Sport Doc Rivers slams 'zero national leadership' on COVID-19, expects all Clippers to attend bubble league

22:41  01 july  2020
22:41  01 july  2020 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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  NFL chief medical officer says league has no need to play in bubble Don’t expect to see the NFL copy the NBA’s bubble plan in order to play this fall. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports The NFL has no plans to do an NBA-style bubble for its 2020 season. NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said Wednesday that the league sees no need to play in a bubble, stating that extensive testing and contact tracing should be sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among players and staff.On call today, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said: “We do not feel it’s practical or appropriate to construct a bubble.

There remains an abundance of questions around the NBA’s planned bubble league restart in Florida in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Doc Rivers addressed some regarding the status of his Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. He also had critical words for leadership that’s overseen a nationwide coronavirus spike.

Rivers says he expects all Los Angeles Clippers players to attend the Disney World bubble. At the same time, he’s leaning on “hope” that the bubble maintains a healthy environment for its players while urging caution around the pandemic.

‘It’s just hope’

“I’m hoping, quite honestly — and it’s just hope, that when we get to the bubble, it becomes the safest place in America,” Rivers told reporters on a video conference call Wednesday.

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Rivers’ comments arrive a day after Adam Silver made that exact case in support of the league’s restart while Florida experiences an alarming coronavirus outbreak. Silver said during an appearance in a Time 100 talk Tuesday that he expects the bubble to be safer for players and staff inside than they would experience in their daily lives.

“Our model was designed to protect us and our players from cases outside the community,” Silver said. “Maybe at the time we designed it, we didn’t think it would be as necessary as it is now.”

Rivers criticizes federal response to pandemic

Rivers wasn’t as assured as Silver. And he took the opportunity to criticize the federal government’s response to the pandemic. He didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name. But his implication was clear.

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“But we don’t know any of this,” Rivers continued. “And yeah, this pandemic — it seems like obviously — I guess this is the only political statement I’ll make on it.

“It would be great if we had national leadership, which we have zero on this. And so unfortunately, everyone is left to do their own thing from state to state and in some places from city to city. It’s absurd.”

Doc Rivers wearing a suit and tie: Doc Rivers is cautiously © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Doc Rivers is cautiously "hoping" the NBA bubble works and is angry about leadership that's overseen the COVID-19 crisis. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Will Clippers be at full strength for NBA restart?

The pandemic and the social unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s homicide have led to questions about which players will actually show up for the bubble. Rivers expects a full roster of Clippers players to arrive at Disney World.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles Lakers guard led a coalition arguing that the bubble league would interfere with players’ ability to participate in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Irving is injured and wasn’t going to play to begin with. Avery opted out and was replaced on the Lakers roster by J.R. Smith. Meanwhile a handful of other NBA players have opted out, including Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertrans and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza.

Rivers would be ‘surprised’ if Lou Williams sits out

Clippers guard Lou Williams has said that he was “50-50” on joining his team in Orlando, echoing concern that basketball would distract from the Black Lives Matter movement. But Rivers said on Wednesday that he expects Williams and the rest of his teammates to travel to Disney World.

“I would be very surprised if he is not,” Rivers said of Williams being with the team.

That’s good news for the Clippers as they travel to Florida among the teams favored to win a championship. The three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner is a key part of the Clippers rotation.

Rivers calls for police reform

But Rivers didn’t completely rule out a player opting out and said that he would support a decision any player made to do so. Rivers shared his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd while calling for police reform.

Doc Rivers says Clippers expect Lou Williams to play at Disney World despite recent uncertainty

  Doc Rivers says Clippers expect Lou Williams to play at Disney World despite recent uncertainty Williams previously said he was '50-50' on playing this seasonLakers guard Avery Bradley did indeed decide to opt-out at Disney World, depriving the purple and gold of a key defender and shooter. The Clippers faced a similar risk for Lou Williams, who recently said that he was "50-50" on playing in the resumed season. But on a Zoom call with media Wednesday, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers revealed that he expects Williams to play in Orlando after all.

"Clearly, we want reform,” Rivers said. “That's what everyone should want. We want good. ... It's important for us to get this right.

“Just watch it in full,” Rivers continued while talking about the video of Floyd’s death. "If that doesn't change you or affect you then you have no feelings.”

More from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Jeter on MLB restart talks: ‘No trust’ between players, owners

  • NWSL player explains why she didn’t kneel with teammates in protest

No new COVID-19 positives among teams in MLS bubble .
No new COVID-19 positive tests were returned by the 24 teams in Florida for the Major League Soccer is Back Tournament on Monday and Tuesday, the league announced. Tests were given to 1,227 people in the bubble at Walt Disney World, including players on 24 teams, referees and staff members and no one tested positive for the deadly virus that shut down the league season in March after only two weeks. The league pulled Dallas and Nashville from the World Cup-style tournament earlier this month due to a high number of positive tests from players on each club after arriving at Orlando for the event, which is being played without spectators.

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