marcus Smart is doing "great" in the wake of testing positive for the coronavirus last week. "Great. He's great. Great spirits. Joking as always," Stevens said Friday morning on a conference call with local media. "We had a Zoom [video conference call] with the team, told the team we were going to give them their own space to hang out and have fun -- and he told us to get off. "So he's great."

All Utah Jazz players and staff have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health after completing their respective periods of isolation and quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus, according to a team official. More than two weeks ago, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was one of three NBA players to test positive for COVID-19, prompting the NBA to suspend play.

Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari has connected with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department to provide funding for 400 coronavirus testing kits as well as personal protection equipment such as face shields, gloves, gowns and N95 masks. The focus will be providing for high-risk individuals such as health care workers, first responders, people over 65 and those who are immunocompromised. Gallinari provided funding for items that will be used next week.


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he hopes the NBA resumes playing games in May, saying that the league's restart can help bring people together amid the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview published Tuesday by Dallas television station WFAA, Cuban cited "people I've talked to at the CDC and other places" for his admittedly optimistic projection. "No one has perfect information right now, so all decisions are tough, but if I had to guess based off the people I've talked to at the CDC and other places, I would say that the over-under [for a restart] would be June 1, and I'm taking the under," Cuban told WFAA.

A Detroit Pistons scout has been hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press early Thursday. "One of our scouts, who works out of his home office in another state, has been hospitalized with COVID-19 in that state," the source said. "We do not have any information as to the potential vector of exposure." The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of health privacy rules. East Tennessee State basketball coach Steve Forbes tweeted Wednesday that the scout's name is Maury Hanks, a college scout in the Pistons organization since 2014. Detroit Free Press

Dozens of freelance employees for Fox Sports Detroit, now out of work with the Pistons' and Red Wings' seasons shut down and the Tigers' delayed indefinitely, can receive a $2,500 interest-free advance, the network's parent company announced Wednesday night. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 21 regional-sports networks from coast to coast, said it has set up an emergency fund worth multiple millions of dollars. Nearly 1,000 freelance production workers are eligible for the advances, starting April 3. Detroit News

The ticketing giant StubHub has begun furloughing employees, making it the first major ticketing company to publicly admit to significant cost-cutting moves in the wake of financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Following the postponement or cancellation of hundreds of sporting events -- including 448 NBA and NHL games, along with the start of the MLB season and the entirety of March Madness -- the ticketing industry has been grappling with the massive financial implications of empty arenas and other live-event venues, including all spectator sports in the United States.

USC freshman Onyeka Okongwu is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he announced Wednesday... Okongwu, the No. 6 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, emerged as one of the top big men in college basketball while earning All-Pac-12 first-team honors.

Dayton sophomore Obi Toppin is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he announced in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday.

NBA superstar Karl-Anthony Towns says his mother had to be placed on a ventilator and then into a medically-induced coma after she displayed severe symptoms of COVID-19. The Minnesota Timberwolves center revealed the devastating news in an emotional video late Tuesday night ... saying both of his parents came down with flu-like symptoms early last week.


Steve Ballmer finally has an arena in Inglewood as part of a deal that paves the way for the Clippers’ billionaire owner to construct a second in the location — the building he has wanted all along. Through a newly formed entity, CAPSS LLC, Ballmer has agreed to purchase the Forum from Madison Square Garden Co. for $400 million in cash, the team announced Tuesday. LA Times

The deal is expected to close during the 2020 second quarter. The new ownership group has no plans to tear down the Forum, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014, and will keep it operating as a concert venue. Critically for Ballmer and the Clippers, the agreement will also remove an opponent that had long sought to block the construction of Ballmer’s proposed, privately funded arena by resolving all litigation with MSG, whose executive chairman is New York Knicks owner James Dolan. LA Times

The Clippers’ billion-dollar arena would sit less than two miles away from the Forum on West Century Boulevard, and be part of a larger Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex that would house team offices, a practice facility and public outdoor spaces. LA Times

Madison Square Garden Co., which bought The Forum for $23.5 million in 2012 and invested $100 million in renovations, has waged an all-out war to try to stop the Clippers from coming to the city. MSG sued Inglewood and its mayor, James T. Butts Jr., in 2018, alleging he tricked the company’s executives into giving up their rights to the land needed for the proposed arena. The Forum’s owners claimed their fight was not about stopping the competition and instead was an attempt to protect Inglewood residents from a project that would “inflict severe traffic congestion, pollution and many other harms” on the city. OC Register

The last game Jeff Van Gundy called was March 8 – Clippers vs. Lakers in Los Angeles. The ex-Knicks coach-turned-broadcaster believes it will be his last one this season. Holed up in Houston, Van Gundy hopes he’s wrong, but doesn’t like the signs. “I‘m not an expert, but I’d be surprised if the NBA plays again this season,’’ Van Gundy told The Post. “It’s going to be hard to get it back going. I would suspect it will be very difficult. The good thing is I trust (commissioner) Adam Silver to do what’s right and best and not what is in the best interest of money." NY Post

IMG Academy forward Kenyon Martin Jr. has declared for the 2020 NBA draft, his father, Kenyon Martin Sr., told ESPN. Martin Jr., a 6-foot-7 wing, chose a year of the post-graduate school over a Vanderbilt scholarship to prepare for the draft.


NBA star Rudy Gobert says he's suffering from some awful side effects of the Coronavirus ... claiming he's lost his sense of both taste AND smell since his diagnosis. "Loss of smell and taste is definitely one of the symptoms," the Utah Jazz center said Sunday. "Haven’t been able to smell anything for the last 4 days." The 27-year-old was officially diagnosed with COVID-19 back on March 11 -- remember, it was his positive test results that spurred NBA commish Adam Silver to suspend league-play indefinitely.

NBA icon Charles Barkley, who announced 10 days ago that he was being tested for the coronavirus after falling ill, does not have COVID-19, he said Monday. "I've received my COVID-19 test results this morning and they are negative," he said in a statement released by Turner Sports. "I'd like to thank everyone for reaching out and expressing your concern and support. You all be safe and please take the necessary actions to help ensure your well-being."

Both the Knicks and the Nets have head coaching vacancies. And between the two open spots, Stan Van Gundy – a big-name coach on the market – says the more attractive gig is the one in Brooklyn. And it’s not even close. “Of the two the Nets are the better job. There’s no question about that right now,” Van Gundy said on ESPN Radio. “The organization has been more stable. They’ve won more games. They have more talent.” NY Post

The Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils have notified noncontracted employees they will be subject to pay cuts starting as soon as next month, sources confirmed to ESPN. Both teams are owned by billionaire Josh Harris. The cuts will affect full-time employees who make $50,000 or more and would go as high as 20% for those making $70,000 or more, sources told ESPN. The teams are also expected to ask contracted front-office employees to take similar cuts, sources said.

University of Minnesota sophomore forward/center Daniel Oturu plans to enter the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Monday. Oturu is considered a frontcourt prospect with the potential to be selected in the first round of the draft in June.


Star backcourtmate Klay Thompson spent the entire season recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Missing the entire season was really difficult for Thompson, but coach Steve Kerr knows his talented guards will be all systems go whenever next season starts. “It’s been a really, really hard season for Klay,” Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “He loves to play basketball so much and just not being able to play has crushed him. And so he was, unlike Steph, over the last couple, few months, he hasn’t been around as often as Steph was. I was OK with that just because it was so frustrating for Klay just to be at practice watching and not really being able to do anything." NBC Sports Bay Area

With COVID-19, these are confusing times for everybody. But Jarrett Allen’s status with the Nets is more up in the air than it has been in years. First he lost his form, then one of his biggest backers when the Nets parted ways with coach Kenny Atkinson. Then he lost his starting job, replaced by DeAndre Jordan. And with the latter seen as a package deal with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, it begs the question of whether that leaves Allen as a valuable reserve next season — or as a valuable trade chip. NY Post

If 6-foot-11 rookie Nic Claxton develops as expected, and Durant sees time as a rim-protecting stretch five — his 1.8 blocks in 2017-18 far exceed Allen’s career-high — it could leave either Jordan or Allen superfluous. And it strains credulity to think Jordan is going anywhere. Yes, the Nets picked up Allen’s option for next season on Oct. 14 and they reportedly turned down an offer for him that would’ve netted Clint Capela. But they may look to add a third star this summer. With Irving and Caris LeVert’s health history, dealing Dinwiddie may be more risky than cashing in on Allen. NY Post

As the NBA season's suspension due of the coronavirus pandemic continues, teams are running video game simulations of their remaining games and players are passing the time working out, shooting rolled-up socks into mini hoops and doing plenty of trash talking. And then there is Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, who has taken to Instagram to post after "wins" as if the 2019-20 season was never put on hiatus. And to the surprise of no one, the Sixers are doing quite well so far.

LaMarcus Aldridge has enjoyed games this season in which he has looked almost unguardable — he went for 39 points in a Nov. 7 win over Oklahoma City and erupted for 40 in a blowout win at Memphis just before Christmas. Vital in today’s NBA, Aldridge began to extend his game to the 3-point line, where he is attempting a career-most 3-pointer attempts per game. He has gone through long stretches of sizzling with his long ball, making 44.8 percent in December and 45.8 percent in January. Express News

Aldridge’s overall numbers have slipped from recent seasons, and he hasn’t been the every-night force he was during his prime/b>. Again, some slippage is to be expected as a player enters his mid-30s. Aldridge’s scoring has dipped to 18.5 points per game, and his rebounding (7.4 per game) is hovering around career lows. A right shoulder strain has plagued him since the All-Star break, and he missed six games in a row before returning in productive fashion in last Tuesday’s victory over Dallas. Express News


The NBA plans to deliver players their full salaries due on April 1 but left open the possibility of recouping future salaries for canceled games on April 15, according to a league memo shared with teams Friday. As the coronavirus pandemic paralyzes the NBA and nation, the canceled games and loss of revenue are causing the league to leave itself financial flexibility based on the force majeure provision in the collective bargaining agreement.

Georgia Bulldogs freshman guard Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 prospect on ESPN's draft board, is entering the NBA draft, he announced Friday on Twitter. "Georgia will always be my home but I am ready to take my game to the next level and have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft," Edwards said in his post. "I hope I've made you all proud but the work is far from finished.

Duke point guard Tre Jones -- the ACC Player of the Year -- will enter the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Saturday. Jones, who was also voted the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is a projected first-round pick, according to ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony.

The decision to continue or resume playing basketball internationally -- even without fans -- is causing concern and second-guessing in some places. Japan's B League, which had recently resumed play, has announced it will again postpone its season, this time until April 1, after what the Japan Times called a "chaotic weekend" of games revealed that significant issues remain, as previously reported by ESPN. The league previously had been on hiatus from mid-February through mid-March.

According to an NBA memo distributed to teams Thursday and obtained by The Post, the suspension of the season should not be used as impetus to start sitting down with draft prospects. The recommendation, the memo stated, is employing virtual interviews. “We recognize that recruiting season is upon us,” the league said in the memo, “but to the extent there is still any question, you are strongly encouraged not to engage in any face-to-face recruiting sessions, and to conduct all such activities in an alternative manner.” NY Post


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