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NBA officially reaches agreement with players’ union on restart plans, holding onto optimism as COVID cases rise

first_imgThe NBA’s commitment to social justice had been a lingering question for a group of players who wanted to see more from the league’s governors, who include some of the wealthiest people in the world. While hard details were scant as of Friday, both sides expressed optimism that they are headed in the right direction.“There’s been great conversation,” Roberts said. “And we are continuing the conversation such that the players are working really hard to make sure that what we do in Orlando beyond the floor as the best basketball players on earth, is in fact, to engage in setting the conversation, solution finding, and this family is one that sometimes has to sit down and have a conversation.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Photos: Lakers defeat Trail Blazers in Game 4 of first-round playoff series At the root of that sacrifice are an estimated thousands of NBA employees, including players, coaches and staffers, who could be spending more than three months on the campus in Florida with heavily regulated access to the outside world. Nominally, players have the freedom to leave whenever they want, but the quarantine restrictions to return to the campus all but exclude the possibility of leaving the area. Family access will also be limited, with most family arriving midway through the playoffs after a mandated quarantine period.NBPA president and Oklahoma City guard Chris Paul said the union has tried to keep in communication with its members about concerns over the restart, which have come to the fore as some players such as the Lakers’ Avery Bradley have bowed out. But amid many factors that could roll against the NBA, the players are simply trying to follow instructions while bracing for the unknown.“It takes time, right?” he said. “We never pictured ourselves playing in a situation like this, and I almost think from the day after the league kind of shut down and stopped, we didn’t know.”Silver acknowledged that there is a point where proliferation of COVID within the closed campus could force the NBA to scrap its plan to restart in Orlando, but that the threshold had not yet “been precisely designed.”Florida reported nearly 9,000 new cases as of Friday, by far a single-day record for the state, and while the NBA personnel within the bubble might be more protected from COVID-19 through the protocols, they would still be reliant on Disney service staffers who live in the surrounding area currently experiencing a surge. Silver said the league is working with Disney to offer regular testing to a small subset of employees who would be more likely to be in contact with NBA players and staffers.The positive cases the league has caught by now are of less concern than cases that make it inside the campus. While players such as Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, and Sacramento’s Buddy Hield were among the confirmed cases, Silver said none of the 16 have shown serious symptoms yet, and they anticipate recovery by the time teams report to Orlando the week of July 7.The league also announced an intention to take a more active role in social justice issues championed by many of its players. Within its own ranks, Silver acknowledged that the NBA needs to do a better job of hiring Black workers in all sections of its business side, and that the league’s board of governors have already met on the subject.Related Articles Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead center_img Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant In a conference call with media, commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that the NBA’s plan was “far from perfect,” but that the meticulously thought-out protocols outlined in a 113-page health memo should give the NBA a chance to finish its season and potentially recoup hundreds of millions of dollars left on its broadcasting deals.Silver offered his vision of the league as an important unifier in a country stricken hard by the global pandemic and also reckoning with social and race issues, of which the NBA’s players have been eager participants. While ceding that the NBA’s plan was not risk-free and that he was concerned by a spike in COVID case growth, Silver said he believed that “we can’t outrun the virus and that this is what we’re going to be living with for the foreseeable future” as the plans continue to march forward.The NBA’s campus at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando next month will follow rigorously designed guidelines suggested by medical experts to reduce risk: a single campus with no fans; mandatory mask wearing except while playing; daily testing and contact tracing to root out COVID cases and isolate affected players and staff.Silver and other high-level NBA officials anticipate that even in conditions that will likely be safer than the outside world, the restart will be an unprecedented challenge.“It’s far from an ideal way to finish our season,” Silver said. “And it will require tremendous sacrifice from all involved.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The morning began with an admission: The NBA acknowledged 16 of 302 players had positive COVID-19 tests this week, none of whom have yet exhibited serious symptoms.While even one case is a cause for concern, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said, she couldn’t help but feel a bit of relief that there weren’t more — the league had braced for the possibility of an even higher ratio as it prepares for its July 30 restart at Disney World in Florida.“I’ve been holding my breath for the last few weeks, and maybe I should be less enthusiastic or optimistic,” Roberts said. “If nothing else, it’s told me that the great majority of our players have been doing exactly what they should have been doing, which is keeping safe.”Amid the looming cloud of COVID cases spiking in Florida and around the country, the NBA’s chief stakeholders held onto the silver lining as they advanced their plan to end the league’s hiatus in place since March 11. The NBA and NBPA have agreed to a plan that they both believe carries some risk, but is the league’s best possible chance to come back before next season.last_img read more

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first_imgThey became famous around the globe after penning the song ‘There’s No One as Irish as Barack Obama.’But now the madcap Corrigan Brothers have decided to pen a ditty to someone even more important than the US President – Daniel O’Donnell.The Limerick band have just released their new offering ‘The Daniel O’Donnell Visitor Centre Song.’ The brothers, who are keen Daniel fans, are delighted that the centre has opened and look forward to visiting it.Lead singer Ger Corrigan said, “Daniel is an institution and is probably responsible for more tourism to Ireland than any one else, we look forward to visiting the centre in June and dueting the song with Donegal’s greatest artist”.Following their visit to Donegal the brothers will head to California in July to perform at a number of rallies for the Obama 2012 campaign.www.corriganbrothers.net   TOP BAND RELEASE TRIBUTE TO DANIEL’S NEW VISITOR CENTRE! was last modified: May 18th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Corrigan Brotherslast_img read more

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