Thursday is the third and final travel day for NBA teams participating in the season restart. Some players have already started to set up in their new Walt Disney World Resort living arrangements. Let’s check in on the news around the league:
- The Brooklyn Nets have signed veteran and former Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford as a replacement player for the season restart. Crawford scored 51 points in the final game of last season and had gone unsigned since.
- Brooklyn is also nearing a deal with veteran forward Michael Beasley. The former No. 2 pick last played for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018-19 season.
- Pau Gasol, who signed with the Blazers last summer but mutually parted ways with the team in November, is closing in on a deal to return to basketball with Spanish club Barcelona, according to Nikos Varlas of eurohoops.net. Gasol’s goal is to be ready to take part in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
- San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has announced that he is donating all of his remaining 2019-20 salary to help Black Lives Matter organizations:
Spurs guard Patty Mills says he is donating his remaining NBA salary of $1,017,818.54 in Orlando to Black Lives Matter organizations. pic.twitter.com/ugPwExNebM— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2020
- Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard did not travel with the team to Orlando on Wednesday due to family reasons, but he is expected to rejoin the Clippers in “a few days,” per Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes.
- Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reports “Equality” is the most popular social justice statement that will be featured on the backs of players’ jerseys, with “Black Lives Matter” taking second. An overwhelming majority of players will have a statement on their jerseys in Orlando, per Spears:
As of Wednesday afternoon, 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players have picked a social justice message to put on their jerseys while 17 have opted to continue to use their names instead, Roberts told The Undefeated. Although the soft deadline was Monday, she said the NBPA is waiting for more players to make a final decision.
- ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Eric Woodyard have detailed how the NBA selected which barbers to travel with the league to Orlando in an interesting article:
For a period that will last at least four weeks and stretch possibly as long as three and a half months, Rodriguez will be among a select few tasked with cutting the hair of the more than 300 players from 22 NBA teams.
Rodriguez immediately bolted upright and started shouting: “They picked me to be a part of the NBA bubble!” Cheers rang out from fellow barbers. His client, clad with shaving cream and lying reclined in the barber’s chair, congratulated him as well.
- Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard, who arrived in Orlando on Wednesday, looks prepared for the downtime players will have in the bubble:
The NBA season restart is scheduled to tip off on July 30 at Disney World.