2019-20 NBA Season Updates | March 21-27 Archive

News, reactions and more from the NBA community

From NBA.com Staff

Mar 31, 2020 2:56 PM ET

The NBA has temporarily suspended the 2019-20 season in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That decision was made to safeguard the health and well-being of NBA fans, players, team and arena personnel, media members and the general public. Below is a compilation of the official news and reaction from the NBA community, dating March 20-27.

For the latest news, view  2019-20 Season Updates.

NBA Updates
Coronavirus Information for NBA Fans
NBA Family Launches NBA Together
A Letter to NBA Fans | Adam Silver
NBA suspends 2019-20 season
Adam Silver: Complete interview on season hiatus and what led to suspension
• Players on healthy habits: Rudy Gobert | Donovan Mitchell | Candice Dupree | Khris Middleton | Gary Payton | Courtney WilliamsMarcus SmartKevin Love | Paul GasolTrae Young | Luka Doncic & Dwight PowellDamian Lillard | Jaren Jackson Jr. | Al HorfordJamal MurrayJayson TatumVictor Oladipo | Zach LaVine | Tacko Fall

• An Update on the NBA Store and NBA Experience at Disney Springs

To Our Global Fans: We are working very closely with the appropriate government and health-related authorities to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Based on the current situation in the U.S., and in an abundance of caution to ensure the utmost safety of our employees and customers, the NBA Store in New York will be closed for the time being. Our nbastore.com site remains open to serve our valued customers and fans. Additionally, NBA Experience at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World is currently closed. Please continue to check DisneySprings.com for updates.

March 27

Anthony Davis, Lineage Logistics unite to aid L.A. community

NBA superstar Anthony Davis today announced a partnership with Lineage Logistics (“Lineage”), the world’s largest and most innovative provider of temperature-controlled food logistics, on two community initiatives to support the Los Angeles community in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Together, the Anthony Davis Family Foundation and Lineage announced a $250,000 matching donation commitment to support the launch of the “Help Feed the Frontline Fighting COVID 19 - LA” campaign, which was launched by a group of local Los Angeles parents.  In partnership with Chef Brooke Williamson of Playa Provisions, the campaign is sourcing food from Los Angeles restaurants and providing healthy, free meals to the brave men and women working at regional hospitals treating those infected by the COVID 19 virus.

Davis and Lineage are also partnering with AEG, to offer employment opportunities to all STAPLES Center event team members who are unable to work due the COVID-19 pandemic. Through AEG, Lineage is offering STAPLES Center team members additional employment opportunities while STAPLES is not holding events by helping connect them to fill an additional 260 open jobs for which Lineage is hiring in the Los Angeles area.
“We all need to find ways to support our community during these challenging times. Whether it’s the people we work with, the small businesses trying to stay afloat, or the healthcare workers putting themselves in harm’s way to treat the sick, we’ve got to give our support however we can. I appreciate Lineage Logistics stepping up and partnering with me to help launch these programs and look out for our STAPLES Center team,” said Anthony Davis.

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Miami Heat, Lineage Logistics pledge funding for hunger relief

The Miami HEAT has partnered with Lineage Logistics and Feeding America®, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. The HEAT and the Micky & Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have pledged a $200,000 donation to Feeding South Florida, the local member of the Feeding America® network, which services Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Lineage Logistics will match that $200,000 donation allowing Feeding South Florida to immediately help those affected by COVID-19.

The goal of the partnership is to raise awareness for Lineage Logistics’ Share A Meal campaign, which aims to help provide 100 million meals in response to COVID-19 and to help ensure no family or child goes hungry during this global pandemic. In addition, Lineage Logistics, which operates several warehouses in South Florida, has committed to hiring between 20 to 40 AmericanAirlines Arena event staffers who are currently sidelined due to the postponement of HEAT games and Arena events.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an enormous and stressful toll on lives of people across the globe,” said Eric Woolworth, President of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “Many of our friends and neighbors in South Florida are rightfully worried about putting food on the table. By joining forces with Lineage Logistics and Feeding South Florida, we hope to ease that burden.”

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 Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell cleared of coronavirus

The first two NBA players to test positive for the new coronavirus have been cleared of it.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell both confirmed they were positive for the coronavirus on March 11 via posts on social media. Those two, as well as the rest of the Jazz's roster and personnel, were cleared by the Utah Department of Health on Friday, the team said in a statement.

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 March 26

Steph Curry does virtual Q&A with Dr. Anthony Fauci

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Instagram Live on Thursday. Fauci answered a variety of Curry's questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including the difference between the disease and the flu, the importance of social distancing and what America needs to do to regain normalcy. 

Stephen Curry's Q&A with Dr. Anthony Fauci touched on a number of topics regarding coronavirus.

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WNBA Draft 2020 to be virtual next month

The WNBA Draft 2020 presented by State Farm will be held on April 17 as scheduled. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WNBA will conduct a virtual draft without players, guests, and media. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN2 with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, and top prospects will take part remotely. The draft will also be available on the ESPN App.

During the draft, the WNBA will honor Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant and Payton Chester – who tragically passed away in a helicopter accident on Jan. 26. The WNBA also plans to honor the late Kobe Bryant, a passionate advocate of the league, at the draft and during the upcoming season.

The league is conducting ongoing scenario planning around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the upcoming season, including the currently scheduled start of training camp on April 26 and the scheduled tip of the WNBA season on May 15, and will provide updates regarding any changes to key dates.

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March 25

Towns makes emotional plea

Timberwolves star big man Karl-Anthony Towns revealed that his mother is seriously ill and it could be from the coronavirus. In a video posted to Instagram on Wednesday morning, Towns revealed that his mother is in a medically induced coma and had to be put on a ventilator after showing COVID-19 symptoms.

"[My family] told me to make this video so that people understand that the severity of this disease is real," Towns said in his video. "This disease needs to not be taken lightly. Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please don't be in places with a lot of people; it just heightens your chances of getting this disease, and this disease ... it's deadly. It's deadly. And we're going to keep fighting on my side, me and my family, we're going to keep fighting this. We're going to beat it; we're going to win."

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March 24

NBA, NBPA contribute to coronavirus relief efforts

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are working together during the coronavirus pandemic to help in relief efforts. The NBA and the NBPA announced Tuesday they are contributing $2 million to support ongoing coronavirus relief efforts around the globe. Of that $2 million, $1 million will go to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, Crisis Text Line, Direct Relief, Share Our Strength and others. 

The NBPA Foundation's player matching grant program and new web-based resource platform will help players maximize their charitable giving as well.

As part of NBA Together, the NBA family is committed to contributing and helping raise more than $50 million to support people impacted by the coronavirus and community and healthcare organizations providing vital services around the world, which includes the more than $30 million financial commitment already made by NBA and WNBA teams and players to date.

* * *

Shaq, Dwyane and Candace remind everyone to stay safe

The Inside the NBA Tuesday night crew send out messages to the fans, reminding them that we're going through a tough situation and to remember to stay safe.

Shaq, Dwyane and Candace urge everyone to be smart and stay safe.

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Report: Embiid donates $500K to help relief efforts

Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid is reportedly donating $500,000 to help with COVID-19 relief efforts and to help survival and protection efforts in the city's community. He was also, per reports, willing to help team employees who were set to reduce their salary during the pandemic. However, the need for that may be gone.

Sixers owner Joshua Harris issued the following statement on Tuesday, saying the team had reversed course on asking team employees to reduce their salary. Harris said in his statement:

"Our commitment has been to do our best to keep all of our employees working through this very difficult situation. As part of an effort to do that we asked salaried employees to take a temporary 20% pay cut while preserving everyone’s full benefits -- and keeping our 1500 hourly workers paid throughout the regular season. After listening to our staff and players, it’s clear that was the wrong decision. We have reversed it and will be paying these employees their full salaries. This is an extraordinary time in our world - unlike any most of us have ever lived through before - and ordinary business decisions are not enough to meet the moment. To our staff and fans, I apologize for getting this wrong."

* * *

Strength and conditioning coach shares drill

Minnesota Timberwolves strength and conditioning coach Bill Burgos keeps us active when inside the house with jump squats.

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March 23

Blazers launch COVID-19 relief fund and 'Virtual Resource Center'

The Trail Blazers Foundation is establishing a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support local nonprofits serving the community. The funds raised will go to nonprofits who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including supporting the Oregon Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Pooled Fund. In addition, the organization created a virtual Resource Center to connect community members to helpful resources in the greater Portland Area as well as some support available across Oregon and even virtually.

“We are proud of our community for stepping up to support one another in this time of crisis,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. “We are committed to using our platform to both raise funds and connect people to the resources they need during these challenging times.”

If you are in a position to help others, please visit trailblazers.com/donate to learn about ways you can support the Trail Blazers Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund. Donations are tax deductible.

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Irving donates $323K to help provide meals

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is doing what he can to help families who are struggling to put meals on the table amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an Instagram post published Monday, Irving wrote that he is partnering with Feeding America and other organizations "to help marginalized communities get the food resources they require during this time," including donating $323,000 to Feeding America. Lineage Logistics will match up to $200,000 in donations as well.

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March 22

International players share health tips

Danilo Gallinaro, Rui Hachimura and Ricky Rubio share tips from the World Health Organization.

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Magic's Isaac commits to helping feed kids
Orlando forward Jonathan Isaac announced on Sunday he is teaming with a local church to provide breakfast and lunch for school kids for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. Isaac will also help families receive one box of non-perishable food items per week. 

“There’s a great concern to those kids going hungry at this time. We don’t want that to happen,” Isaac said.

Jonathan Isaac joins GameTime to discuss initiative


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March 21

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver still seeking answers

Adam Silver said Saturday the league is considering all options -- best-case, worst-case and countless ideas in between -- as it tries to come to grips with this new normal. But definitive answers on any front are in short supply.

So far, there are 14 people within the NBA community, including at least 10 players, known to have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those positive tests, seven became known publicly on Thursday and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics revealed that he has the virus.

For the latest news, view  2019-20 Season Updates.

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