NBA players who test positive for the coronavirus this season may have to miss nearly two weeks in some instances before being allowed to return to the court, the league told its teams in outlining its coronavirus protocols for the 2020-21 season. That revelation was one of many in a 63,000-word document, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, that explained some of the heath and safety protocols for the looming season. Preseason games begin Dec. 11 and regular-season contests start Dec. 22. The document still needs to be ratified by the league and the National Basketball Players Association, but it at least provides some sort of blueprint for the start of training camps in the coming days. All players who will be part of training camp need to begin a testing program by Monday — many were expected to start it Saturday — and teams can begin holding mandated group workouts starting Dec. 6, the league said. Individual workouts can begin Tuesday, if players have three consecutive negative tests. Players, coaches and other key staff are expected to be tested daily in most cases. The league urged teams to have plans ready to assist visiting team personnel or referees who happen to test positive away from their home cities, such as directing them toward isolation accommodations if necessary and to assist with that person’s care while recovering. “The NBA wouldn’t have put this plan together and we wouldn’t have agreed to it if it wasn’t safe,” Utah guard Donovan Mitchell said Friday, before the protocols were given to teams. “We did a great job with the bubble and we’ll do what we feel is safe, the PA and the NBA.” Mitchell — who tested positive for the virus shortly after the league suspended last season on March 11, after Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player known to have contracted COVID-19 — also said he expects players to take the virus very seriously, especially since a positive test almost certainly would sideline someone for several games. “This isn’t football where you play once a week,” Mitchell said. “We’re playing twice, three, maybe four times a week, so you’ve got to be careful, you’ve got to be cautious.”
Hall of Fame inductions in May
Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will finally enter the Basketball Hall of Fame in May 2021. The NBA said the delayed Hall of Fame weekend — it was to have taken place in Springfield, Mass., in August, before being pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic — will be held from May 13-15. Bryant, Duncan and Garnett — with a combined 48 All-Star Game selections and 11 NBA championships between them — were the headliners of the class that was announced back in April. They all got into the Hall in their first year as finalists, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings. Others had to wait a bit longer for the Hall’s call: Two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich got in this year, as did longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton. Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, along with daughter Gianna and seven others. Sutton died May 23.
AP: Phillies lost $145 million
A person familiar with the Philadelphia Phillies’ finances said the team lost $145 million during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season played without fans. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t officially released the figures. The Phillies, searching for a general manager to replace Matt Klentak, face important decisions regarding catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius. Both players are free agents, and Phillies managing partner John Middleton said last month the league’s economic climate will impact the team’s ability to spend money in the offseason. The Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year deal in 2019. The Phillies finished 28-32 last season, one game shy of ending a nine-year postseason drought. The Phillies haven’t had a winning season since taking five straight division titles, two pennants and one World Series between 2007-11 . . . Bob Miller, a righthander for the Philadelphia Phillies’ 1950 “Whiz Kids” National League pennant winner who went on to coach his Detroit Mercy alma mater for 36 years, died Saturday. He was 94.
Noel has 35 in UMass Lowell loss
Obadiah Noel scored a career-high 35 points for the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team, but it wasn’t enough as the River Hawks (1-1) suffered an 82-72 setback against Illinois State at Columbus, Ohio. The 6-foot-4-inch senior guard connected on 12 of 29 shots, including 4 of 10 from 3-point range, for UMass Lowell, while Connor Withers added 11 points and nine rebounds. Josiah Strong led the Redbirds (1-1) with 21 points . . . Jalen Johnson, a 6-foot-9-inch freshman, had 19 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks to help No. 9 Duke overcome a turnover-filled performance and beat Coppin State, 81-71, in a delayed season opener for both teams. Fellow rookie DJ Steward scored 24 points for the Blue Devils, including a key 3-pointer with 2:02 left that helped keep Duke in control during an unexpectedly tight finish.
No. 2 BC men sweep UMass
In an early season matchup of top 10 Hockey East men’s teams, No. 2 Boston College got third-period goals from Mike Hardman (13:11) and Nikita Nesterenko on an empty-netter with 11 seconds left to stave off No. 7 UMass and sweep the home-and-home series with a 6-3 victory at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. BC goaltender Spencer Knight made 30 saves for the Eagles (2-0), including 16 in a frenzied third-period by the Minutemen (1-2-1), who pulled within 4-3 on Jake Gaudet’s tally at 7:54.
Liverpool draws vs. Brighton
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was given another reason to be unhappy about VAR following yet another contentious incident in a 1-1 draw at Brighton. The English Premier League champions dropped two points after conceding a goal from a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time. The spot kick was awarded following an intervention by the video assistant referee, who previously ruled out two Liverpool goals at Amex Stadium for offside . . . Conor Gallagher scored in the 13th minute to help West Bromwich Albion score its first Premier League in a 1-0 triumph over still winless Sheffield United in a matchup of teams trying to avoid relegation.. in a battle of two teams trying to climb out of the relegation zone.