Durant among 4 Nets to test positive for new coronavirus
NEW YORK (AP) — Four Brooklyn Nets players, including Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total to seven known players in the NBA.
The Nets did not name the players Tuesday, but Durant told The Athletic he was one of them, saying: “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this.”
The Nets announced that one player is exhibiting symptoms, while the other three are asymptomatic. All four players have been isolated and are under the care of team physicians.
“The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organization and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible,” the Nets said in a statement.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
The Nets said that all players and members of their travel party are being asked to remain isolated and closely monitor their health, but the team’s ability to get testing that has been unavailable to so many others drew criticism from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”
Chargers will be in market for O-linemen in free agency
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Philip Rivers, DT Brandon Mebane, LB Thomas Davis Sr., RB Melvin Gordon, WR Travis Benjamin, OG Michael Schofield, DT Damion Square, FS Adrian Phillips, LB Nick Dzubnar, TE Lance Kendricks, WT Geremy Davis, CB Jaylen Watkins, OG Ryan Groy, DT Sylvester Williams, LB Jatavis Brown, FB Derek Watt,
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Isaac Rochell, RB Troymaine Pope, OG Spencer Drango, TE Sean Culkin.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: CB Michael Davis, OG Trent Scott, WR Dylan Cantrell.
NEEDS: Offensive tackle and quarterback are at front of list. Chargers will trade LT Russell Okung to Carolina for RG Trai Turner when new league year begins. Los Angeles doesn’t have depth to begin with at tackle, so look to add experience to unit that has struggled in past couple seasons. Chargers could be in Tom Brady sweepstakes, but they could also be content to let Tyrod Taylor be bridge quarterback and take someone with sixth overall pick. LA has already been proactive with signing RB Austin Ekeler to extension and tagging TE Hunter Henry.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $40 million.
Rams face several needs on defense heading into free agency
LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Dante Fowler, LT Andrew Whitworth, DT Michael Brockers, LB Cory Littleton, OG Austin Blythe, K Greg Zuerlein, QB Blake Bortles, LB Bryce Hager, WR JoJo Natson, S Marqui Christian, WR Mike Thomas.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Morgan Fox, S Donte Deayon, TE Johnny Mundt, C Coleman Shelton, LB Josh Carraway.
NEEDS: Rams will need backup plans for probable losses of at least two among Fowler, Brockers or Littleton, three key components of last season’s defense. They have little cap room and no first-round pick, and might want to save some space for CB Jalen Ramsey’s expected massive deal.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $15 million.
PGA Championship the 2nd major postponed by coronavirus
First the Masters, now the PGA Championship.
Two days after a federal recommendation to not hold events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks, the PGA of America decided to postpone the second major of the year, which was set for May 14-17 at Harding Park in San Francisco.
The PGA Championship will be rescheduled. Augusta National announced Friday that the Masters, scheduled for April 9-12, also would be played at a later day.
“We’re all working hard to get a date that makes sense for the championship and hopefully for Harding Park,” Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, said in a telephone interview. “Our intent is to hold the championship as close to normal, whatever that is anymore.”
The new normal is no golf for the next two months because of fears over the new coronavirus.
Shortly after the PGA Championship announcement, the PGA Tour said it was canceling an additional four tournaments on its schedule — the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.
The tour also said it was canceling three PGA Tour Champions and postponing one — the Regions Tradition, the first of five majors on the 50-and-old circuit, moves from May 7-10 to Sept. 24-27. The tour said none of its six tours, including China, Latin American and Canada, will be holding events through at least May 10.
The LPGA Tour, which previously canceled three events in Arizona and California, is not scheduled to play again until April 15 in Hawaii, followed by two more events in California.
The PGA Tour’s statement said that as the tour gets more clarity on the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks, it would work with tournaments, sponsors and golf organizations “to build a PGA Tour schedule for 2020 that ensures the healthy and safety for all associated with our sport, and a meaningful conclusion to the season.”
Virus forces French Open delay; US Open switch ‘possibility’
The French Open was postponed for about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting from May to September and juggling the tennis calendar.
The French tennis federation said Tuesday it will hold its 15-day clay-court event at Roland Garros in Paris from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, instead of May 24 to June 7, “to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organizing the tournament.”
In the statement announcing the move, federation President Bernard Giudicelli described it as “a difficult yet brave decision in this unprecedented situation.” Later, in a conference call with reporters, Giudicelli acknowledged the other Grand Slam tournaments and the men’s and women’s professional tours were informed of the change — but not consulted.
“It’s unthinkable for us to remove Roland Garros from the calendar. The only thing we had in mind is the interests of the tournament, of the players,” Giudicelli said. “We looked at the fortnight that was least damaging for the other (tournaments).”
The French Open’s new dates place it right after the hard-court U.S. Open, which currently is scheduled to be held in New York from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. Having just one week between two major championships, played on different surfaces, would be unusually short.
The U.S. Tennis Association said later Tuesday it is considering “the possibility” of postponing the U.S. Open because of the outbreak.