Clippers facility shuttered, but players exhibiting enthusiasm online

first_imgJudging by the large piles of footwear pictured on his Instagram feed, Clippers sneakerhead/center Montrezl Harrell is just about ready to go.He and his Clippers teammates will join the 21 other NBA teams bound for the Orlando bubble this week, where the league will finish its 2019-20 season that was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in March.The Clippers return as one of the teams favored to win the title at the conclusion of what’s anticipated to be a three-month completion. Official competition will commence July 30 with seven seeding games leading into the playoffs — all of it to be held in a closed environment at Walt Disney World Resort, without fans, and at a cost of more than $150 million to the league, according to ESPN.But just as the NBA ramped up preparation last week with the start of required individual workouts on Wednesday, the Clippers shut down their practice facility in Playa Vista on Thursday, a precautionary move following the news that a member of their traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus. Five other NBA teams reportedly also shuttered their practice floors following positive tests in the past week. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The NBA has stated that it will have stringent health and safety protocols in place for when teams land on campus at Walt Disney World Resort.The Clippers haven’t commented since closing their building, but before anyone in the Clippers’ camp had been reported to test positive for the coronavirus, coach Doc Rivers talked about how eager he and his squad were to get back to it.“I’m excited about getting going,” Rivers said last week on a Zoom chat with media. “I think anybody would be excited about going back to work. We’ve been out of work — not just athletes, but most of this country — for three-plus months, so I think anybody would want to go back to work.“I think obviously, in our profession, we’re working for something hopefully that results in something big for us, so that’s the selfish part.”Accomplishing that “something big” will be a test of teams’ adaptability, off the court and on it.center_img “It will be different, the no fans, and the fact that you can hear everything,” Rivers said. “I don’t think we need scouts right now because every time a coach makes a call, we’re going to hear it. We make one, they’re going to hear it. Even when a coach makes a signal, the players will yell it out.“I don’t think there will be a lot of secrets, that’s for sure. Players will hear things they’ve never heard before. Officials, unfortunately, will hear things they’ve never heard before.“Obviously we’d rather have fans there,” Rivers added. “(But) you put two men in a boxing ring, or five or 10 guys on the court, the game is going to turn into a competition. It always does, and it always will.”Patrick Beverley might know something about that.While on the attack playing the video game “Call of Duty” online recently with NBA Draft prospect Tre Jones on the “Work From Home” series on YouTube, the Clippers’ feisty guard assured host DragonFly Jonez and anyone else watching that he’s fired up to play in Florida — even without fans.“It’s gonna expose teams even more,” said Beverley, who fortified himself during the video game session with a carrot and a banana. “I’m treating everybody the same. Every team I play, I’m playing them like we playing Golden State when they had Kevin Durant. Every point guard I play, I’m playing Steph Curry. Every shooting guard I’m playing, I’m playing James Harden. Every 3-man I’m playing, I’m playing LeBron (James) and KD, and down the road…”last_img

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