Around the NBA
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - May 27, 2020 - 12:00am

We mentioned of the NBA resuming the season in a secure location, a bubble city, league officials would like to call it and it looks like the Magic Kingdom is it, basing on recent reports.  While waiting for the return of the games, let’s see what’s happening around the league in this Corona-instigated, 360 degrees of separation. 

•The induction ceremony of the 2020 Basketball HOF is originally scheduled for August 29 but could be changed to a later date because Mr. Covid.  An option will be on Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 9 to 11) or sometime next year.  If ceremonies will be done next year, the 2020 class will have a separate induction from the 2021 class.

•The New York Knicks had struggled for several years without a true point guard and the present backcourt of Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith, Jr. are not doing their chores well.  The team is reportedly eyeing LaMelo Ball to fill the need.  The 2020 Draft was supposed to be held last Tuesday, May 19, but was postponed.  Knicks, get ready for LaVar Ball.

•The Golden State Warriors won the NBA title in 2017 and everyone got their championship rings except one who refused to accept it because “I don’t count that as a championship.”  Although he averaged about 20 minutes a game that season, an ankle injury limited Matt Barnes to just 5 minutes in the playoffs. Those minutes are already big contributions, considering the way he plays, but it wasn’t enough for him.  “I didn’t sweat.  I didn’t get to guard LeBron.  I got a free ride, I got a free ring.”  Many players would love to just sit at the end of the bench and get a championship. Barnes was on his second and last tour of duty with the Warriors as he played with the squad from 2006 to 2008.

•After spending the weekend in the hospital, NBA legend and current Gergetown Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing is now at home recovering from the corona virus and is “getting better”, according to his son, Patrick, Jr. 

•Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks would let his teen daughter shave his head if $25,000 will be raised to help frontliners battling the pandemic.  The amount was reached and his hair surrendered to his daughter.  His family added the same amount that will be used to feed first responders and medical workers in the Washington area.

•Magic Johnson is offering a $100 million loan assistance to minority-owned and women business owners whose trade and commerce had been hit by the pandemic.  Partnering with MBE Capital Partners, the loans will be funded thru his EquiTrust Life Insurance Company.  “This will allow them to keep their employees and keep their doors open”, he said.

•Mike Conley (UTA), Russell Westbrook (HOU), John Wall (WAS) and Pat Connaughton (MIL) launched different programs of assistance for those affected and involved in the battle against the pandemic.

*Conley gave $200K to five separate communities to address food shortage, remote learning needs and homelessness.  Connaughton raised a similar amount which will also be used for covid relief in the Wisconsin area.  Wall, thru his John Wall Family Foundation, partnered with Washington, DC officials to determine qualified applicants for rent assistance.  Westbrook, thru his Why Not? Foundation, gave meals to ICU and Covid unit nurses and medical staff at the Martin Luther King Hospital in his hometown Los Angeles.

•Granity Studios, a multi-media company created by Kobe Bryant, will be releasing a book “Geese Are Never Swans” on July 21.  This is a collaboration between Kobe and psychologist Eva Clark. The novel is about an aspiring Olympic swimmer facing tough challenges “that perfectly highlights the healing nature that lies within sports”, said his wife Vanessa.  This is the second book released by Granity after Kobe’s death, following the New York Times bestseller, “The Wizenard Series: Season One” also created by Kobe with author Wesley King, released last March.

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