NBA teams have begun practices at the Disney World campus in Orlando ahead of the season restart. Let’s check in on what’s happening around the league:
- The New Orleans Pelicans have announced that star rookie Zion Williamson has left the Disney campus due to an “urgent family medical matter.” He will rejoin the team at a later date. As The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor points out, Williamson will have to clear re-entry protocols when he returns to Disney World:
Sending all the best to Zion and his family. If Zion returns to the NBA's Disney campus, he'll need to quarantine for four days if he receives negative test results for seven days prior to his return, per the NBA's Health and Safety Protocol. Otherwise, it's a 10-day quarantine. https://t.co/LdzjM5igKq pic.twitter.com/2DTajZdtjH— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 16, 2020
- The Athletic’s Shams Charania says the league has warned teams about bringing an “unauthorized person” to the Disney campus:
Sources: The NBA has sent memo to teams reminding them that interacting with or bringing an unauthorized person on Disney Campus is prohibited. Teams are required to utilize part of next team meeting to brief/discuss health protocols.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 16, 2020
- Michael Beasley, signed by the Brooklyn Nets to fill out their depleted roster, will not join the team after testing positive for the coronavirus, per Charania. Brooklyn will search for another replacement player to take Beasley’s place.
- Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports that Houston Rockets star James Harden is expected to participate in his first team practice on Thursday after being a late arrival to Orlando.
- Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard claims that he was reported on the NBA’s tip line dedicated to violations of safety protocols in the bubble:
Dwight Howard said he was reported on the snitch hotline because he didn't have his mask on. https://t.co/pPSfb5RXku— Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A. (@ScoopB) July 16, 2020
- A LeBron James rookie card, currently set to sell for nearly $1 million at auction, could fetch up to $2 million by the time bidding ends on Saturday night, as detailed by Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report:
Bidding opened at $150,000, but it was up to $900,000 as of Wednesday night. With the fee, that would push the final price to more than $1 million.
Look for it to go much higher before bidding ends Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, though, as TMZ Sports noted experts believe it could fetch $2 million by the end of the auction.
Teams are scheduled to begin scrimmages in Orlando on July 22 before the season officially tips off on July 30.