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Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive for coronavirus

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James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Knicks announced Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis.

Dolan, 64, is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus.

“The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus,” the team’s statement said. “He has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. He continues to oversee business operations.”

New York has been the hotspot for the pandemic in the U.S.

All 50 U.S. states have reported some cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, but New York has the most, with over 52,000 positive tests for the illness and more than 700 deaths. About 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday, including about 1,800 in intensive care.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.

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Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear resigns after ‘All Lives Matter’ tweet

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Longtime Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear has resigned after tweeting “ALL LIVES MATTER” in response to a question about Black Lives Matter on Sunday.

“I want to thank the fans for their overwhelming love and support,” said Napear, who has called games for the Kings since 1988, in a statement Tuesday. “I will always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart.”

Napear was answering a question from former Kings star DeMarcus Cousins, who asked Napear for his opinion on Black Lives Matter.

“Hey!!!! How are you? Thought you forgot about me,” Napear responded. “Haven’t heard from you in years. ALL LIVES MATTER…EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!”

Napear later apologized, telling The Sacramento Bee on Monday that he’s “not as educated on BLM as I thought I was.”

The tweet Sunday came as protests rage across the country following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, who was black, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

“I had no idea that when I said ‘All Lives Matter’ that it was counter to what BLM was trying to get across,” Napear said.

He also issued an apology on Twitter, writing in response to another user, “If it came across as dumb I apologize. That was not my intent. That’s how I was raised. It has been engrained in me since I can remember. I’ve been doing more listening than talking the past few days. I believe the past few days will change this country for the better!”

Napear was also fired Tuesday from Sports 1140 KHTK, where he hosts a radio show.

“The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive,” Bonneville International, the media company that owns the station, said in a statement Tuesday. “After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Grant.”



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Rockets’ Tilman Fertitta says he encourages speaking out on U.S. issues

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Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told CNBC in an interview Tuesday that he “loves” the protests happening in cities across the United States and that he encourages all his employees to speak up about issues like racial injustice.

Fertitta also said he was disappointed that his team “got in trouble” earlier this year for a tweet general manager Daryl Morey made in support of the Hong Kong protestors. He clarified later in the interview that there is a difference between speaking out on domestic and international issues.

“Speaking up on an issue in America and speaking up on an issue somewhere else in the world are two different matters,” Fertitta told CNBC. “In America, we have free speech and we can do whatever we want to do and say whatever we want and not be penalized because of it. That’s why we all love this country so much.”

Though Fertitta emphasized the Rockets “should not be a political organization because we have 60,000 employees and 100 million customers and we don’t all agree,” he said he encourages his employees to share their opinions on issues such as race.

“When it comes to an issue like this in America, you should speak out and say what you want,” he said. “And I encourage all my employees from my basketball team to my restaurants to my hotels and casinos to speak out on this issue, and let’s make this country better that we live in and has been great for so many of us.”

The death of George Floyd has sparked protests across the country. Floyd, who was black, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Fertitta called Floyd’s death “inexcusable” and said he understands and agrees with the protests.

“I love the protesting. That’s what makes America great. Remember, we got in trouble early in the year, my team, because we commented about something which was such a disappointment because that’s what makes America great. I just hate that we have to see the coverage of a few negative things, when it’s such a great issue to be protesting about.”

Fertitta, who owns hundreds of restaurants across the country, also said a handful of them have been vandalized during the protests.

“It’s really disappointing because where the protests are happening are in urban areas where a lot of the restaurants and retail were just now opening up again, literally in the last seven days,” Fertitta said. “Obviously, this is going to set us back weeks now. Last night in Houston, where we haven’t had a lot of problems, the roads were desolate, which is really a shame.”

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Sources — Proposed date for Game 7 of NBA Finals is Oct. 12

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As the NBA models a 22-team format for the season’s proposed resumption beginning July 31 in Orlando, a timeline shared with teams as a last possible date for a Finals Game 7 lands on Oct. 12, sources told ESPN.

Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to have a proposal to take to a vote of the NBA’s Board of Governors on Thursday, sources said.

The expectation is that the NBA draft and the opening of free agency would follow in sequential order in October, sources said.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are still discussing details on a format, and there is still room for the league to maneuver on the structure of a return-to-play ideas. The Board of Governors requires a three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan, but there’s an expectation among owners that they’ll fall into line and overwhelmingly approve the commissioner’s recommendation on a plan, sources said.

The NBA has been advancing on a plan that would include regular-season, play-in and playoff games for the 16 teams currently holding playoff position — and six more teams within six games of the eighth seed in each conference, sources said.

Those teams include New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento and Phoenix in the Western Conference — and Washington in the East, sources said.

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