TBT 2020: Meet the top 10 players vying for $1 million

Jul 3, 2020

Carmine CarcieriESPN

It has been more than three months since we’ve had organized hoops in the United States, but basketball officially returns this weekend with Fourth of July fireworks. The Basketball Tournament begins its 11-day tournament — which includes nine alumni teams and a four-time champion — starting with the Round of 24 on Saturday on ESPN networks.

After reviewing every team in the field and breaking down the best talents on all the rosters, let’s take a dive into the 10 top players to watch in the 2020 TBT field.

1. Joe Johnson (Overseas Elite)

It’s no secret that “Iso Joe” is the most accomplished and best player in TBT this year. Between his seven All-Star appearances and 20,405 total points in the NBA, Johnson has a resume unlike any other to ever play in this event. The guard is just

TBT 2020 expert picks: Can anyone upset Carmen's Crew, Overseas Elite?

Carmen’s Crew, the 2019 TBT champion, will enjoy a homecourt advantage in Columbus. 

Jul 2, 2020

ESPN staff

This year’s edition of The Basketball Tournament is unique for a multitude of reasons. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event is positioned to offer American fans the first televised team basketball event since the NBA suspended its season in March. But the TBT will also benefit from an abundance of talent, including multiple players from the G-League and overseas circuits, that seeks to impress pro scouts on the national stage. Who will take home the $1 million prize? Our in-house TBT enthusiasts weighed in with their “final four” picks.

Myron Medcalf: Carmen’s Crew, Golden Eagles, Overseas Elite, Boeheim’s Army

The “final four” seems clear to me. Look for defending champion Carmen’s Crew, 2019 runner-up Golden Eagles, four-time champ Overseas Elite and Boeheim’s Army to

Don't forget, next season is going to be tricky for the NBA too

6:45 AM ET

Brian Windhorst

Close ESPN Senior Writer ESPN.com NBA writer since 2010 Covered Cleveland Cavs for seven years Author of two books

Tim Bontemps

Over the past three months, the NBA’s league office has exhausted itself in stitching together a comprehensive plan to conclude the 2019-20 season. In the front offices of the league’s 30 franchises, though, a more complicated problem has clouded the horizon:

What will the 2020-21 season look like?

Even as the NBA establishes its bubble in Orlando, Florida, several dates are rushing toward it. Owners have established Dec. 1 as the target to start next season’s games.

But the date of more immediate concern to teams is Oct. 18 — the proposed start of free agency. By then, all financial matters for this season and projections for next will need to be known.

What is known around league

Hawks hire 1st female G League general manager

3:05 PM ET

The Atlanta Hawks‘ G League affiliate became the first team in the league to hire a woman as general manager with the promotion of Tori Miller to the post on Thursday.

Congratulations, Tori! 👏 https://t.co/kXfulNw06T

— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) July 9, 2020

Miller spent time as a basketball operations intern for the Phoenix Suns before her time in the G League. She was named assistant GM of the Skyhawks in July 2019 and began her G League career as basketball operations manager three seasons ago with the Erie BayHawks.

Former Skyhawks GM Derek Pierce will continue to oversee Atlanta’s scouting department in his role as VP of player personnel for the Hawks, the team said.

Beasley signs on to join Nets as substitute player

12:34 PM ET

After officially signing with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday afternoon, Michael Beasley has made his way to Orlando, Florida, where he began the league-mandated quarantine.

During a conference call with reporters, Nets general manager Sean Marks said that Beasley arrived at the team’s hotel, passed a physical examination and must test negative for the coronavirus for six consecutive days before he is cleared to join the team at practice.

The Nets had three vacant substitute roster spots after Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince tested positive for the coronavirus. Marks said that Tyler Johnson did not travel with the team for personal reasons but will be joining the group in Orlando.

Brooklyn completed the signing of Jamal Crawford later Thursday. Forward Donta Hall has agreed to a deal with the team, pending a physical, sources told ESPN, confirming a New York Times report.

Court filing: Zion's stepfather took $400K benefit

5:32 PM ET

Zion Williamson‘s stepfather solicited and accepted a $400,000 payment from a marketing agent in October 2018 prior to Williamson’s only season with the Duke Blue Devils, according to a court motion and sworn affidavit filed by his former marketing representative’s attorneys in federal court on Thursday.

Gina Ford’s attorneys say the affidavit and other exhibits show that Williamson was ineligible when he played for the Blue Devils in 2018-19 because his stepfather, Lee Anderson, received impermissible benefits from Slavko Duric, a Canadian marketing agent.

“[We] obtained newly discovered evidence impacting the issue of whether Zion Williamson was a ‘student-athlete’ that we believe makes it transparently clear, verifiable and indisputable that he was not a ‘student-athlete’ long before there was any communication or contact between Zion Williamson, and/or any third party acting on his behalf, and our clients,” Ford’s attorney, Alvin Pittman, wrote in a letter to

First teams take court for practice in NBA bubble

8:11 PM ET

Associated Press

Nikola Vucevic had to raise his voice a bit to answer a question. He had just walked off the court after the first Orlando Magic practice of the restart, and some of his teammates remained on the floor while engaged in a loud and enthusiastic shooting contest.

After four months, basketball was truly back.

Full-scale practices inside the NBA bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort started Thursday, with the Magic — the first team to get to the campus earlier this week — becoming the first team formally back on the floor. By the close of business Thursday, all 22 teams participating in the restart were to be checked into their hotels and beginning their isolation from the rest of the world for what will be several weeks at least. And by Saturday, all

Jackson: Used 'wrong words' in DeSean defense

Jul 9, 2020

Stephen Jackson apologized Wednesday night for using what he said were the “wrong words” in defending DeSean Jackson, but the former NBA player told CNN that what he said a day earlier should not be misinterpreted as support for anti-Semitism.

“As I first stated when I got on here, I could’ve changed my words,” Jackson told CNN. “But there’s nothing that said that I support any of that. There’s nothing that I said that I hate anybody.”

Jackson received criticism throughout Wednesday for saying that DeSean Jackson was “speaking the truth” with his social media posts in recent days that included an anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler.

Stephen Jackson took to Instagram on Tuesday night to defend the Eagles’ receiver, saying in part: “You know he don’t hate nobody, but he’s speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying

Sources: Russ, Harden not with Rockets on flight

6:53 PM ET

Star guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook were among a small group of Houston Rockets players and staffers who did not travel on the team flight to Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, sources told ESPN.

Each member of the group is expected to join the team later at Walt Disney World after traveling on his own.

2 Related

Coach Mike D’Antoni was on the team flight, although he has yet to receive official word from the NBA that he has been cleared to coach the remainder of the season, sources said. D’Antoni, 69, said earlier this week that his medical screenings did not reveal any issues that would be considered red flags.

The league office informed the National Basketball Coaches Association that nobody would be placed in the high-risk category — meaning they wouldn’t be allowed to coach in the bubble — due to age alone.