Thursday Bolts: 03.26.20
Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) with an inside look at how teams are dealing with the NBA the suspension of the season due to Covid-19. “Front office executives want the league to provide tentative contingencies on a return to play this season, but league officials have been reticent to share those estimates with teams. The loosest of drop-dead dates on completing the NBA Finals is Labor Day weekend in early September, sources say, which teams say necessitates games starting back up by July 1 — and practice facilities reopening weeks before that. No one in the NBA wants to be tied to Labor Day weekend, because no one — not the commissioner, not the teams, not the NBPA — wants to limit the possibility of the NBA salvaging something of a season. If the NBA season could start later in July and finish later in September, well, no one is ruling out that idea either. Between now and then, organizations are teeming with priorities — keeping players physically and mentally fit, preparing for a draft that will likely not allow teams access to prospects and uncertainty on free-agency timetables and a shrinking salary cap. The Philadelphia 76ers ownership started what would have made them the first of several teams to cut salaries, but the 76ers have since made plans to change course. Other NBA owners are now weighing the public relations fallout versus the desire to reduce salaries.”
ESPN conducted a straw poll of various NBA media members for NBA MVP, and Chris Paul finished in seventh place.
Zach Kram analyzed whether the NBA should consider three-game playoff series
if when the season returns. ” The NBA has used a best-of-five format before—but it’s also gone further, to best-of-three. And at least in the early rounds, best-of-three might not be the worst solution to the timing dilemma. Accounting for one off day between each game, a best-of-seven series can stretch over 13 days, while a best-of-three lasts a maximum of five days. Switching to best-of-three for just one round would save the NBA more than a week; switching to best-of-three for the first two rounds would save more than half a month.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry will be hosting a Q&A with Dr. Fauci, today at noon CT:
With the dining rooms of restaurants and bars shut-down, it’s now more than ever to support local business. If you’re looking for local beer, please consider picking up some Anthem Brewery beer:
The Thunder are also maintaining a list of local business that have partnered with the team:
Shop Good is another local business worth supporting. Not only does Shop Good carry the freshest Thunder apparel, they are also releasing a new Solidarity Collection:
If you were looking for some wholesome content, how about sixty seconds of Russell Westbrook dunking?
John Hollinger (The Athletic) examines how a restarted NBA season could work. “Eighty days. Let’s start there. From restart to the final playoff game, that’s probably how much time the NBA needs to restart and finish some semblance of a legitimate season that we would find recognizable. While the league is on hiatus and remains so for the foreseeable future, the glimmer of hope waaaaay way off in the distance is that quick, reliable coronavirus testing allows the league to restart in some way at some point later this spring. If so, the NBA needs to figure out a plan for how that might work.”
Erik Horne (The Athletic) put together a fantastic feature on Donnie Strack, the unlikely face at the epicenter of the postpone of the Thunder-Jazz game that prompted the NBA season to shut down. “Just as the three officials were about to take the court, Strack, the Thunder’s vice president of human and player performance, sprinted out toward them. Strack had been informed that Utah’s Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19. He didn’t administer the test. He wasn’t in a lab on the verge of a breakthrough. But when the call came in to the Thunder, Strack was sent out to delay the game until the NBA could make a decision.”
Amidst the stories of NBA players who have tested positive for Covid-19 with mild symptoms to no symptoms at all, Karl-Anthony Towns shares his heartbreaking message of the devastating effects of the disease:
Stay safe. Stay at home.