Wizards' Beal: Trade rumors 'a sign of respect'

9:50 AM ET

Even in the middle of a pandemic, when nobody is playing, Bradley Beal‘s name still emerged in trade rumors.

The New York Daily News last week reported that the Brooklyn Nets have had “internal discussions” about pursuing the 26-year-old Wizards guard, who signed a two-year, $72 million extension in October.

“It’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk,” Beal told ESPN. “It’s interesting. To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I’ve been doing good things and guys want to play with me.

“That’s an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie [Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant] want you, s—, that’s amazing. At the same time, you don’t know how much there is to it, or how easy it would be to do. And I’ve put down roots in D.C. I’ve dedicated myself to this town, this community. I

Basketball Hall pushing enshrinement to 2021

May 27, 2020

Count the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as the latest institution to have its best-laid plans felled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall, told ESPN on Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 — one of the most star-studded lineups ever, including Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant — will be moved to spring 2021.

Colangelo said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates, Oct. 10-12, are “just not feasible” in light of the pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10, he said, to explore spring dates.

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“We’re definitely canceling,” Colangelo said. “It’s going to have to be the first

President Chris Paul — the point guard at a time of crisis

6:50 AM ET

MICHELE ROBERTS HAD just stepped out of an Uber when her phone started buzzing.

It was a little after 8 p.m. on March 11, and the National Basketball Players Association executive director had left her New York office after meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver to discuss the next steps amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

She figured she had already missed tipoff of the Utah JazzOklahoma City Thunder game. So when she saw the name lighting up both of her phones, she knew something was wrong.

It was Chris Paul.

“Michele, what’s going on?” Paul said.

“You tell me,” she replied.

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The Thunder point guard, with confusion engulfing Chesapeake Energy Arena following Rudy Gobert‘s positive test just before the Thunder and Jazz were about to play, saw his basketball worlds colliding. As players’ union president, Paul was suddenly straddling roles.

With his team rattled,

LeBron, Kap join outrage over Minn. man's death

May 27, 2020

ESPN News Services

LeBron James and other high-profile athletes have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the death of a black Minnesota man who was pinned down by police.

George Floyd, 46, died Monday night while in Minneapolis police custody. A bystander’s video showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.

James weighed in Tuesday night on Instagram with a post referencing Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who famously kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

James’ post includes a photo of the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck alongside a photo of Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem, topped with the caption: “This … … Is Why.” The Los Angeles Lakers star wrote in the post: “Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it

Blazers' Lillard: Play-in tourney 'would be perfect'

May 27, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard believes a play-in tournament for teams on the outside of the playoff picture “would be perfect” as the NBA considers options for how it could restart its season.

The Blazers were 3½ games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference when the NBA season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 11.

“I feel like a play-in tournament would be perfect, just because we actually were in striking distance and also had enough games to get in the playoffs,” Lillard said Wednesday on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby. “But to that point, if they did decide that we’re just gonna go straight to the playoffs, obviously, we would all be disappointed.

“… We haven’t performed to be in that top eight. So if that’s the case, then fine. But if we’re gonna

Sources: NBA eyes plan for players' families

May 27, 2020

Ramona Shelburne

Close ESPN Senior Writer Senior writer for ESPN.com Spent seven years at the Los Angeles Daily News

Adrian Wojnarowski

Close Senior NBA Insider Host of The Woj Pod Joined ESPN in 2017

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are progressing on a plan that would allow for a limited number of family members to join the players for the season’s resumption inside an Orlando, Florida, bubble environment, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Conversations have centered on the timing of family arrivals at Walt Disney World Resort, which are likely to start once an initial wave of teams are eliminated and the number of people within the league’s bubble decreases, sources said.

Family members would be subjected to the same safety and coronavirus testing protocols as everyone else living in the NBA’s biosphere, sources said.

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NBA sued for $1.25M in missed rent on NY store

May 27, 2020

NBA Media Ventures is being sued by a landlord who alleges the league has failed to pay $1.25 million in rent on its store on New York’s Fifth Avenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York by a plaintiff identified as 535-545 Fee LLC, which has leased the retail space to NBA Media Ventures LLC for its NBA Store since November 2014.

The rent at the store is $7.5 million per year, or $625,000 per month, the suit says, and NBA Media Ventures did not pay rent for April and May, when the store was closed.

“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass said in a statement Wednesday. “Under those circumstances, we

Knicks hire 3 execs to work in Rose's front office

May 27, 2020

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Knicks hired three executives Wednesday as they build the front office around new team president Leon Rose.

Brock Aller was hired as vice president of basketball and strategic planning, Walt Perrin is the assistant general manager for college scouting and Frank Zanin the assistant general manager for pro scouting.

Aller spent seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the last three as senior director of basketball operations. Perrin had been with the Utah Jazz for 19 seasons, including the final 12 as vice president of player personnel.

Zanin is a former assistant general manager for the Brooklyn Nets and had most recently worked as Oklahoma City‘s pro scout for three years.

The Knicks also announced a one-year extension for general manager Scott Perry through the 2020-21 season. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Rose, a longtime player

Inside the excitement and uncertainty as NBA players return to facilities

5:48 AM ET

DAMIAN LILLARD HAS never entered the Portland Trail Blazers‘ training center through the media entrance, but there’s nothing natural about May 8, the first time he walks into the facility since the NBA shuttered it March 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wearing a mask, Lillard steps into a makeshift check-in area, where a member of the health and performance staff aims a no-touch, infrared thermometer to check his temperature. Next, Lillard empties his pockets — phone, car keys, wallet — and places them into a ziplock bag. He then washes his hands in the media bathroom, after which he is presented with a pair of rubber gloves. The whole process feels more like getting prepped for surgery than for a 90-minute training session.

Lillard would normally head to the locker room, but the players’ inner sanctum is off-limits for the foreseeable future. In this new,

Where NBA teams disagree on restart plans

May 26, 2020

The final, fleeting fight for 30 teams to resume the NBA’s season is raging through these last days of indecision. Hours of commissioner Adam Silver’s time are being spent engaging owners and high-level executives who are making the case for how the league should march into the summer’s playoffs, including those desiring the entire league to descend upon Orlando, Florida.

Some want a wide-open playoffs, a knockout round to give those teams who are among the worst a way to punch up into the play-in for the eighth seed. Some want every market — New York and Chicago included — invited into the fans’ consciousness. And some are fearful of delivering the competitive disadvantage of a nine-month hiatus prior to the 2020-21 season to young, rebuilding franchises.

From all angles and agendas, there are appeals underway to Silver. The idea of 30 teams returning for