Kings

Nets' DeAndre Jordan contracts coronavirus, opts out of NBA restart

Nets' DeAndre Jordan contracts coronavirus, opts out of NBA restart

The coronavirus is taking its toll on one of the 22 NBA teams headed to Orlando, Fla. in July for the 2019-20 season restart.

Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan announced on Twitter on Monday that he tested positive for the coronavirus and has opted not to play the remainder of the season.

Jordan's revelation comes a few hours after teammate Spencer Dinwiddie told The Athletic that he too had tested positive for the coronavirus.

But unlike Jordan, Dinwiddie hasn't made a decision on his playing status for the games in Orlando.

“Over the past few months, I have been diligent about protecting myself and others from COVID-19 by following all designated protocol and quarantining,” Dinwiddie said Monday in a statement to The Athletic. “I was ready and prepared to rejoin my teammates as we were to be an early entry team in the resumed season. I flew private to return to New York, passed multiple COVID-19 tests over my first several days in New York and was able to participate in a couple practices within the first week.

“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive. Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando."

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Additionally, Nets forward Wilson Chandler told ESPN on Sunday that he informed the team he has decided to stay home and spend time with family, rather than play in Orlando.

Brooklyn currently holds a half-game lead over the Orlando Magic for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Magic should be able to leapfrog the Nets, and the No. 9 seeded Washington Wizards might be able to get close enough to Brooklyn in the standings to force a play-in game for the final seed in the East.

But the news that Jordan and Chandler won't play, and that Dinwiddie might not play also benefits the Kings.

The Kings' fifth game in Orlando is against the Nets. With no Jordan, Chandler, Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant, and possibly no Dinwiddie, the Kings should be able to win that game easily.

[RELATED: NBA schedule did Kings no favors]

Locked in a tight race with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns, the Kings need to win as many of the eight games as possible. Going 5-3 would give Sacramento a good shot of forcing a play-in game(s) for the No. 8 seed in the West.

Considering all the uncertainties surrounding the games in Orlando, it might not be wise to assume the Kings beat the Nets on Aug. 7, but if they do, then they need to go 4-3 against the rest of their opponents. That's a daunting task considering their opponents, but it's not out of the question.

Can Marvin Bagley, Damian Lillard reignite rap battle in NBA bubble?

Can Marvin Bagley, Damian Lillard reignite rap battle in NBA bubble?

The Portland Trail Blazers and Kings are both staying at the Yacht Club Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort during the NBA’s Orlando restart. Is there any chance that Damian Lillard and Marvin Bagley can get adjacent rooms for some collaborative tracks?

Lillard already announced that he is bringing a recording studio to Orlando, planning to set up in his hotel room. 

Bagley confirmed Thursday that he also plans on bringing his gear to the bubble to help pass the time.

“That’s a must, especially being down there for that long, it would be kind of hard for me not to be able to write and record, especially being in the bubble,” Bagley said on a video conference call with reporters Thursday. “I’m definitely going to bring my recording stuff and just record whenever I can, whenever I have down in my room, some relax time.”

There is going to be plenty of downtime for the players as they set up camp in Orlando. If the playoffs weren't incentive enough, both Lillard and Bagley will be fighting for more studio time away from the distractions of regular life.

[RELATED: Kings' Bagley, brothers competed every day during NBA pause]

In case anyone forgot, Bagley challenged Lillard, a.k.a. Dame D.O.L.L.A., to a rap battle last summer. Lillard fired off a Bagley diss track, which went over well with his teammates. Before Bagley even had a chance to jump in, Lillard had already dropped a second track that was equally brutal.

Bagley responded, hitting back hard on the five-time All-Star, but it was too late. Even Mistah F.A.B. chimed in, declaring Lillard the clear winner.

Eventually, a truce was called between the two.

With time on their hands and all eyes focused on the NBA, maybe Bagley and Lillard could work together under social-distancing protocols and cut a track together from the bubble. The Blazers and Kings wouldn't play until a potential play-in series, so it might be their only chance to trade bars once again.

Kings' Marvin Bagley, family stayed focused on hoops during NBA hiatus

Kings' Marvin Bagley, family stayed focused on hoops during NBA hiatus

Marvin Bagley looked fit and ready to play when he showed up for Thursday’s Zoom media session in Sacramento. Unlike some of his teammates, Bagley already was set up with a court and a gym at home to work with.

He also had a built-in workout partner in his younger brother.

The 21-year-old power forward lives with his parents and two younger brothers. Marcus, the middle of the three Bagley brothers, is heading to Arizona State in the fall to play for coach Bobby Hurley and is considered a top-flight recruit.

At 6-foot-8, Marcus provided a sparring partner for Marvin as the pair continued to put in work both on the court and in the gym under the supervision of Marvin Sr.

“It’s great having a brother that can compete with me and go at each other every day,” Marvin told media members. “During the quarantine, we weren’t leaving the house, but we had pretty much everything we needed at the house to continue to work and get better. Every day was just pushing each other to get better.”

Like most brothers, it wasn’t all love. Competition brings out the best in people, but it also brings out some fire, especially when siblings are involved.

“There was a lot of trash talking, a lot of pushing, a lot of talking back and forth, a lot of good plays, a lot of bad plays,” Marvin said. “Just getting each other ready -- getting him ready for going to college, getting me ready to come back to the team ready to compete and finish strong."

Little brother Martray got in on the action as well, and mom supported from the sidelines during the NBA shutdown.

According to Bagley, the family worked out together, lifting every other day. He’s up approximately 10 pounds over his previous playing weight in anticipation of playing more center down the road.

[RELATED: Bagley ready to play if Kings can fit him in rotation]

More than one Kings player had to order a portable hoop online when the league was shut down. Some players went months without access to a basket. That wasn’t the case for the Bagleys, who look like they put in good work during the four months away.

A family that hoops together, stays together? Or is it the other way around?