We are a month out until the NBA is scheduled to resume its 2019-20 season at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Here are some news and notes from around the league.
NBA Spreads on Sportsbook Boards
For the first time in months, gamblers are seeing NBA spreads at their local sportsbook or online account. Oddsmakers are not sure what to expect amidst the coronavirus pandemic once play resumes at the end of July.
The opening line on the LA Clippers-Los Angeles Lakers game opened up as a pick ’em but has since moved in favor of the Lakers (-1). The New Orleans Pelicans opened as a one-point favorite over the Utah Jazz in the night’s opening contest.
The Milwaukee Bucks (-200) and Lakers (+125) are the Vegas favorites to win the Eastern and Western Conference titles, respectively, with the Lakers (+190) the favorite to win the franchise’s 17th NBA title.
Social Justice Message
On Saturday, it was announced by Oklahoma City guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, that the league may allow players to wear jerseys with personalized social justice, social cause, or charity messages on the back of their uniforms in place of their last name.
The players union and league are in a collaboration effort to allow for the personal statements prior to the restart of the season. Many players in the league support the idea, and players will not be forced to wear jerseys with messages pertaining to social justice.
Jordan, Dinwiddie Test Positive
Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan and teammate Spencer Dinwiddie have tested positive for the coronavirus. Jordan announced that he will no longer travel to Orlando to resume the season. Dinwiddie has yet to formally announce a decision on whether or not he will be traveling to Orlando to continue the season.
Small forward Wilson Chandler informed the Nets over the weekend his intention to sit out the remainder of the season citing family concerns. As more players test positive or opt-out of play, it becomes easier for other key members of the organization to decide it is not worth it to travel to Orlando to play.
James to the Knicks?
It is hard to imagine the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh never suiting up together. According to Bill Simmons of The Ringer, the Knicks were the team to beat heading into James’ free agency in 2010.
Whether or not you believe Simmons and his belief that the Knicks were James’ top choice, the behind-the-scenes stories are simply incredible.
According to reports, the Knicks brought in James Gandolfini and Edie Falco to portray their roles as Tony and Carmela Soprano for a glitzy presentation. However, what the presentation brought in star power, it lacked in the long-term vision for James and the franchise.
The meeting was such a flop that James did not grant the Knicks a second meeting. Many people inside the meetings described the presentation in one word: disaster.