NBA Update: Zion Leaves Bubble
NBA teams have now spent a week in Orlando, acclimating to life inside the bubble and getting prepared for the season restart in two weeks time.
Here is an update from inside the NBA bubble.
Zion Williamson leaves bubble
The New Orleans Pelicans announced Thursday morning that their rookie phenom was forced to depart from Orlando to handle an urgent family matter.
It is unclear when Williamson will return to Orlando for the restart of the season, but time is of the essence for a Pelicans team that is fighting for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Upon his return to the bubble, Williamson will have to quarantine for at least 4 days.
James Harden finally arrives
After not traveling with the Houston Rockets to Orlando, fans were left to wonder if and when superstar James Harden would join his team.
Tuesday night, fans got their answer.
Harden is expected to join the Rockets for practice this afternoon.
Houston now has one half of their MVP duo in Orlando.
The franchise is still awaiting the arrival of point guard Russell Westbrook, who registered a positive COVID-19 test earlier this week.
Victor Oladipo is having a change of heart
After initially announcing that he would not play in Orlando in order to continue recovering from a torn patella tendon injury, Indiana Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo might have changed his stance.
After a few successful scrimmages with the team, it appears Oladipo is leaning towards suiting up.
Michael Beasley leaves the Brooklyn Nets
There isn't a team in Orlando that is missing more key pieces than the Brooklyn Nets.
Kyrie Irving, Deandre Jordan, Wilson Chandler, Nicolas Claxton, and Spencer Dinwiddie did not travel with the team due to injury, illness, or opting to sit out the remainder of the season, which left the Nets behind the 8-ball.
With a roster low on bodies, the Nets signed veteran free agent forward Michael Beasley for the remainder of the season, but after a positive COVID-19 test registered this week, he was forced to return home.
And now, the Nets have officially announced Beasley will not return for the remainder of the season.
The Nets currently sit in 7th in the Eastern Conference standings.
Miami Heat announce their social justice messages
The NBA recently announced before the restart that players would be allowed to wear select statements on the back of their jerseys in place of their last names as a way to bring attention to racial injustice in America, and the Miami Heat are going all in as a team, with each player on the roster sporting a specific message.
Miami All-Star guard Jimmy Butler has elected to leave the back of his jersey blank.
"I love and respect all of the messages that the league did choose. But for me, I felt like with no message, with no name, it's going back to who I was. If I wasn't who I am today, I'm no different than anybody else of color and I want that to be my message."
Sacramento's Fox injures ankle, Holmes leaves bubble
The Kings are fighting for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference, but the team has already hit a few snags since arriving in Orlando.
First, forward Richaun Holmes left the campus earlier this week to pick up food and is now being forced to quarantine for 10 days.
Soon after, it was announced that veteran forward Harrison Barnes tested positive for COVID-19, making him the the fourth Sacramento Kings player to test positive.
And the bad news didn't stop there for the Kings, when during Wednesday's practice, franchise cornerstone De'Aaron Fox sprained his left ankle.
This is a developing story.