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(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers are gearing up for the NBA's return to play bubble in Orlando, and it will reportedly be a costly venture for the league.  According to ESPN, the three-month stay by the league at the Walt Disney World Resort will cost more than 150-million dollars.  The league is putting up 22 teams along with support staff across three resorts inside the bubble.  Meals, security, medical and coronavirus testing is also being provided for more than 15-hundred people.



(Undated)  --  Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is questioning whether NBA players will strictly follow the league's bubble rules for the season restart in Orlando.  He says the bubble environment reduces their risk, but he's not confident everyone on all 22 teams will comply.  Players start arriving in Florida Tuesday.



(Los Angeles, CA)  -  Clippers head coach Doc Rivers expects guard Lou Williams to be available to play in Orlando.  Williams previously stated he was 50-50 about returning and did not want to take away from the Black Lives Matter movement.  Rivers told reporters he expects Williams to be with the team when they travel to Orlando on July 8th.



(Los Angeles, CA)  -  The Lakers are hopeful center Dwight Howard joins the team in Orlando.  Head coach Frank Vogel told reporters yesterday that he's unsure how much Howard will play when the season resumes.  The team is scheduled to begin workouts in Florida next week.  Guard Avery Bradley has already opted out and the Lakers signed J.R. Smith to replace him.



(Undated)  -   The NHL season will not restart in the United States.  According to TSN, the two hub cities will be Edmonton and Toronto.  Players are expected to vote on the decision later this week.



(Undated)  --  Most of Major League Baseball's teams will be holding their first official workout tomorrow.  Players from around the league reported to their respective clubs this week to get tested for the coronavirus as MLB's preseason summer camps get underway.  The regular season will start July 23rd or 24th.



(Undated)  -  The NFL preseason will be just two weeks long this year.  Multiple reports state the league won't hold its first exhibition games until August 20th.  Most players will report to training camp on July 28th.



(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard is set to grace the cover of 'NBA 2K21'.  The star guard will appear on the current generation systems for 2K, meaning Xbox One and Playstation 4.  Los Angeles Lakers forward and NBA 2K20 cover athlete Anthony Davis made the announcement last week there would be three cover athletes this season. 



(Undated)  --  NBA commissioner Adam Silver understands the threat of the coronavirus when the league resumes play in Orlando later this month.  Silver was a guest on Time 100 Talks and was asked if there's a chance the league doesn't end up in Orlando.  The commissioner said the NBA is "full steam ahead" and they could re-evaluate plans if things were to change.  Silver mentioned the league's daily testing and said play could stop if there's spread within the NBA community.  The commissioner noted the league continues to work with experts on the matter.



(Undated)  --  As MLB players test positive for the coronavirus, teams will not be allowed to identify who exactly tested positive.  Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said in a conference call that they won't be able to say who tested positive under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  Teams will also not specifically announce a COVID-19 designation if they replace a player who has tested positive.  Only players will be able to reveal their positive test status.



(New Orleans, LA)  --  Positive COVID-19 tests continue to rise in the NBA.  Multiple reports state three players on the New Orleans Pelicans have tested positive.  The organization declined to disclose their names.



(San Diego, CA)  --  The Padres are bolstering their roster ahead of the shortened season.  San Diego has acquired shortstop Jorge Mateo from the Oakland A's for a player to be named later.  The 25-year-old hit .289 with 19 home runs and 24 stolen bases in Triple-A last season.



(Corvallis, OR) -- Civil War will no longer be used in the title of the rivalry football game between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. OSU President Ed Ray says while it didn't reference the actual Civil War, it could have been misconstrued to represent the divisive episode in American history. He says it was a mistake to not act sooner to change the name. The football series between Oregon State and Oregon is the fifth-most contested rivalry in the country in the Football Bowl Subdivision with the 124th edition this November at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.



(New York, NY)  --  The NFL is laying down a heavy fine and taking away a draft pick from the New England Patriots.  The league is instilling a one-point-one million dollar penalty and taking a 2021 third-round draft pick as a result of the club's television crew filming the field and sideline during the December 8th game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.  In addition, the team's television production crew won't be allowed to film any games during the upcoming season and senior club officials will be required to undergo training on league operation and game policies. 



(Foxborough, MA)  --  A former league MVP is signing with the New England Patriots.  Cam Newton has signed with the six-time Super Bowl champions, multiple outlets are reporting.  He's expected to compete with Jared Stidham for the starting quarterback position to take over for Tom Brady, who left for Tampa Bay in free agency.  The former number-one overall pick had spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers.  The incentive-laden deal is worth up to seven-point-five million dollars, the NFL Network reports.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Thorns are showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  Players for the Thorns as well as the North Carolina Courage knelt during the National Anthem Saturday before playing what was the first professional team sporting event in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic.  All the players also wore Black Lives Matter shirts before kickoff and wore armbands during the game.  The NWSL Challenge Cup marked the return of professional team sports in this country since the start of the pandemic in March.



(Undated)  --  NASCAR's Bubba Wallace is not ruling out fans protesting the circuit's ban of the Confederate flag.  Its only full-time black driver said fans have the right to peacefully protest after NASCAR banned the emblem two weeks ago.  He also related the situation to social justice demonstrations over the last month after George Floyd's death and said those fans would not be targeted by police.  Wallace rhetorically asked, "you won't see cops pepper spraying them and shooting them with rubber bullets, will you?"  Both he and NASCAR have dominated headlines recently after what appeared to be a noose was found in his race garage prior to a race earlier this week.



(Undated)  --  A racetrack in North Carolina is advertising a "Bubba Rope" for sale this week, referencing the noose found in the garage of Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.  ESPN reports 311 Speedway owner Mike Fulp posted the product on Facebook Marketplace.  The post was taken down Thursday afternoon after backlash from fans.  The incident at the racetrack in Alabama led to an investigation by the FBI and NASCAR.



(Undated)  --  NFLPA executive director says DeMaurice Smith says the chances of a NFL season happening are around a seven or eight out of 10.  He tells USA Today Sports if fans truly want football back, there is no greater exercise in fan loyalty than social distancing, wearing masks and washing your hands.



(Undated)  --  The architect of the Washington Redskins "Hogs" offensive line has died.  Joe Bugel was 80.  He coached 32 seasons in the NFL, including helping lead the Redskins to two Super Bowl victories.  He spent time with the Detroit Lions, Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Arizona Cardinals.  Bugel is originally from Pittsburgh and played at Munhall High School.  He was an all-conference guard and linebacker at Western Kentucky where he earned a degree in physical education and a master's in counseling. 



(New York, NY)  --  As fans and teams get ready for the return of Major League Soccer, the league is confirming about two dozen new coronavirus cases.  Eighteen players and six staff members have tested positive ahead of the MLS Is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida.  Matches are scheduled to begin on July 8th.



(Cromwell, CT) -- Dustin Johnson held on after a weather delay to win the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands Sunday. He shot a fourth-round 67 to finish 19-under, winning by one stroke over Kevin Streelman in Cromwell, Connecticut. Will Gordon and Mackenzie Hughes both finished two strokes back as Kevin Na finished three strokes back. The Tour will be in Detroit next week for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.



(Las Vegas, NV)  -  The Dodgers are win total favorites heading into the shortened 60-game season.  Caesars Sportsbooks in Las Vegas are projecting the Dodgers to win 37 games this season.  The Yankees are second at 36-and-a-half. 



(Undated)  -   Lakers star LeBron James believed that the NFL owes Colin Kaepernick an apology.  James told Bloomberg Businessweek that he believed Kaepernick sacrificed everything for his cause.  He also praised NBA commissioner Adam Silver for listening to the concerns of the players. 



(New York, NY)  --  Despite the Hall of Fame Game being canceled, the NFL is telling teams that training camps are expected to begin on time July 28th.  Rookies and other select players will be allowed to report earlier.  Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL is also preparing for games at home stadiums.


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