Basketball leagues

NBA game between Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets postponed following Covid-19 scare

Houston’s Wednesday night opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed after Covid-19 cases. Harden’s violation of the league’s Covid-19 protocols also caused the Rockets lose the league-mandated eight players available.

That was a dispiriting blow to the league on just the second day of an unsure season launching with the epicdemic still raging.

The NBA announced the suspension in a release, saying that three Rockets players had tests that were either positive or inconclusive. They added that four other players were quarantined due to contract tracing.

They also said that Harden was unavailable for the match due to a violation of Covid-19 protocols of the NBA after video of the star surfaced on social media where he was not wearing a mask at a crowded party on Tuesday night.

This was a distraction to the team after months of rumors that Harden wants to be traded. His latest move potentially threatened the health and safety of the Rockets and prevented them from beginning their season.

The league’s announcement indicated that Harden being shown in violation of the Covid-19 protocols was the key factor in his team not having the eight necessary players to join games.

There are 16 players on Houston’s roster, including seven dealing with tests or quarantine and one hurt. Therefore, the club has left eight eligible players, which is the NBA minimum to start a game. And Harden’s unavailability lowered the club’s total of available players to seven.

According to Houston’s injury report on Wednesday morning, Ben McLemore and KJ Martin were not with the team due to being self-isolating; meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins was questionable due to a sprained right ankle.

In terms of Oklahoma City, the alub was involved in the March 11 game which led to the NBA shutting down for the Covid-19 pandemic and the Thunder were to have been the home team for a game against Utah that night, postponed after Jazz center Rudy Gobert appeared to be the league’s first player to test positive for the virus.

After 9 months, NBA action returns to arenas

With a five-game slate, setting off a 49-game, 11-day whirlwind prior to the Dec. 22 season opener, the NBA preseason began Friday.

For the first time in almost two years John Wall was back on the field. For the first time since the 2019 NBA Playoffs, DeMarcus Cousins have played.

And Los Angeles Lakers, winner of NBA, had none to watch at home.

A truncated 49-game sprint, the NBA pre-saison — began on Friday with a five-game schedule, an action which was returned to the NBAs after nine months for the first time. The coaches made their debut with their new teams: Houston’s Stephen Silas, New York’s Tom Thibodeau, Chicago’s Billy Donovan and Los Angeles Clippers’ Tyronn Lue. The rookies, as for example No. 4, get their first NBA minutes picked up by Patrick Williams and No.8, Pick Obi Toppin of the Knicks.

As in most buildings, absolutely nobody was at any of these games at the beginning of the season. The Chinese Virus and the number of cases still increasing, with the League and its teams roaming on the side of safety, the period that began with the NBA with the suspension on 11 March of last year — the night when Rudy Gobert from Utah was tested positive — persisted.

The coach of Lakers Frank Vogel told the clippers before his team in a very bare Staples Center. “It’s certainly different.”

Well, there were some things different.

Wore masks by coaches. In some timeouts Detroit showed old recordings of real fan encounters with a note that they were taped before. There were spaced sitting areas in the table, none close to each other.

“Obviously, the atmosphere will differ greatly from what guys in an arena are used to,” said coach Steve Clifford of Orlando. As in the bubble, we had to get used to a different form of atmosphere and I hope these four games will allow us to know what will happen in these large arenas as well in the regular season.”

So, yeah, there was a ton other.

Others such as Wall’s basket blast, were as usual.

Houstons preseason was first owned by Wall since December 2018 when he got onto the rim for quick score in his debut with Rockets, one that preceded his rehab from heel and Achilles injuries.

The next basket for the Rockets? Two months before it tore his ACL and missed last year, Wall formed Cousins for 3-pointer, the center’s first basket from the 2019 Game 6 Final with the Warriors.

James Harden, former NBA scoring leader, didn’t play for the Rockets yet and he didn’t brush himself up to get back on the stage for the team he didn’t work with yet. In the Walt Disney World bubble less than 2 months ago, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, last seen together in the floor when the Lakeers finished in the Miami Heat in NBA finals, were among the regulars who opened up the champions’ season.

NBA teams that break Covid-19 protocols may lose games

The NBA announced last Saturday that the teams that do not comply with the league’s rules designed to minimize the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic this season might face key penalties, including forfeiting games or draft picks.

According to the announcement, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) will also discuss coaches, players, and other staff being required to receive a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available, urged teams to encourage players and staff to get flu shots, and effective immediately Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel, basically including coaches, players, and some essential staff, have to avoid lounges, clubs, bars, public gyms, spas, pool areas, and most live entertainment or gaming venues.

Those rules apply both when teams are on the road and when they are at home. Preseason games started last Friday and the regular season will begin on December 22.

The protocols document has much more detail than the draft version distributed to the teams last weekend. The rules and protocols in the updated document have been agreed by both the NBA and the NBPA.

The testing program started on Sunday. Players and coaches will be checked every day. There are 48 players who were tested positive for the virus before the training camps started. They will start to include immediate families, if they desire so. The NBA has told the teams to work with the league’s testing provider, BioReference, to make voluntary PCR testing that is available for any household member of Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals twice per week. All the household members of those individuals are also being urged to get flu shots.

The final protocols of the league’s rules also make clear that if teams don’t seriously take the health and safety rules, they will have to pay a serious price.

2020-21 College basketball season schedule: several games delayed due to Covid-19

Here come the first weeks of the 2020-21 college basketball season. However, the sport has seen a slate of games delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The college basketball season has already faced a few snags with some teams already forced to cancel, postpone, or reschedule matchups due to the world health crisis and several multi-team events taking hits as well.

The latest is Maryland’s game vs. Towson on Tuesday was canceled due to positive cases in the Towson program and Saint John’s game vs. Fordham due to a positive, and will not take place at Texas Tech on Thursday, according to the Red Storm.

Now let’s track several notable postponements or cancellations due to the pandemic.

25 November: UTSA at Oklahoma

25 November: Virginia vs. Maine (Uncasville, Connecticut)

25 November: Central Arkansas at Ole MIss

25 November: Gardner-Webb at Duke

25 November: Northern Arizona at Arizona

25-27 November: Creighton at Crossover Classic (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

25-27 November: Texas A&M at Crossover Classic (Sioux Falls)

25 November: Western Illinois at DePaul

25 November: UMass Lowell vs. Florida

25 November: Stanford vs. Utah Valley

25 November: Drexel at Penn State

26 November: Baylor vs. Arizona State at Empire Classic (Uncasville)

26 November: Jackson State vs. Ole Miss

27 November: Arkansas State at Ole Miss

27 November: Baylor at Empire Classic (Uncasville)

27 November: Virginia vs. Florida (Uncasville)

27 November: Florida State vs. Gardner-Webb

28 November: Oklahoma at UCF

28 November: Chicago State at DePaul

29 November: Baylor at Seton Hall

29 November: Gardner-Webb at Georgia

30 November: Belmont Abbey at Charlotte

1 December: Towson at Maryland

1 December: Alcorn State at DePaul

1 December: Vanderbilt vs. Uconn (Uncasville)

3 December: Vanderbilt at Legends Classic (Uncasville)

5 December: Ole Miss at Memphis      

8 December: Fordham at Saint John’s

12 December: Saint John’s at Texas Tech

All games: Ivy League, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Bethune-Cookman (Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, Penn, and Yale.) 

SEC announces men’s basketball timetable for 2020-2021 season

As announced by the league office on Friday, the LSU men’s basketball team is scheduled to host the 2020-21 season’s 14 games in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, including nine Southeastern Conference games.

Capacity policies and ticket information for the Maravich Center will be announced in the coming days.

LSU will play four home non-conference games in December, including December 6th vs Louisiana Tech, December 16th vs UNO, December 19th vs North Texas and December 22nd vs VCU.

The Bulldogs and Tigers were planned to compete each other in an independently produced game at the CenturyLink Center in Louisiana later this month. However, the match has been postponed to early in the 2021-22 season.

VCU and LSU will play the second half of a home-and-home series. They met last year in Richmond.

LSU is planned to play against Texas A&M at the Maravich Center on the SEC play’s opening night on Tuesday, December 29th. LSU will host Georgia on January 6th, Arkansas Georgia on January 13th, South Carolina Georgia on January 16th and Alabama Georgia on January 19th. The month will be closed by the Tigers by hosting Texas Tech in the announced SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

In February, the Tigers will also host three consecutive Saturday games, including vs Florida on February 6th, Tennessee February 13th and Auburn February 20th. The regular season is scheduled to consist of with a game on March 2nd at home against Vanderbilt.

It was announced that the league will keep March 6th as an open date for games if any conference contests need to be rescheduled during the year. The Southeastern Conference Tournament is scheduled for Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on March from 10 to 14.

LSU will start the season with three matches in Lincoln in a multi-team event that is scheduled for November 25, 26 and 28. Opponents for those games will be announced in the coming days.

Sam Hinkie won’t work in NBA again

Since he broke up with the Sixers in 2016, Hinkie has been out of the game.

During his tenure as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, Sam Hinkie was a somewhat polarizing figure. Some people praised his drastic team transformation strategy, while others railed against it. However, before Hinkie was with the Sixers, under General Manager Daryl Morey, he was a part of Houston’s front office. Therefore, when Morey was recently hired to be the new basketball operations president of Philadelphia, it led to some speculation that he might look to bring back his former protégée to the Sixers.

However, Hinkie quickly closed the door on this possibility. Hinkie said during an appearance with Pablo Torre on the ESPN Daily podcast that there is no possibility that he will take a job on Morey’s Sixers team.

Oh, zero, “Hinkie said when asked, via Real GM, about a possible return to the NBA.” “Zero. For sure, I’ve turned that chapter. That part of my life . I enjoy what I’m doing now quite much. I like to surround myself with people who think in the kind of timeframes I do, which is always longer. With long feedback loops, that’s very comfortable. That wants to do the kinds of things I do, which is to gamble on young people and watch them grow.”

But what has Hinkie been up to since 2016, when he parted ways with the Sixers?

To get there, a road. Capital, support and guidance are what they need. And a lot of great colleagues around them are always going to help them get there. That’s what I’m doing here.

Just because Hinkie isn’t interested in returning to the NBA doesn’t mean that he’s not yet involved in the league, especially in the Sixers. He thinks that the Morey hire was an excellent one when it comes to his former franchise, and he also thinks that it wouldn’t be a smart decision for Philly to trade either one of their young All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, as others have suggested.

Don’t people know what it took for them to get them? For both of them. It’s not difficult to get a star player in the NBA, but near, “Hinkie said.” It’s not impossible, but close. It takes either an extraordinary amount of luck, or an amazing amount of time, or some other way to try to get at it. So what’s Jo? 26? Finding a young player who is nominally just entering his prime in a typical context, and thinking, ‘yeah, we’ve got to blank.’ No, you’ve got to get great players on your team, and he’s one. No, you’ve got to get great players on your team, and he’s one.

And so, I’m not alone in this, you’d be loathe to think that there’s anything we have to do, and we have to do something that needs you to be able to transfer a great match. For a reason, they don’t travel too often, and people rightfully don’t let them go for a reason very much.

When it comes to their approach to team building in the past, Morey and Hinkie have always been aligned. It will be important to see if they are aligned on this topic as well.

LeBron James Wants To Play In Olympics

Team USA is getting ready to return stronger than ever after a terrible stint in China in 2019, where they were knocked out of the competition by France in the quarter-finals, and to show the world that they are still the best team in the world.

They failed to take their best players to Asia last year and that could change next season, as USA Basketball could see their best names lining up in Tokyo to represent the country.

For Team USA, the 2021 Olympic Games would be the ideal time to show that they are still the world’s best national team and that they can get a big star to help them affirm their status. Sports Highlighted claims that, while he has not expressly said that he wants to play in Tokyo next year, LeBron James may be considering joining the team in Tokyo.

“I was advised he needs to anticipate having the option to play, yet nobody can thoroughly submit under these conditions,” USA Basketball overseeing chief Jerry Colangelo disclosed to Chris Sheridan of a week ago.

James has recently expressed his enthusiasm for playing for Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympics yet he hasn’t yet made a strong responsibility. This ongoing report makes James’ craving sound somewhat more concrete.

One significant inquiry that should be posed preceding any official choice is the way the 2020-21 NBA mission will play out, given that the season isn’t probably going to start until the new year however could even now comprise of 82 games.

All things considered, the NBA lobby winds up playing through the Olympics, a contention that the alliance hasn’t needed to manage already.

Bron actually needs to affirm his craving to go speak to the nation in Tokyo yet there is no uncertainty his essence will cause more to notice the group from the media and will bring more players intrigued to join the crew that will go play in the 2021 Olympics. The last time he was in the Olympics was in 2012, where Team USA won the gold award drove by Bron, Kobe Bryant and more stars.

It would seem that they need their hotshots to say something one year from now and Bron gives off an impression of being prepared for the test.

Top Ten Best Basketball Leagues outside the NBA (part 1)

Basketball is one of the most famous sports all over the world, especially in the US. The NBA (National Basketball Association) is the American basketball league featuring around 30 teams, including 29 based in the US and one based in Canada. Here is the description of the world’s top ten basketball leagues, except for the NBA.

Liga ACB

Based in Spain, Liga ACB was established in 1957. Interestingly, only two teams are dominating the tittle since then. 51 of the total 60 titles have been won by these two teams alone. The regular seasons of Liga ACB are held from October to May.

17 teams are currently enrolled in ACB and the defending champion is Real Madrid. Some famous NBA stars such as Marc Gasol are the productions of this league. It is an interesting fact that in the last season of the NBA, 39 players were chosen from Liga ACB.

The Euro League

Only the top clubs qualify to play every year in the Euro League. It is currently hosting 16 teams and is the second level league in Europe. The teams wanting to be included in this league need to win their domestic leagues as well as some other competitions.

Turkish Basketball Super League

Although Turkey entered basketball in 1904,Turkish Basketball Super League was founded in 1966. Turkey is putting immense finance into basketball with this league being the main beneficiary.

It is expected that thanks to huge financial resources, Turkish Basketball Super League is going to overtake the Liga ACB both in quality and in quantity. 16 teams are currently enrolled and the regular sessions are held from October to April. The defending champion is Fenerbahce.

VTB United League

Based in Russia, VTB United League is the top one including clubs from Kazakhstan, Latvia, Estonia, and Belarus. 13 teams are currently enrolled in the league and regular sessions are arranged from October to April. The defending champion was CSKA Moscow.