Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, October 15, 2020, Page 8, Image 8

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    SPORTS
8A — BAKER CITY HERALD
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020
NFL to boost COVID-19 testing, but no bubble plans
enough in this environment. We have
to be incredibly diligent and disci-
The NFL has no plans to move into plined.”
a bubble as it takes several new steps
The updated protocols sent to
to combat the spread of the corona-
teams Monday night also require
virus.
anyone identifi ed as a “high risk” close
The league will begin PCR testing contact to be isolated and not permit-
for COVID-19 on game days starting ted to return to the team’s facility for
this week, use of masks in walk-
at least fi ve days.
throughs are now mandatory and
“We expected positive COVID cases
only play-callers will be permitted to as long as the pandemic is prevalent
wear face shields in lieu of masks or
in our society,” Goodell said, citing
gaiters on the sideline.
rising numbers in communities. “Our
“We cannot grow complacent, not
protocols are designed to identify
the players, not the coaches, not the
through testing, isolate and then
rest of our personnel,” NFL Commis- prevent the spread of the virus in our
sioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday
team environments, and our medical
following virtual meetings with team experts are encouraged by the fact
owners. “Ninety percent is not good
that with few exceptions, we have not
By Rob Maaddi
AP Pro Football Writer
seen transmission of the virus.”
Goodell spoke a few hours before
the Tennessee Titans were scheduled
to host Buffalo in their fi rst game
since an outbreak shut down team
facilities and forced the schedule to be
rearranged.
The Titans had eight people test
positive Sept. 29 and the total reached
24 players and personnel. It doesn’t
appear the league will discipline the
Titans for any violation of protocols
following a review of the team’s ac-
tions.
“We are really working closely and
identifying and speaking to clubs and
players in open dialogue,” Goodell
said. “This is not about discipline. This
is about making sure we’re keeping
our personnel safe. And that’s been
our entire focus today.”
Goodell said the league will main-
tain fl exibility in order to complete the
season with the Super Bowl. How-
ever, it doesn’t appear one of those op-
tions will be moving the playoffs into
a bubble like Major League Baseball
did. The NBA and NHL fi nished their
regular season and postseason in
bubbles.
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive
vice president of football operations,
said the league is “proceeding as is”
and deferred to Dr. Allen Sills, the
league’s chief medical offi cer.
Sills said all options are on the
table but warned there are several
risks to moving into a bubble. He
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LeBron the best ever? Not just yet
As the fi nal buzzer
sounded and the confetti
shot into the air, NBA fans
had a chance to virtually
watch the Los Angeles
Lakers defeat the Miami
Heat in the NBA Finals
and the conclusion of the NBA
Disney Bubble in Florida.
As members of the Lakers
organization gathered with
their families on the podium
in celebration, NBA Commis-
sioner Adam Silver handed the
NBA Finals MVP trophy to a
familiar face.
That was LeBron James.
Asked about the emotions
going through his mind,
the one common thread in
his words was this: respect.
Though he reached the top of
the mountain in his profession
for the fourth time of his career,
it is still a common discussion
topic among basketball fans. Is
LeBron James the best ever to
play basketball?
I fi nd this question very
diffi cult due to how much the
game has evolved. The game
was different for the Magic
Johnson/Larry Bird rivalry
in the 1980s, Michael Jordan
taking on all comers in the
’90s and the late Kobe Bryant
impressing everyone with his
COREY
KIRK
“Mamba Mentality,” during
the 2000s. Though it’s easy to
place Bryant and Jordan in
this discussion as their careers
have long been done, James
still somehow remains in his
prime.
Let me make this clear: I
know people have different
opinions on who is the best,
and I admit that there will
never be a consensus. But after
this season, James’ case is
stronger than ever.
After the completion of his
17th season, James fi nds him-
self on the top of almost every
stat sheet. He is currently
ranked third in career total
points (34,241), fourth in points
per game (27.1), and recently
leads in most games played
during the playoffs (260). Not
only that, but he has four NBA
MVPs, 16 All-Star nods, and
has never played fewer than 50
games in a single season.
Those stats alone cement
James as a fi rst ballot Hall of
Famer. What is hard to wrap
like, I’m not sure. I know I
can play the game for quite a
while.”
As the past 17 seasons have
proven, barring injuries James
can continue to be one of the
top stars in the games as he
nears 40 (he turns 36 on Dec.
30). He will continue to move
higher on the stats sheet, as he
will continue to lead the Los
Angeles Lakers as a perennial
playoff threat.
He just made his case a lot
stronger for best to ever play
as the NBA has entered the
offseason, but this argument
Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times-TNS will be a whole lot more clear
LeBron James celebrates
when James calls it quits here
after being named the NBA in the future. He still trails
Finals MVP.
both Bryant (5) and Jordan (6)
for total championships. I know
any basketball fans mind is
a lot of people use that as a bar
this.
of expectation. It is something
He is not done yet, he is far that I personally consider a
from done.
huge component, so I don’t
When he joined NBATV’s
think the case can be closed so
show GameTime after secur-
easily.
ing his fourth title, and the
Although James’ case is a
Lakers’ 17th, which ties the
lot stronger than it was maybe
Boston Celtics for most titles in a week ago, I fi nd it hard to
NBA history by an organiza-
call him the best to have ever
tion, he addressed his ideas on played.
retirement.
Well, at least right now.
“I know I got a lot of years
left, and what that looks like,
how many years that will look
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pointed out that other individuals
such as service workers still have
to go in and out of the bubble. He
emphasized the infection can spread
more rapidly if it gets inside. And, he
stressed the human element, saying
that being sequestered can cause an
“emotional” and “behavioral health
toll” that becomes a “really signifi cant
stress point,” especially around the
holidays.
“So for all of those reasons, right
now, today, we don’t feel like that is
the safest course of action for us,” Sills
said. “We’ve consistently said that
we’ll reevaluate all of these decisions
along the way and make what we
think is the safest decision and all
options remain on the table.”
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Electrical By:
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541-523-9176
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Lumber by:
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3815 Pocahontas
Gregg Hinrichsen
541-523-6404
1722 Campbell
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