New Album & The Beginning of Basketball Season

Steve Williams

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Disney World Diary: MagicBand passports reprogrammed to keep campus safe

Shaun Powell

ORLANDO, Fla. -- It’s made of plastic, or maybe rubber, and is embossed with the silhouette of Mickey Mouse’s face like everything else around here. It’s a wristband because it looks like one. Or a handcuff because you figuratively cannot take it off. Let’s call it a wristcuff.

Actually, there is an official name: MagicBand. It’s your passport inside the NBA campus. Everyone was issued one upon arrival and must wear one at all times in public. It literally opens doors by acting as the key to your room; just tap the band just above the door handle and presto, you’re back in your home for the next few months.

The bands were commonly worn by selective Walt Disney World visitors who wanted more exclusivity and flexibility, and it gave them more perks than other park visitors. The bands are worn to access rides, order meals and other such courtesies. If you wear them you don’t need to wait in long lines or carry a wallet. Inside each band is a computer chip of some sort. A half-dozen years ago Disney paid a small fortune to create them and have them engineered to act computer-like; think of them as the world’s first smart wristband.

Well: With tourism down considerably since the coronavirus hit, those bands were collecting dust ... until the NBA arrived.

They were reprogrammed to the specifications of the NBA campus. They are essentially snitches. If you fail to record your temperature and health chart daily on your cell phone, the band will not give you the green light clearance when touched against a box at the entrance of every practice facility and arena front gate.

I’ve been caught twice, and unfortunately, you can’t come up with an alibi or blame it on faulty wiring.

But that’s all good. These bands keep you on your toes and on top of your health charts. And therefore, they keep this place safe. They’re further proof that the NBA spared no expense to make protection the priority here in Orlando.

My band is now like family. It travels with me everywhere -- not that I have a choice -- and has become an automatic daily part of my life, like deodorant. In fact, it’s more mandatory than deodorant, even here in the stifling humidity.

But make no mistake: When I leave this place, thankfully my wrist will be naked once again; enough is enough. And no matter how nostalgic I might feel upon returning home, there will be no urge to get the band back together again.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
and so the scrimmages have begun..Clipps and Bucks look dominant in their wins whilst the Lakers sit James and Davis in the second half as they lose to the Mavs and a red hot Seth Curry.
 
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and so the scrimmages have begun..Clipps and Bucks look dominant in their wins whilst the Lakers sit James and Davis in the second half as they lose to the Mavs and a red hot Seth Curry.
I watched the first half of the Lakers-Mavs game. Lakers looked dominant. Surprised to see they lost but then saw here LeBron and AD sat out the 2nd half.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Good news for the Pels as Zion rejoins the team...

The New Orleans Pelicans announced Friday evening that Zion Williamson has returned to the NBA campus in Orlando.

“My family and I appreciate the love and respect that everyone showed us while we dealt with a private family matter," Williamson said in a statement. "I‘m excited to rejoin my team in Orlando and look forward to getting back on the court with my teammates after quarantine."

Williamson was tested daily for COVID-19 while away from the team and produced negative results for each test. Williamson is required to quarantine immediately, per NBA protocol.

Williamson has averaged 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in his 19 games as a rookie so far. He missed the first 43 games of the season recovering from meniscus surgery and another in February with a sprained ankle.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Don't underestimate or count out the Raptors as they looked very good yesterday as they beat the Rockets easily
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Lou Williams joins Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell as Clippers to briefly leave NBA bubble

LA Clippers guard Lou Williams is the latest member of the team to leave the NBA campus with an excused absence.

Williams joins Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell as Clippers players who had to leave the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Beverley left to tend to an emergency personal matter, and Harrell departed to tend to an excused family emergency.

Beverley is the Clippers' starting point guard, and Williams and Harrell are the team's top players off the bench. Both are in consideration for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Williams is expected to rejoin the team, according to a source. Beverley and Harrell are also expected to return to Orlando.

Coach Doc Rivers said players around the league often have personal or family issues pop up, and it might cost them a practice during the regular season. But players leaving Orlando to tend to an issue becomes a significant deal, because any player who departs campus is required to provide daily negative coronavirus testing while away before having to quarantine for four days or longer upon returning.

"I think we all knew that we could start the league," Rivers said of the restart. "The key is, can we finish it? I think that will be the big thing. I think what the league has learned, that teams have already known, that it is more than basketball that comes up. Guys have life going on. You know, whether it be a family problem, a kid problem, a wife problem or anything, there's issues that come in these guys' life. We give guys days off all the time because of it, but no one really notices it.

"But now when you are in the bubble, when you leave, it really targets it. So I think in a good way, the public actually sees that NBA players are actually human and do have regular life issues going on."

After Williams scored 22 points during a 99-90 scrimmage win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, he opened his postgame news conference by sending his thoughts to Harrell and Beverley.


"I want to send a shoutout to Trez and Pat, who are at home dealing with issues with family," Williams said. "Thinking about them."

The Clippers played that scrimmage without four rotation players. Starting center Ivica Zubac and guard Landry Shamet did not travel with the team to Orlando for the restart and were not with the team.

Marcus Morris, who recently joined the team in Orlando, said his arrival had been delayed due to a family issue. He said he has a child due in September and that he will leave Orlando for the birth as well.

"Some things are bigger than basketball," Morris said. "Some guys will return. We're praying for those guys and their families. Things are bigger than basketball. We're not worried about our depth right now, these preseason scrimmages, whatever this is. We know what we're getting back, what kind of team we've had. We're not real worried."
 
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christoph

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Are family issues the new load management :rolleyes:
 
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christoph

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Lou Williams joins Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell as Clippers to briefly leave NBA bubble

LA Clippers guard Lou Williams is the latest member of the team to leave the NBA campus with an excused absence.

Williams joins Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell as Clippers players who had to leave the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Beverley left to tend to an emergency personal matter, and Harrell departed to tend to an excused family emergency.

Beverley is the Clippers' starting point guard, and Williams and Harrell are the team's top players off the bench. Both are in consideration for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Williams is expected to rejoin the team, according to a source. Beverley and Harrell are also expected to return to Orlando.

Coach Doc Rivers said players around the league often have personal or family issues pop up, and it might cost them a practice during the regular season. But players leaving Orlando to tend to an issue becomes a significant deal, because any player who departs campus is required to provide daily negative coronavirus testing while away before having to quarantine for four days or longer upon returning.

"I think we all knew that we could start the league," Rivers said of the restart. "The key is, can we finish it? I think that will be the big thing. I think what the league has learned, that teams have already known, that it is more than basketball that comes up. Guys have life going on. You know, whether it be a family problem, a kid problem, a wife problem or anything, there's issues that come in these guys' life. We give guys days off all the time because of it, but no one really notices it.

"But now when you are in the bubble, when you leave, it really targets it. So I think in a good way, the public actually sees that NBA players are actually human and do have regular life issues going on."

After Williams scored 22 points during a 99-90 scrimmage win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, he opened his postgame news conference by sending his thoughts to Harrell and Beverley.


"I want to send a shoutout to Trez and Pat, who are at home dealing with issues with family," Williams said. "Thinking about them."

The Clippers played that scrimmage without four rotation players. Starting center Ivica Zubac and guard Landry Shamet did not travel with the team to Orlando for the restart and were not with the team.

Marcus Morris, who recently joined the team in Orlando, said his arrival had been delayed due to a family issue. He said he has a child due in September and that he will leave Orlando for the birth as well.

"Some things are bigger than basketball," Morris said. "Some guys will return. We're praying for those guys and their families. Things are bigger than basketball. We're not worried about our depth right now, these preseason scrimmages, whatever this is. We know what we're getting back, what kind of team we've had. We're not real worried."
Lot of Clippers missing in action.......not a good sign.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
well it was good to say that basketball is really back as I watched the Lakers beat the Magic 119-112 in another lackluster game. Again Davis and James sit out the second half as Frank Vogel does some of his own load management. These scrimmage games are meaningless and I watched guys in Lakers uniforms that I have never seen before let alone heard of. Of note J R Smith made his presence felt and Dion Waiters played a strong 4th period

There was no pizazz and definitely no fans to make their presence felt. Safe distancing was evident on the players' benches as well as the coaches separate from the players. Everyone not in the game or coaching were wearing masks and the coaches wore badges saying "Racial Justice" and "Black Lives Matter" painted on the floor.

The world is such a different place since the NBA shut down in March
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Well looks like Tom Thibodeau and not Jason Kidd drew the short straw and became coach of the Knicks. Having Kidd on the Lakers coaching staff has never sat well with me and I was hoping Kidd would become coach of the Knicks
 
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Steve Williams

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Watching the games yesterday clearly showed that the game just isn't the game when played in an empty stadium and players suit so far apart on the bench that for me everything has changed. Lots of players seeming to just go through the motions in these meaningless scrimmage games as many of the stars are playing limited minutes as load management and player health is apparently what coaches are observing this early on.

it was good to watch the game again but how it is being played is so vastly different that for me it just seemed players were going through the motions
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
This is the kind of thing that is likely going to spell doom to the NBA reboot. I am also surprised that Lou Williams was the player named..


Reports: NBA investigating Lou Williams' trip to strip club while outside bubble


An excused absence for his grandfather’s funeral saw Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams eventually being photographed at a strip club. Understandably, the NBA now has some questions.

The league is investigating Williams’ trip outside the bubble at Disney World as it figures out how long the reigning Sixth Man of the Year has to remain in quarantine upon return, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Bobby Marks.

Rapper Jack Harlow had posted a picture of himself with Williams on Thursday, which the rapper later claimed was an old picture. Both the picture and clarification have been deleted.

Williams has since reportedly admitted that he was at the strip club.


The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner also reported the NBA is looking into Williams’ trip.

If the NBA determines Williams had been engaging in high-risk behavior while outside the bubble, that will likely mean several extra days in quarantine and missing the Clippers’ Disney World opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on July 30.

Williams would be a significant loss for the Clippers. The 33-year-old is currently averaging 18.7 points and 5.7 assists per game off the bench, combining with Montrezl Harrell to form one of the league’s most devastating pick-and-roll combinations.

Lou Williams was definitely at a strip club
The Lou Williams strip club saga began when it was reported early on Thursday that he had received an excused absence to leave the bubble for personal reasons. Williams later tweeted it had been his grandfather who died.

Hours later, this photo from Harlow’s Instagram story started making the rounds on social media:

The “location U would never guess” would later turn out to be the Magic City strip club in Williams’ native Atlanta.

That photo was hastily taken down, after which Harlow tweeted “That was an old pic of me and Lou. I was just reminiscing cuz I miss him.” Then that tweet got deleted.

“Old pic” sounds like a good defense, except for two reasons. One, a picture of Williams at the strip club was also found on the Instagram story of the club’s DJ. Two, the mask Williams is seen wearing in the “old” photo with Harlow matches the kind that were handed out to NBA players in the bubble.

“Obviously those [pictures] got out and that’s something we obviously didn’t enjoy seeing or like,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters.

How long will Lou Williams have to quarantine?
Why does all this matter? Well, beyond the optics and comedy of an NBA player being unable to stop himself from leaving the bubble to hit a strip club before real games have even begun, the NBA’s investigation will also likely determine if Williams can play in the Clippers’ first few scheduled games.

Rivers reported that Williams was back in the bubble as of Saturday.

Normally, players with excused absences only have to go through a four-day quarantine after returning to the bubble assuming they underwent daily tests, which Williams reportedly did. Zion Williamson is currently doing exactly that.

However, that quarantine time can be extended to 10 or even 14 days if the NBA’s outside infectious disease specialists recommend it, according to Shelburne. If the experts determine Williams poses an increased risk, his return to the team could go from July 29, four days from Saturday, to Aug. 4 or Aug. 8.

That would ... not be great considering the Clippers are scheduled to play the Lakers on July 30, then the New Orleans Pelicans on Aug. 1, the Phoenix Suns on Aug. 4 and the Dallas Mavericks on Aug. 6.

Clippers remain short-handed in bubble
Williams’ drama comes at an inconvenient time for the Clippers, as the team was already dealing with several excused absences on its team.

Williams, Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac, who are all either starters or in the Clippers top seven in minutes per game, are either out of the bubble or currently quarantining. Another starter, Marcus Morris, told reporters on Friday he will leave the bubble in September for the birth of his son.

Williams is already in quarantine, as is Zubac (who won’t have to quarantine as long), per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. Harrell posted “See you soon #Orlando” earlier Saturday and could be en route to the bubble. Shamet is also apparently en route, but has been dealing with the coronavirus and might not be game-ready.

That’s a lot of players who might be ready for July 30 against the Lakers, but it seems quite unlikely the 44-20 Clippers will have all of them ready as they push to keep the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Zion Williamson returns to NBA bubble after exit for family matter

Zion Williamson is back at Disney World, but the New Orleans Pelicans will still need to wait a few days for him to rejoin the team.

The team announced Williamson had returned on Friday, noting that he had undergone daily coronavirus tests while away from Orlando and tested negative for all of them. Williamson will now go through the mandatory four-day quarantine for excused absences.

Williamson exited the bubble last week to tend to an urgent medical matter in his family, with the Pelicans’ blessing.

With the Pelicans set to begin their season again on July 30 against the Utah Jazz, Williamson had been running out of days in which he could have returned in time to be available for a game. It’s still unclear if he’ll be available for the opener as he will be just two days out of the bubble by the time of the game.

Williamson said he was thankful for the love and respect for his family upon returning, and said he was eager to rejoin his team.
 

WLVCA

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This is the kind of thing that is likely going to spell doom to the NBA reboot. I am also surprised that Lou Williams was the player named..


Reports: NBA investigating Lou Williams' trip to strip club while outside bubble

An excused absence for his grandfather’s funeral saw Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams eventually being photographed at a strip club. Understandably, the NBA now has some questions.

The league is investigating Williams’ trip outside the bubble at Disney World as it figures out how long the reigning Sixth Man of the Year has to remain in quarantine upon return, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Bobby Marks.

Rapper Jack Harlow had posted a picture of himself with Williams on Thursday, which the rapper later claimed was an old picture. Both the picture and clarification have been deleted.

Williams has since reportedly admitted that he was at the strip club.


The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner also reported the NBA is looking into Williams’ trip.

If the NBA determines Williams had been engaging in high-risk behavior while outside the bubble, that will likely mean several extra days in quarantine and missing the Clippers’ Disney World opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on July 30.

Williams would be a significant loss for the Clippers. The 33-year-old is currently averaging 18.7 points and 5.7 assists per game off the bench, combining with Montrezl Harrell to form one of the league’s most devastating pick-and-roll combinations.

Lou Williams was definitely at a strip club
The Lou Williams strip club saga began when it was reported early on Thursday that he had received an excused absence to leave the bubble for personal reasons. Williams later tweeted it had been his grandfather who died.

Hours later, this photo from Harlow’s Instagram story started making the rounds on social media:

The “location U would never guess” would later turn out to be the Magic City strip club in Williams’ native Atlanta.

That photo was hastily taken down, after which Harlow tweeted “That was an old pic of me and Lou. I was just reminiscing cuz I miss him.” Then that tweet got deleted.

“Old pic” sounds like a good defense, except for two reasons. One, a picture of Williams at the strip club was also found on the Instagram story of the club’s DJ. Two, the mask Williams is seen wearing in the “old” photo with Harlow matches the kind that were handed out to NBA players in the bubble.

“Obviously those [pictures] got out and that’s something we obviously didn’t enjoy seeing or like,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters.

How long will Lou Williams have to quarantine?
Why does all this matter? Well, beyond the optics and comedy of an NBA player being unable to stop himself from leaving the bubble to hit a strip club before real games have even begun, the NBA’s investigation will also likely determine if Williams can play in the Clippers’ first few scheduled games.

Rivers reported that Williams was back in the bubble as of Saturday.

Normally, players with excused absences only have to go through a four-day quarantine after returning to the bubble assuming they underwent daily tests, which Williams reportedly did. Zion Williamson is currently doing exactly that.

However, that quarantine time can be extended to 10 or even 14 days if the NBA’s outside infectious disease specialists recommend it, according to Shelburne. If the experts determine Williams poses an increased risk, his return to the team could go from July 29, four days from Saturday, to Aug. 4 or Aug. 8.

That would ... not be great considering the Clippers are scheduled to play the Lakers on July 30, then the New Orleans Pelicans on Aug. 1, the Phoenix Suns on Aug. 4 and the Dallas Mavericks on Aug. 6.

Clippers remain short-handed in bubble
Williams’ drama comes at an inconvenient time for the Clippers, as the team was already dealing with several excused absences on its team.

Williams, Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac, who are all either starters or in the Clippers top seven in minutes per game, are either out of the bubble or currently quarantining. Another starter, Marcus Morris, told reporters on Friday he will leave the bubble in September for the birth of his son.

Williams is already in quarantine, as is Zubac (who won’t have to quarantine as long), per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. Harrell posted “See you soon #Orlando” earlier Saturday and could be en route to the bubble. Shamet is also apparently en route, but has been dealing with the coronavirus and might not be game-ready.

That’s a lot of players who might be ready for July 30 against the Lakers, but it seems quite unlikely the 44-20 Clippers will have all of them ready as they push to keep the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The NBA put Lou Williams on 10 day quarantine so he'll miss some games. Really stupid move on his part. That won't help team chemistry either.

Lou was a fan favorite - not so much now.
 

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