Good morning! I’m going to start trying to push out a daily piece that includes some quick thoughts and opinions, maybe a few social-media links, some articles I find interesting and whatever else. And obviously, it will include a bunch of gambling tips when we finally get back to games on a regular basis.
–On that note, it was GREAT to hear that the NBA bubble in Orlando is working — at least in the first week. Actually, the first two weeks. We know this because…
So….19 NBA players tested positive before teams left for Disney World. Those 19 players remained at home in their markets to recover. For instance, Russell Westbrook tested positive and remained in Houston. He is looking forward to joining his teammates in Orlando soon. Since the players arrived on campus on July 7, only two of 322 players tested have been positive. Those two players never made it out of quarantine, so nobody else was exposed to them. Those two players are off campus and in isolation recovering. If you’ve followed the UFC’s protocols over in Abu Dhabi at ‘Fight Island,’ you’re aware of how when fighters arrived, they had to quarantine for 48 hours. They also had to test negative twice before getting on their charter flights to Abu Dhabi. This will work for the NBA in Orlando if the players follow protocols, which brings us to this…
–Sacramento’s Richaun Holmes was sent into isolation for 10 days after he violated the NBA bubble to get some delivery food.
–As of yesterday, the ‘Snitch Hotline,’ an anonymous phone number created by the NBA to inform on players that have violated the bubble, had not been used yet. We know this because Yahoo’s ace NBA reporter Chris Haynes, who is one of the media members that’s in the bubble for the next three months (and change), told us.
–Haynes also reported Monday that Denver’s Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig aren’t with the Nuggets in Orlando. ESPN’s Eric Woodyard added that Monte Morris isn’t on campus yet, either. Morris’s latest COVID-19 test is pending, but he’s asymptomatic while awaiting the results and is planning on joining his team in Orlando, according to Woodyard. The guess here is that Craig, Porter and Harris are among the 19, along with Westbrook, who tested positive back in their markets.
–SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey met with all 14 ADs at the league offices in Birmingham on Monday. Afterward, Sankey said, “We had a productive meeting on Monday and engaged in discussions on a number of important issues that will contribute to critical decisions to be made in the weeks ahead. The ability to personally interact over the course of an entire day contributed to the productivity of the meeting.
“It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis. In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us.”
–One of Deion’s sons, Shedeur Sanders, surprisingly committed to FAU on Monday. Sanders became the first ESPN 300 recruit to pledge to the Owls since ESPN started its rankings in 2009. Sanders threw for 3,477 yards with a 47/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill outside of Dallas as a junior last year. He had a 42/7 TD-INT ratio as a sophomore. The eighth-ranked pocket passer in the 2021 class is a four-star prospect rated No. 41 overall at ESPN.
–The NCAA granted JT Daniels a waiver to play right away at Georgia on Monday. Question: Former Auburn QB Joey Gatewood left The Plains for Kentucky five months before Daniels left Southern California, so why does Daniels get a ruling before Gatewood knows if he can play this year?
–Former Tennessee RB Tim Jordan was dismissed from the program earlier this summer. He is reportedly landing at Western Kentucky.
–ESPN Adam Schefter is reporting that Kansas City star defensive tackle Chris Jones has inked a four-year, $85 million contract that includes $60 million in guaranteed money.
–The Athletic broke the news Monday that UFC 251 did 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, making it the promotions biggest PPV since Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 of 2018.
–UFC President Dana White reacted to the PPV numbers by saying, “I said it to you guys the other night, when you put on a fight, a successful promotion of an event, it’s a big melting pot of different things. ’Fight Island’ was a massive star in this thing. Masvidal is a massive star. Obviously, Usman, the champion and a guy that we’re all starting to realize is tough to beat and a great card underneath.
“It all came together perfectly. It was a major success. Everybody’s healthy. It’s all good. Literally not one negative thing that I could point out.”
–Oh, I can play this game. Answers below the tweet:
I’m going to cheat a little bit, though, and use a coach. Check that, I’m going to use two coaches when it come to my Gators.
Gators: Urban Meyer (he’s #1). #2 is Jim McElwain.
Hawks: Cal Bowdler (Pete Babcock Special!)
Falcons: Joey Harrington
Braves: Four-way tie: Brad Komminsk, Nick Esasky, Len Barker and Bruce Sutter.
–In fairness to Sutter, he’s a freakin’ Hall of Famer who won a World Series, a Cy Young and was a six-time All-Star. This one is on my Braves, who signed him way past his prime for too much money. Komminsk was hailed as “the next Dale Murphy.” Not! Esasky signed a huge contract and played nine games due to vertigo. Barker, of course, was the key figure in the infamous Brett Butler trade.
—Honorable Mention for my Hawks: Jon Koncak, DeMarr Johnson, Adam Keefe, A.C. Law, Ed Gray, Roshown McLeod, Shelden Williams, Rumeal Robinson, Doug Edwards and J.R. Rider.
–I can’t get enough of rising UFC strawweight Amanda Ribas, who improved to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the UFC with Saturday’s first-round submission win over Paige VanZant.
–I’m a big fan of Summer Soderstrom, too!
–Have a great Tuesday, folks!