It appears we are inching closer to a return for the NBA and the Los Angeles Clippers, as players are expected to be recalled to their team markets sometime around June 1, according to a report by ESPN.
While many players have stayed in market, for those who left at some point during the coronavirus pandemic, they will be expected to return and be ready for the next phase to prepare for the league to reopen. The report claims the likely timeline to proceed will be a quarantine period for players returning from elsewhere, then a week or two of individual workouts at team facilities, followed by roughly three weeks of training camp to prepare for games to start, meaning games could start again sometime in July.
Obviously we’ve heard lots of ideas and proposals and shifting plans, but recalling players is big since it would indicate the league is really getting serious about restarting. Of course, we don’t know about contingency plans in case players or support staff get infected with coronavirus once this plan is underway, or the logistics and financial implications for all parties involved, but little by little we seem to be getting closer for the Clippers and the rest of the NBA to be back in action.
More news for Thursday:
- More “Blackballed” coverage: Here’s Sabreena’s rundown of Episodes 4 and 5 of the Quibi documentary on the end of the Sterling era at the Clippers.
- More on testing procedures for NBA return: The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has a deep dive into the likely procedures to be undertaken if and when the NBA gets back underway.
- Dudley says (some) players could leave bubble: Former Clipper Jared Dudley now plays for the other LA team, but his comments about a bubble scenario for an NBA return raised my eyebrows. After noting players could not be held in pure quarantine, they will have to accept the risks if they leave their hotel rooms, he also said his superstar teammates like LeBron James were not to be let out under any circumstances. Mmmkay...
- Death of the handshake in sports? This story from the LA Times notes the days of the great symbol of sportsmanship, handshakes, may exit sports forever as we know it as a result of coronavirus. Perhaps, but among the team sports that have come back players seem to be helping each other get up and stuff as much as ever, so I don’t know, we’ll see.
- Horace Grant unhappy with “The Last Dance”: Horace Grant played a small role in the smash hit Michael Jordan documentary, and now that he’s seen the whole thing, he comes out swinging, pretty much laying waste to Jordan and the film’s portrayal of him and various other players and incidents covered. Trust me, it’s worth reading his quotes about it.