#SportsReport: NBA Announces Partial Schedule; UMass Pauses Men's Basketball Activities
The 2020-21 NBA schedule will feature a play-in tournament and an NBA Finals that could run all the way until July 22 — keeping some players from competing in the Olympics.The league's 75th season, delayed and shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic, will begin Dec. 22 and look like none other. The NBA announced Tuesday how it will make up the 72-game schedule, which won't be entirely known until well after it's started. The first half of the schedule will be announced around the start of training camp in early December. The second half will be announced near the end of the first half.
In other NBA news:
The Canadian government is reviewing a proposal from the NBA and the Raptors to play in Toronto amid the pandemic. A spokesman for Health Minister Patty Hajdu says they have been in contact with the Raptors and will continue to engage with them "in the coming weeks." Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told Sportsnet television the team needs to know "in the coming days. This is not a next week type thing."
A person with knowledge of the situation says point guard Jrue Holiday is being traded from New Orleans to Milwaukee. The person told The Associated Press that the Pelicans are getting Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and a package of future first-round draft picks from the Bucks.
Center Andre Drummond has told the Cavaliers he will exercise his $28.7 million contract option and stay with them this season. Drummond was acquired by Cleveland in a surprising trade from Detroit in February. A two-time All-Star with Detroit, the 27-year-old Drummond has consistently said he enjoys playing with the young Cavs.
Another Northeast college athletics program is on pause. UMass says it's men's basketball team has halted activities after a positive test result. The school didn’t specify whether a coach, player or manager or support staff tested positive. The school says UMass is now out of the Mohegan Sun bubble event scheduled to start next week.
In other basketball news, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has resigned following an investigation into allegations of verbal and physical abuse. Marshall, who has long been known for his combustible sideline persona, came under scrutiny when former player Shaq Morris claimed he'd been struck twice by his coach during an October 2015 practice. Morris also claimed that he'd seen Marshall choke assistant coach Kyle Lindsted, who had soon left to become an assistant at Minnesota.
The New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders put players on the COVID-19 list on the same day Washington had its first instance of someone in the organization testing positive for the coronavirus since the season began. The NFL said there were 17 new confirmed positives among players and 35 among other personnel during testing last week. Giants kicker Graham Gano, Falcons wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Washington injured defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, and Las Vegas defenders Clelin Ferrell and Lamarcus Joyner all went on the list.
Also, the Green Bay Packers have activated wide receiver Allen Lazard from injured reserve after he missed six games. Lazard had the best game of his pro career Sept. 27 when he caught six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in a 37-30 victory at New Orleans. But he suffered a core injury in that game and hasn't played since. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Iowa State has 13 catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns in just three games this season. The Packers play at Indianapolis on Sunday.
The Atlantic Coast Conference says this weekend's game between Duke and Wake Forest won't be played due to coronavirus issues and injuries within the Demon Deacons' football program. The league made the announcement Tuesday night ahead of Saturday's matchup at Duke. The ACC's statement made no mention of rescheduling. In a separate release, Wake Forest said it would work with Duke and the ACC on the possibility of rescheduling the game. Wake Forest said the decision was due to positive cases, quarantines of close contacts and injuries. The team won't practice or hold team activities Wednesday or Thursday.
The Florida Panthers have hired Brett Peterson as an assistant general manager. The team says Peterson is believed to be the first Black assistant GM in the NHL. Peterson's hiring comes days after the nearby Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as the first female GM in Major League Baseball. The NHL has been working to increase minority participation in front offices and on coaching staffs. Peterson has a background as a player agent just like GM Bill Zito and fellow assistant Paul Krepelka. The 39-year-old was previously vice president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group and has been an NHLPA certified agent since 2009.
Theo Epstein is stepping down after nine seasons as the Chicago Cubs' president of baseball operations. The team announced Epstein is leaving the organization, and general manager Jed Hoyer is being promoted to take his place. Epstein transformed the long-suffering Cubs and helped bring home a drought-busting championship in 2016. He said after the season he anticipated remaining on the job for at least one more year, with his contract set to expire in 2021. Epstein said in a statement Tuesday he will "cherish" his time with the Cubs and said it was simply time to make a change.
Bill Haas has tested positive for the coronavirus and has withdrawn from the RSM Classic this week at Sea Island. Haas had received a sponsor exemption. Haas is the 16th player to test positive since the PGA Tour returned from the COVID-19 pandemic in June. The RSM Classic is the 24th consecutive week of tour events, including the three majors.
Dominic Thiem mastered the tiebreakers again to get the better of Rafael Nadal at the ATP Finals. Thiem beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion in straight sets and secured his spot in the semifinals when Stefanos Tsitsipas outlasted tournament newcomer Andrey Rublev in the evening match. Thiem clinched the victory on his fifth match point in his first meeting with Nadal since the Australian Open quarterfinals in January. On that occasion, the Austrian player prevailed after winning three tiebreakers in a tight four-set match. Tsitsipas won in three sets, handing Rublev his second defeat.
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