When’s the last time you had a can of Spaghettios? (Michael: Would it shock you to hear “never.” I’m going to sound like a dork, but from a 100% Italian family, they’re pretty much outlawed. Like, for real. It’s a thing.)
• While the following may have little to do with basketball directly, we have to talk about it.
Eight more players and two coaches with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total of cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation tell me and @JesseRogersESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2020
• The NBA and MLB might as well be polar opposites. Time and again, basketball manages to set a positive example for the rest of the sports world. Meanwhile, Rob Manfred and his league office continue to work on new editions of “How Not to Run a Professional Sports League” (I think we’re on Vol. 204). After all hell broke loose in the baseball world this morning, The Athletic piled on the bad news by reporting that despite knowing three Marlins players who tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Miami still played their game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Y’ALL FOR REAL!? Honestly, it’s remarkable to see the difference in care and protocol between the NBA and MLB. If an NBA player even exits the Orlando bubble, that person must be in self-quarantine for 10 days, whereas if an MLB player tests freakin’ positive in the clubhouse … it’s pretty much business as usual for the rest of the team. Also, if anything, this goes to show how right the NBA turned out to be about the bubble concept (well … up until this point). The NFL better look long and hard at what’s going on in the baseball universe right now. Thus far, the NBA has seen the most success, and all other sports leagues should take notes.
• NBA owners are scrambling to make up for their COVID-19-related losses:
With likely league’s highest payroll next season & their cash cow arena shut indefinitely, Warriors have quietly found a deal to raise $250 million to keep going. Other teams are already looking for money too: https://t.co/roCyjcDuvW
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 27, 2020
• I get it, some teams are going to be hit pretty hard by the ongoing pandemic. But, at the same time, I don’t feel all that bad for several organizations. Will these organizations lose a chunk of change? Yes. Do most owners have enough capital to keep their franchise afloat? Also, yes.
• Oh, and Windhorst shared that one league executive believes picks will be on sale for the 2020 NBA Draft. Combine that with the fact that Jerry Reinsdorf has recently complained about his losses, and he’s never seen a cash considerations deal he doesn’t like, I’m semi-worried we’ll see the Bulls sell their second-round pick. To say nothing of the fact that they should arguably be on the other end of these deals (Let’s buy some picks, yo).
• Speaking of the draft, college hoopers have learned whether or not they’ve received an invite to the NBA Combine … if it ever happens.
The NBA is asking players to complete a pre-Combine questionnaire before July 31 and promises more information regarding the date, format and location of a potential NBA Combine "as those details become available."
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 26, 2020
• What a weird world we live in.
We could be about two months away from Thibs vs. #Bulls in the Chicago bubble.
— Mike McGraw (@McGrawDHBulls) July 25, 2020
• ICYMI: We talked about the status of the second bubble a bit more in yesterday’s bullets. In short, the whole thing still seems pretty up in the air, but the NBA does seem close to announcing formal team workouts for those teams left out of the restart.
• Look at the last two names in the “special appearance by” category.
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) July 27, 2020
• How did Wendell Carter Jr. and Zach Lavine end up in the Lollapalooza lineup you ask? Like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. I have to assume it’ll just be a virtual hello, but I hope they make their boy band debut and drop some serious heat. Only time will tell.
• A song that’s just three straight minutes of a goat making sounds.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) July 27, 2020
• Kyrie Iriving can certainly be a weirdo, but you got to respect this move.
Nets’ Kyrie Irving has started a $1.5 million fund for WNBA players who choose to sit out the 2020 WNBA season due to personal, professional, health, and/or safety-related reasons.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 27, 2020