Sports Drama

  • Giants manager Gabe Kapler defends Pablo Sandoval after unflattering picture draws mockery
    by Yahoo Sports on July 6, 2020 at 5:11 am

    The Giants infielder showed up to San Francisco appearing to carry a few extra pounds.

  • NHL, NHLPA agree on protocols to resume season
    by The Associated Press on July 6, 2020 at 3:15 am

    The NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreed Sunday on protocols to resume the season, a major step toward the return of hockey this summer. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press there was an agreement on protocols for training camps and games and the sides are still negotiating an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, which is crucial to the process. A person with knowledge of the situation said the return-to-play protocols would only go into effect if each side votes to approve the full package of the CBA extension and return-to-play agreement.

  • Ross Stripling is ready to claim David Price’s spot in the Dodgers’ rotation
    by LA Times on July 6, 2020 at 2:56 am

    Ross Stripling didn’t make the Dodgers’ starting rotation in the spring, but David Price’s decision to sit out gives the right-hander a second chance.

  • Mitch Trubisky among Sports Illustrated’s biggest what-ifs of the last 10 years
    by NBC Sports Chicago on July 6, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Sports Illustrated asked what all Bears fans have been asking since 2017: What if Chicago drafted Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson instead of Mitch Trubisky?

  • GOAT of GOATs: Who are the Greatests Of All Time?
    by Yahoo Sports on July 6, 2020 at 2:41 am

    Who is the GOAT of GOATs? It’s your time to vote for who are the greatests of all time.

  • PFF’s One-Year Wonder Team: NFL’s best single-season outlier performances since 2006
    by Yahoo Sports on July 6, 2020 at 2:41 am

    PFF’s list of NFL players who flashed one season of good-to-elite play, but were unable to replicate that performance over the remainder of their careers.

  • Results, point standings after Brickyard 400
    by NBC Sports on July 6, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Kevin Harvick led three times for 68 laps and won his third career Brickyard 400 Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, beating Matt Kenseth.

  • 2020 Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup Series results
    by Motorsport on July 6, 2020 at 12:59 am

    Kevin Harvick won the Brickyard 400, the 16th round of the NASCAR Cup Series at the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after longtime leader Denny Hamlin crashed out of the lead with seven laps to go.

  • Masvidal-Usman at UFC 251 gigantic win for White
    by Yahoo Sports on July 6, 2020 at 12:55 am

    While other sports leagues are fluttering or trying to figure out their future, Dana White continues to be relentless and make sure UFC produces consistent fireworks.

  • Griezmann stars against Villarreal as Barca keep title hopes alive
    by AFP on July 6, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Antoine Griezmann answered his critics in style on Sunday by scoring with a sensational chip as Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 4-1 to keep their faint La Liga title hopes alive. After the humiliation of being brought on in the 90th minute against his former club Atletico Madrid, Griezmann was back in the starting line-up at La Ceramica and repaid the faith with a stunning goal, teed up by Lionel Messi. “It was the kind of goal only great players can score,” said Barcelona coach Quique Setien.

  • Bryson DeChambeau broke ShotLink during Rocket Mortgage Classic win
    by Golf Channel on July 6, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Bryson DeChambeau wasn’t the worst player in the field on the weekend in Detroit in proximity to hole, he actually broke ShotLink.

  • Madrid moves closer to Spanish title with 7th straight win
    by The Associated Press on July 5, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    With another decisive penalty kick from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid extended its perfect run after the coronavirus break and moved closer to its first Spanish league title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday to keep a four-point lead over Barcelona, which beat fifth-place Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi.

  • Bryson DeChambeau overturns a three-stroke deficit to secure first win since remarkable transformation
    by The Telegraph on July 5, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    The day after Bryson DeChambeau demanded privacy on the golf course, the American made it impossible to ignore him. No doubt the young American is controversial, but nobody can deny that he has what it takes to fascinate after this bludgeoning victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “This is the start of the brand new Bryson DeChambeau,” Sir Nick Faldo said on the CBS broadcast. And even in 24 hours, this unique character from California managed to transform himself from the ridiculed to the respected. On Saturday in Detroit, DeChambeau unleashed a whine for the pampered ages, complaining that a cameraman had dared to keep filming when he was embarking upon a typical strop in a greenside bunker. “I understand it’s his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability,” DeChambeau later said. “To damage our brand like that, that’s not cool.” On Sunday night, DeChambeau, 26, made sure his “brand” profited from his sixth PGA Tour victory, thanking them all in Oscar-like style. Whatever the reservations, credit must go to DeChambeau for his first win since his remarkable transformation. He has put on 40lbs in the last year to establish himself as the biggest-hitter in the game and 20lbs in the three-month lockdown. DeChambeau has vowed to revolutionise the sport and this was emphatic, eye-straining evidence of a layout being ridiculously overpowered. The arguments will rage about what should happen next and whether the governing bodies will finally act to arrest the demolition of their fields of play. Yet if DeChambeau’s continuing attack on the distance charts results in a turning point for a game desperate to counter this bomb-and-gouge culture then this, too, could be seen as a personal advance through the crossroads. His mission is on track. This was DeChambeau’s eighth top 10 in succession since he change his name by deed poll from the Mad Scientist into the Incredible Bulk and he moves up to world No 7. His round average in the 16 rounds since returning from the hiatus is just over 66. He is now a combined 67-under par in those four starts since the Tour’s restart. At the Detroit Golf Club his driving average was an incredible 350 yards. And it was windy. Three behind Wolff staring the final round, DeChambeau erased that deficit in just three holes and found himself three ahead after his fifth birdie of the day at the 10th. After seeing his lead cut to one following a trip into the rocks at 13 and a charge from Wolff, DeChambeau birdied the last three. This true one-off seems destined always to have his critics – what with his slow play, his petulance and now, after Saturday, his entitlement – but this 65 for a 23-under total cannot be debated for its audaciousness and quality as he saw off countryman Matt Wollf by three shots. “No matter how much you wanna say about me, I love everyone,” Dechambeau said. In third came Kevin Kisner, with two Englishmen in a tie for fourth. Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, made a pleasing return to form with a 66 for 16-under. Alongside Tyrrell Hatton was his usual laconic self. Hatton has enjoyed a remarkable spell. In his last six events, the 28-year-old from Buckinghamshire, has now recorded two wins, a third and two top sixes – as well as a wrist operation in this run. Hatton was the last Tour winner before the lockdown and emerged to finish third on his comeback event a fortnight ago. And then he took another week off, before another impressive performance. “It’s definitely exceeded my expectations,” he said. “With the amount that I practiced leading into for my first tournament in three months at Hilton Head and to have a chance to win was obviously surprising. And then maybe a little bit similar this week where I didn’t really have high expectations. “My swing didn’t feel good in practice and I didn’t feel too comfortable, but I’ve grinded it out. The putter has done a great job for me this week. Yeah, you can’t really complain with a couple of top 10s.”

  • ‘We will be waiting for them’: Mourinho bites back at Arsenal jibe
    by AFP on July 5, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Jose Mourinho hit back at Arsenal’s ridicule of Tottenham’s defeat at Sheffield United on social media, saying “you only enjoy the problems of others when you are also in trouble”. Spurs’ 3-1 loss at Bramall Lane on Thursday came days after Arsenal had beaten Sheffield United 2-1 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals. The Gunners poked fun at their north London rivals on Facebook when they posted highlights of that win with the caption: “It’s not easy beating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.”

  • Messi, Griezmann, Suarez turn on style with stunning goals in Barcelona win
    by NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez combined to score stunning goals a Barcelona win at high-flying Villarreal to keep La Liga title race alive.

  • Bulked up Bryson DeChambeau continues post-hiatus hot streak with win at Rocket Mortgage Classic
    by Yahoo Sports on July 5, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    After bulking up during the PGA Tour’s coronavirus shutdown, Bryson DeChambeau is crushing drives and turning heads.

  • ‘We need to improve,’ admits Guardiola as Man City suffer deja vu defeat
    by AFP on July 5, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    City lost for the ninth time in the league this season as Che Adams’s spectacular first Southampton goal condemned Guardiola’s men to defeat despite enjoying 74 percent possession and 26 shots at goal. “We need to improve because it happened many times this season.”

  • DeChambeau muscles his way to three-shot victory in Detroit
    by Reuters on July 5, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    World number 10 DeChambeau, who arrived at Detroit Golf Club riding an impressive streak of six consecutive top-10 finishes, shot a seven-under-par 65 to reach 23 under on the week, three shots ahead of overnight leader Matthew Wolff (71). DeChambeau, who re-emerged from the break in mid-June packing serious muscle and startling distance off the tee, began the day three shots back of Wolff but wasted little time taking over top spot on the leaderboard. DeChambeau’s lone miscue came at the par-five 14th where he made bogey, which opened the door as Wolff shrugged off a rough front nine and made a late charge.

  • Brewers’ Yelich knows he had fortunate timing on new deal
    by The Associated Press on July 5, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich acknowledges he benefited from fortunate timing in his contract negotiations. The Brewers held a March 6 news conference to announce that the 2018 NL MVP had agreed to a nine-year, $215 million contract. Yelich’s deal was finalized before the loss of revenue from Major League Baseball’s shortened season and labor unrest created at least some uncertainty about the game’s financial future.

  • The Oregon Ducks will roll with their secondary over anyone else
    by NBC Sports Northwest on July 5, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    They also have a name now…

  • Packers CEO Mark Murphy on the pandemic: “Time is no longer on our side”
    by ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    The Packers don’t have a traditional owner. CEO Mark Murphy is the closest they have to one. And with not many owners talking publicly about the challenges confronting the NFL in a pandemic, anything any of them say (even one who isn’t really an owner but close enough) is significant. Here’s what Murphy said about [more]

  • NASCAR Cup live stream at Indianapolis: Start time, TV, lineup, forecast for Sunday
    by NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Here are all the details for Sunday’s Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  • Just like his grandpa, Tyler Strafaci wins North and South Amateur at Pinehurst
    by Golf Channel on July 5, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Tyler Strafaci won the North and South Amateur on Saturday, joining his grandpa as the only grandfather/grandson duo to win the event at Pinehurst.

  • Exclusive Dillian Whyte interview: ‘There will be no step-aside. I’ve waited long enough’
    by The Telegraph on July 5, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Dillian Whyte insists no amount of money could persuade the former Brixton bad boy to “step aside” and allow Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua to contest the richest fight in British boxing history. It will have been one thousand days waiting as the No1 challenger for the World Boxing Council crown when Whyte faces the Russian Alexander Povetkin on August 22, behind closed doors in the grounds of promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing headquarters in the Essex countryside. It is 15 miles from the O2 Arena where Whyte has made his name in the last two years, but more to the point, an interminable distance waiting for his moment on the fully-lit stage of success. It is some resolve Whyte has shown, with an ambition of becoming a heavyweight world champion running deep in his blood. But he has now become the immoveable object and the obstacle standing between the much-hyped, apparently “agreed” pair of fights between Fury and Joshua, sometime, somewhere, in 2021, and a contest that could gross an estimated £150m. Whyte, speaking from his training base in Portugal where he has been ensconced during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, where he has been tested regularly for COVID-19 and voluntary anti-doping tests, insisted: “Nah, there’s to be no step-aside. I’ve waited long enough. I’m not getting any younger, I’m getting older. I just want to be world champion and reign and unify. So the sooner I can get the world title the sooner I can go about that. So, no I’m not looking to step aside at all.” Whyte’s case was strengthened on Sunday when WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed that Fury’s world-title fight with Whyte “could happen” this year if the American Deontay Wilder decides not to go into the trilogy fight with Fury for the WBC belt on December 19, with reports that he is recuperating from bicep surgery. Sulaiman told Sky Sports: “It could happen if they reach an agreement. The third fight [Fury-Wilder] and then the mandatory must take place. The WBC’s position and ruling is as I stated.”

  • Sadio Mane reaches Anfield milestone as lacklustre Liverpool see off Aston Villa
    by PA Media: Sport on July 5, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Mane and Curtis Jones scored for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

  • ‘James wanted to be left out’ – Zidane says Rodriguez didn’t want to be picked for Real Madrid’s win at Athletic Club
    by on July 5, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Los Blancos’ head coach has said the Colombian’s reasons are personal and will not be made public

  • Ravens’ backup QB Trace McSorley hopes to get on the field, somewhere
    by ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Ravens backup quarterback Trace McSorley is a good enough all-around athlete that when he was coming out of Penn State last year, some teams asked him to work out as a defensive back at the Scouting Combine. At the time, McSorley refused. Now, he just wants to get on the field. McSorley will obviously not [more]

  • Jorge Masvidal is likely to face Kamaru Usman, saving UFC 251 main event
    by MMA Weekly on July 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    As the hours tick by, it is looking more and more likely that Jorge Masvidal will step in and face welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on Saturday on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.Masvidal had been expected to be Usman’s next challenger for quite some time, but that fell apart when Masvidal held out for a sweeter deal on his contract. Not coming to terms with him, the UFC shifted to a red-hot Gilbert Burns, who agreed to face Usman in the UFC 251 main event on Fight Island.Burns, however, was ruled out on Friday when his pre-flight COVID-19 test result came back positive, forcing him out of the bout.Masvidal and former challenger Colby Covington quickly confirmed that they were willing to step in and fight Usman.The UFC was more keen on Masvidal challenging Usman since he was already deemed to be the next challenger and Covington’s last fight was a late fifth-round TKO loss to Usman in December.ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Sunday tweeted that Usman and Masvidal were both on their way to Las Vegas, which is where they would fly out of on Monday if they were to get to Abu Dhabi in time to fight at UFC 251. They must first clear COVID-19 screening before being allowed to fly, so it is unlikely that the UFC would announce the bout until they are cleared.One of Masvidal’s managers, Malki Kawa, posted a couple of images on Instagram, seeming to back the idea that Masvidal was in preparation to head to Abu Dhabi. One image was a sort of “Bat Signal” call to Masvidal with Kawa noting the location at Yas Island (where Fight Island is located). The other showed Masvidal getting a COVID-19 antibody test.With UFC 251 just days away, we’re sure to no soon, likely late Sunday or early Monday, whether or not the fight is official, keeping Usman in the main event.* * *TRENDING > Outpouring of support for Khabib Nurmagomedov following his father’s death* * *

  • Serpentine was given far too big a lead in the Derby, but he was probably the best horse in the race
    by The Telegraph on July 5, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Not since Dancing Brave was beaten by Shahrastani in the 1986 Derby have tactics been the subject of so much discussion as they were following the memorable 5½-length victory by the 25-1 shot Serpentine on Saturday. Aidan O’Brien’s colt, his record eighth winner of the race, made all the running and swung into the home straight 15 lengths clear. It is probable that when the race shakes itself out, Serpentine, given a superb ride by Emmet McNamara, will prove to be the best horse. However the perception remains that the jockeys behind McNamara, riding with something of a herd mentality, gave him too great a lead. The sectional times reveal that they were still spooling out ground to the winner until three furlongs out. However, like a boxer on the ropes in the final round after dominating first 11, Serpentine was the slowest horse through the last three furlongs, but held on comfortably. Having slept on it for a night Frankie Dettori felt he might have been second on English King (fifth, three quarters of a length behind the runner-up) had he had a better run through the race, but conceded that the winner was a good horse.

  • NASCAR races on at Indy after Johnson contracts coronavirus
    by The Associated Press on July 5, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    NASCAR’s extravagant weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – where the back-and-forth battle between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin should continue – has been rocked by its first driver testing positive for the coronavirus. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will miss what was supposed to be his final Brickyard 400 as he quarantines following the Friday test result. “Clearly I have this interest in Indy cars, sports cars, and in many other forms of racing so I assume that’s helping me deal with this and not feel like, you know, so I’m having some things taken away from me,” he said Saturday.

  • Chris Bosh says he borrowed, never returned Pat Riley’s 2006 Heat championship ring
    by NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Heat president Pat Riley famously put his championship rings on the table to recruit LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010.

  • What time and channel is the Brickyard 400 today?
    by Motorsport on July 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    The 16th round of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season takes place at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual running of the Brickyard 400.

  • 2020 NBA restart: Celtics’ three-game scrimmage schedule in Orlando revealed
    by NBC Sports Boston on July 5, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    The Boston Celtics will tune up with scrimmages against three Western Conference opponents before resuming their 2020 season in Orlando.

  • Bengals studied a lot of offenses to find what’s comfortable for Joe Burrow
    by ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Word from the Bengals has been uniformly positive about quarterback Joe Burrow’s participation in the offseason program, but that work was done remotely and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan identified one issue the team will have to deal with once they are on the field. Callahan said that the offense has been almost entirely installed, but [more]

  • Colin Kaepernick denounced Fourth of July as a celebration of ‘white supremacy’ in a Twitter message
    by INSIDER on July 5, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    “We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all,” wrote the ex-NFL player whose kneel protests swept the NFL.

  • This day in sports: Wilt Chamberlain traded to the Lakers in 1968
    by LA Times on July 5, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    A look back at some of the greatest moments in sports history from July 5, including the Lakers acquiring Wilt Chamberlain from the 76ers.

  • Dan Snyder’s been out of country, with a small circle at trying time
    by ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 11:29 am

    It stuck out as a little odd Friday, when Washington announced the consideration of a name change, that head coach Ron Rivera was quoted in the statement. Then Saturday, Rivera did an interview about the process, saying he was collaborating with owner Dan Snyder in discussions about the name. It appears that’s because for the [more]

  • Chiefs RB coach sees “big jump” for Damien Williams
    by ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 11:08 am

    The Chiefs drafted running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round this year, which led to comparisons to players like Brian Westbrook and Darren Sproles when discussing how he’ll fit into head coach Andy Reid’s offense. Running backs coach Deland McCullough shares the high hopes for what Edwards-Helaire will do, but he said it isn’t [more]

  • Patriots’ Justin Rohrwasser has Three Percenters tattoo removed
    by ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports on July 5, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser got some notoriety after the draft when it was revealed that he had a tattoo of the logo of the Three Percenters, a far-right militia group. Rohrwasser has had that tattoo removed. Rohrwasser began the removal process immediately after the draft and the tattoo is now gone, reports. When asked [more]

  • Van Dijk: Klopp the reason I chose Liverpool over Man City & Chelsea
    by Omnisport on July 5, 2020 at 8:16 am

    There were many suitors for Virgil van Dijk when he was at Southampton, but the defender chose Liverpool because of their manager.

  • Bears add electrifying running back in latest 2021 NFL mock draft
    by NBC Sports Chicago on July 5, 2020 at 5:44 am

    The Chicago Bears land a field-flipping running back in a new 2021 NFL Mock Draft, which suggest the David Montgomery era will come to a disappointing end in 2020.

  • David Price, Félix Hernández join growing list of MLB players to opt out of 2020 season
    by Yahoo Sports on July 5, 2020 at 4:14 am

    David Price, Félix Hernández are the latest players to opt out of the 2020 MLB season due to coronavirus concerns.

  • Yanks’ Tanaka hit in head; LeMahieu, Cessa test positive
    by The Associated Press on July 5, 2020 at 3:20 am

    With Masahiro Tanaka crumpled motionless on the mound, Aaron Judge repeatedly waved behind home plate and scolded a video journalist for taking images. Tanaka was alert and sent to a hospital after being hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of New York slugger Giancarlo Stanton during live batting practice Saturday, a frightening scene moments into the team’s first official summer camp workout. Tanaka was released from the hospital Saturday night and will enter concussion protocol.

  • Bellagio error may be biggest sportsbook loss for Vegas
    by The Associated Press on July 5, 2020 at 12:31 am

    The nearly quarter-million dollars in winning wagers reportedly placed at MGM Resorts last Sunday might be the largest sportsbook loss in Las Vegas history on bets made after an event has started. Seven longtime Las Vegas bookmakers can’t recall a larger loss, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. According to an ESPN report, Sunday’s bets were allowed to be placed because incorrect start times were posted on some Korean and Chinese baseball games due to a manual entry error.

  • Will Zalatoris wrote his caddie a check for the winner’s share, then went and won
    by Golf Channel on July 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Will Zalatoris has been patiently waiting to become the next stud amateur to win as a pro. On Sunday at TPC Colorado, it was finally his turn.

  • Barkley inspires Chelsea to 3-0 win over Watford in EPL
    by The Associated Press on July 4, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Ross Barkley set up the opening goal before scoring himself late in the game as Chelsea eased past relegation-threatened Watford in a 3-0 win to consolidate fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday. The England midfielder played in Olivier Giroud to score in the 28th minute and put Chelsea ahead at a virtually empty Stamford Bridge. Willian converted a penalty in the 43rd minute after Christian Pulisic was fouled to make it 2-0, before Barkley finished off a flowing team move involving Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta with a rasping finish high into the net in second-half stoppage time.

  • Premier League top four run-in: Who has the best and worst fixtures? Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester or Wolves?
    by The Independent on July 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    With five games remaining, the contest for a place in next season’s Champions League could hardly be closer and hardly more complex.Manchester City’s two-year ban from European competitions means that, as it stands, fifth place will be enough for a seat at the top table of European football. But not even third-place Leicester City can be certain of qualifying yet.

  • Report: Newton in New England for physical, finalize deal
    by Reuters on July 4, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Quarterback Cam Newton is in New England to complete his physical and finalize his one-year, $1.75 million contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday. Newton’s deal with the Patriots reportedly is worth up to $7.5 million, provided he hits all of his incentives. Newton, 31, will battle Jarrett Stidham for the starting role with the Patriots, who saw Tom Brady join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency after 20 seasons in New England.

  • The NBA’s Reopening Is a Warning Sign for the U.S. Economy
    by Bloomberg on July 4, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    (Bloomberg Opinion) — As a fan of professional basketball and a student of economic game theory, I am becoming increasingly concerned. I fear that the NBA, in particular, may be reflecting a still-hidden trend in the broader economy: People may not actually be so keen to return to work.The NBA is planning to resume a fragment of its regular season, and then the playoffs, in a custom-tailored “bubble” in Orlando, Florida, on July 30. The games will be played only among the top teams in a single complex, with regular testing and tight regulations governing the entry of outsiders. The league is going to the maximum lengths possible to ensure a safe reopening.There’s only one problem: An increasing number of players do not seem very interested in being guinea pigs in this experiment. At first the secessions were a trickle. Now they are picking up steam.Davis Bertrans, arguably the second-best active player on my home team the Washington Wizards, will not play because he doesn’t want to risk injury and endanger his prospects as a free agent next season. That’s an entirely reasonable excuse, and more and more players are finding them.The Brooklyn Nets may be going into the bubble without the services of DeAndre Jordan and possibly Spencer Dinwiddie, one of their most important players. Both tested positive for Covid-19, and again that seems like a reasonable excuse for not playing. But of course — assuming they stay fine — they should be safe to play by the start of the resumed season. Or at least as safe as any player can be known to be. The net result may be that the Nets are simply a shell of a team.Portland Trail Blazer veteran Trevor Ariza is not showing up so he can spend time with his son, as part of a custody arrangement. On the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the favorites to win the championship, starting point guard Avery Bradley will not appear for fear of endangering the health of his son, who has respiratory issues.These players will still be paid, but they are lowering their future market value by expressing less than a full commitment to the team. And it is hard to imagine that many other workplace environments can be made much safer than the planned NBA bubble.One has to wonder how many other players are planning to drop out, or perhaps hoping that the decision will be made for them: Maybe they will get an injury during training camp, say, or worsening conditions in Florida will require cancellation of the season, or it will become more socially acceptable not to play. In the meantime, the dominant strategy may simply be to wait and root against the resumption of play.It is also striking who is not complaining — namely, the marginal teams not invited to join the competition in the first place. They’ve simply written the season off.The ones who want to play most are the superstars, especially on those teams that might win a title. That is typically a small number of squads, usually less than half a dozen (the Lakers, Clippers and Bucks would be three obvious picks this time around). LeBron James in particular wants to win another championship and challenge Michael Jordan as the NBA’s G.O.A.T. A big star who wins a title can probably get more lucrative shoe and endorsement contracts.You can notice a similar skew toward the winners in other American sports. Minor league baseball recently was cancelled for the year, but the major leagues, which have a much higher profile and a lucrative television contract, are planning to resume in a few weeks.Now compare the evolution of the NBA bubble with the reopening of U.S. offices and schools. For virtually all American workers, the stakes are much lower than for NBA players. And compared to Orlando, the safety and security precautions will be far less rigorous.If so many NBA players are pondering non-participation, how keen do you think those workers — none of whom are millionaire professional athletes — are about returning to the office?The biggest difference with the NBA is simply that the players have to make a simple yes-or-no decision fairly soon. In effect, their hands are being forced, and so the revolt is slowly becoming more visible.In the normal business world, the superstars — in this case, the CEOs and other leaders — are indeed eager to resume and expand operations. But as with the NBA, the grumblings beneath the surface are real and growing.How well will business reopenings go? If you wish to track the American economy, professional sports has never been a better place to look.(Corrects fifth paragraph to note that the Nets are in Brooklyn.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include “Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero.”For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 15 NFL players entering ‘prove-it’ years in 2020
    by Yahoo Sports on July 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Two stars for the Cleveland Browns are under the spotlight, and so are Cam Newton, Jadeveon Clowney and other big names.

  • Report: Top quarterback recruit Caleb Williams gave Maryland last word before college decision
    by NBC Sports Washington on July 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Caleb Williams plans to announce his college decision Saturday after whittling down his list of options to Maryland, Oklahoma and LSU.

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