Well, most of the L.A. Clippers made it to Orlando Wednesday night, and like their counterparts around the NBA, they are settling into their new homes for the next few months.
A couple players showed off parts of their hotel rooms, with Lou Williams’ candy collection catching my eye ...
... while Patrick Beverley is excited about his stack of white T-shirts.
For real, though, I’m not giving them a hard time for the little things. I imagine most of us are going stir crazy at home yet another week and little things like a bag of M&Ms or a crisp new T-shirt can make things a little bit better. And Beverley may have a side hustle if the NBA thing doesn’t work out.
Now, we wait and see if the players and others associated with the NBA bubble can stay healthy. One of the interesting contrasts I’ve seen between watching the return of soccer in the United States and the return of the NBA is the differing approaches between timing. The NWSL and MLS teams mostly arrived within a week or two of games — all the NWSL teams that traveled have played games and had no apparent coronavirus positive results in their bubble, while MLS had to drop two teams from their tournament before they played games because of coronavirus outbreaks after arriving in Orlando.
In contrast, the NBA has a three-week window to hopefully weather any initial outbreaks before games begin. Although this means players and staff will be away from homes and families longer, a point that MLS players rejected in favor of a shorter stint away from home, the NBA system could be more prudent in terms of stabilizing their bubble well before games.
Or not. This is all new, and we’ll just have to see how it goes for the NBA, and if their approach turns out to be better than the other ones tried in American sports.
More news for Friday:
- Green not on the plane: The LA Times’ Andrew Greif reported Thursday that JaMychal Green did not travel with the Clippers to Orlando, but he’s expected there in the coming days.
Clippers forward JaMychal Green is expected to join the team in Orlando on Sunday, sources told myself and @BA_Turner. He’s tending to a family matter but will join soon.— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) July 10, 2020
- The barbers of Orlando: This profile on ESPN of the six barbers who made the cut to go to Orlando and work exclusively for the NBA during the bubble months is fascinating. It would have made an amazing reality show to whittle down the candidates, except for the whole pandemic thing.
- Pundits confident in Clips: ESPN’s Confidence Index puts the Clippers at the top, ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
- History made in G League: The Atlanta Hawks’ G League team announced Thursday Tori Miller has been named general manager. She is the first woman to hold that position in G League history. Congrats!
- Detroit’s most famous gym: I will end today’s dispatch with this oral history in The Athletic about the gym at St. Cecilia’s, where a slew of NBA stars and local legends played over the years. I know Detroit is a long way from Los Angeles, but as I was reading this, I realized I played in this gym once as a kid. I remember we were told not to smash into the unfortunate pillars on the sideline. Small world.