The 2019-20 NBA season is scheduled to restart later this month at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, after suspending play due to the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s check in on what’s happening around the league:
- Nine additional players have tested positive for the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday. That means a total of 25 players (out of 351) have tested positive. Ten team staff members out of 884 tested between June 23-29 have also registered positive cases.
- Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha is opting out of the NBA’s bubble restart, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Rockets will sign veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute as a replacement.
- Sacramento Kings assistant coach Igor Kokoskov is leaving the team to take over as head coach of Fenerbahce in Istanbul, per Wojnarowski. Kokoskov previously served as head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
- Reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters that he believes this season’s championship will be the “toughest” ever (via ESPN):
“I feel like a lot of people say that there’s gonna be a star next to this championship,” Antetokounmpo said. “I feel like, at the end of the day, this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win — because the circumstances are really, really tough right now. So whoever wants it more is going to be able to go out there and take it.”
- Teams’ courts have begun to arrive in Orlando for players to practice on:
- The NBA 2K franchise is honoring Lakers legend Kobe Bryant with a special “Mamba Forever Edition” of their upcoming video game:
NBA teams will begin to depart for Orlando on July 7, with the first games taking place on July 30.