Happy 4th of July, folks. This July 4th feels especially strange. Times have been better in the United States of America, but here’s to hoping that we see meaningful, positive change in our country soon.
As far as the NBA goes, the main news is that we’re starting to find out who is going to withdraw from the “bubble” in Orlando.
In short, everyone from the Nets is sitting out, basically. They’re going to be without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Wilson Chandler, and Nic Claxton, while Spencer Dinwiddie is undecided after testing positive for COVID-19.
Victor Oladipo has chosen to sit out as well, which makes a lot of sense considering Indiana is not a true contender, and Vic is set to be one of the marquee free agents this offseason.
We sometimes forget that coaches and staff are also part of the equation here, and we’re seeing a few of them opt-out as well. Jeff Bzdelik, the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Pelicans, has chosen to opt-out. This is a big, big blow as Bzdelik is one of the better defensive minds in the league. The Pelicans struggled defensively to begin with, and not having their DC on the sidelines will only make it worse.
Additionally, Lionel Hollins of the Los Angeles Lakers will not be joining the team in Orlando.
I suppose we should also discuss the idea of opening a second “bubble” in Chicago for the Delete Eight teams. I’ll never complain about watching more basketball, but I truly can’t imagine many, or any, significant players would want to put themselves at risk for a few meaningless games. It would make so much more sense to just let each team run their own extra training camp at their home facility. Then, maybe you let a few of the teams who are closer in proximity scrimmage each other, but given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t seem to be in the best interest of most players, staff, coaches, etc., to bring more teams together in another fake bubble.
Nonetheless, basketball appears to be on the horizon, which is exciting.
Have a great weekend, team.