The NBA has revealed that its first round of league-wide testing within the Disney World bubble yielded two positive coronavirus results. A total of 322 tests were administered and only those two cases of COVID-19 arose.
The players that tested positive have left the NBA’s Orlando campus and will recover in their own home markets until they clear public health and league protocols to return.
While this is the third NBA memo revealing league-wide tests, it’s the first such memo conducted from within the bubble. Teams traveled to Orlando between July 7 and July 9.
A total of 19 players have now tested positive for COVID-19 during these league-wide tests and those individuals are all at home until they meet the conditions for return.
Led by Guest Editor Carmelo Anthony, SLAM’s new magazine focuses on social justice and activism as seen through the lens of basketball. 100 percent of proceeds will be donated to charities supporting issues impacting the Black community. Grab your copy here.
As told to Isis Haywood:
Don’t think of me as special for what I’ve been through. A lot of African American players and people have been through the same things that I have, but anyone can affect change.
I experienced two events when I was younger that frustrated me at the time, made me feel less than any other citizen, and I did not fully understand why they could occur. These events stayed with me for a long time, but I eventually found avenues to make change the best way that I knew how.
The first event happened when I was in high school in Indianapolis. I attended Crispus Attucks HS, which was an all-African American school. Crispus Attucks was known as the first African American person to be killed in the Boston Massacre uprising for demonstrating against the British.
At that time, during the 1950s in Indianapolis, high school basketball was mostly segregated, and Crispus Attucks did not compete against predominately white schools until the charter for the high schools was enforced so that everybody got to play in the city tournament. To some people’s surprise, an all-African American high school won the state championship in 1955. We were all just excited kids, getting to enjoy something that we were good at, and won statewide recognition. Of course, as a teenager, we did not know at the time, but we were the first all-African American team in the United States to win a championship like that and the first team from the city of Indianapolis to win a state championship.
I was so naïve back then. Similar to the predominately white schools that won in previous years, I thought that the city would have a parade that would take us from the Fieldhouse about 50 blocks downtown and let us off at Monument Circle at the center of Indianapolis. Usually, teams would be able to celebrate around the Circle all night until they got ready to go home. The winning Crispus Attucks team, however, was not allowed to celebrate in this tradition. We did get to travel downtown, but we could not celebrate at the Circle. Instead, the parade organizers went around the Circle one time, took us away from the site to a mostly African American neighborhood called Northwestern Park, and we celebrated with a bonfire there. We had no idea what was going to happen when we got on the firetruck. I was just stunned and started to think, Why did they do this to us? I just could not believe it at the time that you could be treated as less than any other high school champion just because we were Black.
The Monument Circle incident did not dull our enthusiasm for basketball or our ability to play. We were just as excited to go undefeated the next season in 1956 and win another state championship. This time, I did not want to take part in a celebration at Northwestern Park and stayed home, because it was not offered to every other city champion. I was a really shy person in high school and didn’t say too much. I didn’t know how to express my frustration with something that was important to me as a teenager. The only opportunity to express how I felt around that time was when some officials asked me during my college years to come back to Indianapolis. I refused and said, “No, I don’t want to come back because you treated us terribly.” Several decades later, in 2015, the city of Indianapolis gave the remaining members of the 1955 Crispus Attucks team the parade and celebration at Monument Circle that we had previously been denied. And I appreciated the chance for our team to celebrate as others had.
The second incident that had a tremendous impact on my life occurred when I was attending the University of Cincinnati. I was eligible to play varsity as a sophomore (freshmen could not play varsity at that time) and had an away game in Houston, TX. After arriving at the hotel with the rest of the team and coaches, who were all white, I was told, “You have to leave.” I said, “Where are we going?” I thought the whole team had to leave. No coach or representative from the University of Cincinnati told me that I would not be able to stay at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel because I was African American. I was taken to Texas Southern University, where I met their African American basketball coach who arranged for me to sleep in a dorm room.
I was so upset but didn’t know what to do. At the game, I didn’t take a single shot during warm-ups. I just stood at half-court while people were literally throwing things at me. It was one of the roughest games in which I ever played, but I had learned to play against very physical opponents back in Indianapolis when I used to tag along with my older brothers to pick-up games. I got through the game emotionally by channeling my frustration into effective basketball on the court. But still being shy, frustrated and not knowing what to say, I refused to do any interviews after the game.
Upon returning to Cincinnati, I asked for a meeting with the coach. After asking, “Why am I being treated like this?” he claimed that he didn’t know that was going to happen down in Houston. I responded by not participating in any banquets or alumni events. I led the nation in scoring for three years in a row, was the NCAA Basketball Player of the Year and made the Dean’s List, thanks to the wonderful preparation from my teachers at Crispus Attucks. My contribution to progressive change at that time was being the right college student-athlete to forge paths for others.
I became involved with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the union for the players, when I joined the League. At first, I was merely a member and paid my dues. It was important for me to participate in some way because I thought that the NBPA was a way to try to get improvements for players. I had no idea how powerful the organization was going to become, but I believed it was a vehicle for some type of change. The NBPA was the first organized union in sports.
I ended up in this position of power as head of the NBPA. Jack Twyman, one of the original leaders of the union and a teammate on the Cincinnati Royals, was going to retire in about a year and also needed time to care for Maurice Stokes, a teammate of his who was paralyzed. He felt, I believe, that I would be an effective leader because of my ability on the court, meaning that the owners would not retaliate. You see, some other team representatives for the NBPA were, in fact, retaliated against by owners by being traded. In some cases, you did put your career on the line by being a player representative to the NBPA. When I took this role, I became the first African American president of any national sports or entertainment labor union and was also the longest-serving president—for nine years until my retirement in 1974.
At that time when I became the president, players had very few rights. We didn’t have a trainer on the road. We all flew coach. We didn’t have an orthopedic doctor at the game in case you got hurt, and we were limited to $8 a day for meal money. And as for contracts, few were guaranteed. This meant that an owner could end your stay with a team for the smallest of reasons and possibly never allow you to play professional basketball again. They had the power to do that. Moreover, the owners had perpetual rights over players. There was no free agency.
The NBPA fought for what we believed was right and fair. We fought to improve all of the situations that I just described. When the American Basketball Association was formed in 1967 and there were talks of a merger with the NBA, the NBPA filed the first anti-trust suit in professional sports in 1970. We were able to get certified for class action and sued to improve salaries and working conditions. What was important was for each player to have the right to earn according to his ability in a fair market. We needed to end the reserve clause to allow a player to play out his contract and end some other practices limiting player movement in our fight for free agency.
I did not know if we would be successful. I thought our chances were 50-50. The owners had a lot of power and political influence and tried at every turn to stop us. They asked for Congress to pass a special exemption for them regarding their anti-trust status. However, we were fighting for what was right, and I found a voice testifying in front of Congress about what the NBPA thought was just. Also, new teams with new owners were entering the League that perhaps wanted things to be more fair so that they could also compete. After a long six-year legal battle, the NBPA won in 1976 after the reserve clause was ruled illegal and replaced with an option clause, allowing players to change teams without the original team retaining rights. The historic settlement became known as the Oscar Robertson Rule. The ruling led to free agency in other professional sports and a new era of growth for nearly all sports. Despite the personal and professional risk of taking on the sports establishment, I would have done it again in a heartbeat because basketball players, athletes and African Americans should be treated as any other person in American life.
What I realized as I grew up professionally and personally is that you have to fight for just causes and speak up for yourself and others. I hope that people will do so this November.
100 percent of proceeds from SLAM’s new issue will be donated to charities supporting issues impacting the Black community. Grab your copy here.
The Los Angeles Lakers were dealt a significant blow on Sunday when it was revealed that veteran guard Rajon Rondo would miss six-to-eight weeks with a broken right thumb.
According to ESPN, the 34-year-old will undergo surgery to repair a fracture, the third injury that he’s sustained on his right hand since signing with the team in 2018.
While Rondo’s 2019-20 role was the smallest of his 14-year-career, Rondo’s reputation as an elite postseason performer and the face that starting shooting guard Avery Bradley won’t be playing in the restart suggested that more could have been in store.
The six-to-eight-week timetable puts Rondo back in action anywhere between late August and mid-September. Given Los Angeles’ championship aspirations, it’s certainly possible that they’ll still be in contention when that time comes.
Rondo averaged 10.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 12.2 assists per game in his last taste of playoff action just two seasons ago.
Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook has tested positive for the coronavirus. The All-Star revealed the diagnosis on his own social accounts and is now in quarantine.
Per league policy, Westbrook will self isolate in accordance with public health regulations and while he hasn’t even joined the team in Orlando yet, he won’t take part in any action until he is cleared by a physician.
Neither Westbrook nor fellow Rockets players James Harden or Luc Mbah a Moute have joined the team in the bubble yet.
Not only is Westbrook one of the most prominent NBA players to confirm a positive diagnosis, that he’s tested positive so close to the resumption of the regular season is cause for additional concern.
Three NBA players have already opted to bypass the Orlando games altogether due to recent COVID-19 diagnoses. Westbrook, however, says that he feels well and intends to rejoin his teammates at Disney World.
After dropping his album High Off Life in May, Future delivers the video for the standout “Ridin Strikers.”
Hndrxx heads out to Miami in the fast-and-furious clip, directed by Eif Rivera. He hits the streets while surrounded by fast cars and fronts a heist with his crew of masked female bandits, who make off in cop cars with fists full of cash. “Huh, now I’m robbin’ me a bank / Huh, fu**ing on foreign,” he raps. “Huh, that bitch with you ain’t / Huh, whippin’ up foreign.”
J. Cole’s highly-anticipated album is still on the way, but has faced a slight delay due to the coronavirus. EarthGang’s Olu shared the update with fans during a Dreamville Instagram Live session on Sunday.
“Cole album’s coming. It’s in customs right now,” said the Dreamville rapper. “Cole album gotta get through customs ’cause you know, corona.”
!!NEW SPILLAGE VILLAGE/EARTHGANG/ J. COLE COMING SOON!!
During the livestream, Olu also revealed that an album from Spillage Village will arrive at the end of July.
Earlier this month, the Dreamville gang celebrated the one-year anniversary of Revenge of the Dreamers III by sharing footage from the “legendary sessions” along with an unreleased freestyle from Cole. A deluxe edition of the compilation was released in January featuring 12 additional tracks.
J. Cole hasn’t released a solo album since 2018’s KOD, but last month he returned with “Snow On Tha Bluff” on which he addressed Noname and the Black Lives Matter movement.
He previously teased an upcoming album called The Fall Off. While on stage at the Day N Vegas festival in Las Vegas in November, he announced that the project would arrive sometime in 2020.
Chance the Rapper is here for a Kanye West presidency.
The Chicago rapper took to Twitter on Monday in defense of Kanye’s 2020 run for President of the United States. In a series of tweets, he shared his support for his “Ultralight Beam” collaborator and said he would vote for him over presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“And y’all out here tryna convince me to vote for Biden. Smfh,” he wrote in response to Kanye’s tribute to his late mother Donda West.
When he didn’t receive the response he was hoping for, he asked his followers for their thoughts on the upcoming election. “Are u more pro biden or anti ye and why?” asked Chance. “I get that you’ll want to reply that you’re just tryna ‘get trump out’ but in this hypothetical scenario where you’re replacing Trump, can someone explain why Joe Biden would be better??”
Added Chance, “I finally got the answer now. I understand. Yall trust Biden more than yall trust Ye. I think I understand why, I just don’t feel the same way.”
Are u more pro biden or anti ye and why? I get that you’ll want to reply that you’re just tryna “get trump out” but in this hypothetical scenario where you’re replacing Trump, can someone explain why Joe Biden would be better??
When his name started trending, Chance took the opportunity to tell the city of Chicago to “admit to and denounce the assassination of Fred Hampton,” a Black Panther who was killed by the FBI. He also conducted a poll asking if his followers were in favor of reparations. “The US owe us 17T,” tweeted Chance.
In addition to Chance, Kanye has received support from other celebrities including Elon Musk, Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz, and YG. “People be underestimating Kanye. He always got a plan. He a real ni**a,” said YG, who said he would vote for Ye.
Naya and her 4-year-old son Josey rented a boat and went swimming in Lake Piru on Wednesday. The boy got back onto the boat after a swim, but his mother did not follow. An adult life vest was found onboard and the boy was wearing his. Authorities were notified and they started a search from air and with a dive team.
Over the weekend, Rivera’s family members and ex-husband Ryan Dorsey paid an emotional visit to the lake. They ventured out into the water and stood by as authorities continued their search for Naya’s body.
The 33-year-old actress-singer played Santana Lopez on “Glee” for six years from 2009, and also starred on the CBS sitcom “The Royal Family” and in the comedy film The Master of Disguise. In 2013, she released her single “Sorry” featuring her ex-boyfriend Big Sean.
Friends including Jackée Harry and Demi Lovato have asked for prayers amid the search.
UPDATE: The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Naya Rivera was found dead after an extensive search at Lake Piru. “We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” said Sheriff Bill Ayub.
Naya went missing in the lake after renting a boat with her son. There is no sign of foul play and no indication that it was a suicide. “She mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not herself,” said Ayub.
BREAKING: Authorities have found ‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera’s body in Lake Piru. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said there is no indication of foul play and no indication that it was a suicide pic.twitter.com/osIZfWG1x2
Pop becomes the first rapper to posthumously debut at No. 1 with his debut album. Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon is also the first posthumous album to reach No. 1 since XXXTentacion’s Skins opened atop the chart in December 2018.
50 Cent, who co-executive produced the album, celebrated the news. “BROOKLYN STAND UP #1 She Want To Fuck Wit The
Shoot for the Stars follows 2019’s Meet the Woo and this year’s Meet the Woo 2. The latter debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in February, just weeks before the 20-year-old MC was shot and killed in a home invasion.
Following Pop is the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical, which rises from 14-2 with 102,000 equivalent album units following the theatrical release of Hamilton on Disney+.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Lil Baby’s My Turn falls 1-3 with 62,000 equivalent album units, while DaBaby’s Blame It On Baby drops to No. 4 with 36,000 units.
Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding slides 4-5 (36,000), The Weeknd’s After Hours dips 5-6 (29,000), and Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake drops 8-9 (27,000). Lil Durk’s Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 rounds out the top 10 with 27,000 units.
Billboard 200 Top 10
Pop Smoke – Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon – 251,000