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Dodgers' Justin Turner joins team for World Series photo after positive COVID-19 test – Toronto Sun

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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said it was a “bittersweet” end to the season.

“We’re glad to done, I do think it is a great accomplishment for our players to get this season completed but obviously we are concerned when any of our players tests positive,” he added.

“We learned during the game that Justin tested positive, he was immediately isolated to prevent any spread.”

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) poses for a picture with his wife Kourtney Pogue after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series in game six of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Photo by Kevin Jairaj /USA TODAY Sports

The World Series was held entirely at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas with a limited number of fans in attendance to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Turner said he felt great and had “no symptoms at all.”

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Calgary selected to host Brier, Scotties, other major bonspiels in hub-style format – CBC.ca

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Calgary is about to become a curling mecca.

Weeks after CBC Sports first reported the Alberta city had been selected to host a number of important bonspiels, Curling Canada made it official on Tuesday that the Scotties, the Brier, the men’s world championship and mixed doubles national championship will all be hosted at Canada Olympic Park.

There is no timeline at this point for when the events will take place.

There are also two Grand Slam of Curling events being planned for the Calgary curling bubble as well.

Curling Canada officials said they continue to have dialogue with all levels of government and health officials to come up with the safest protocol, using many of the lessons learned from the NHL and NBA bubbles.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux, Colleen Jones discuss Calgary curling hub:

Devin Heroux is joined by six-time Scotties medallist Colleen Jones to discuss the announcement of the Calgary curling bubble. 5:34

Six-time Scotties winner Colleen Jones says with COVID-19 cases in Calgary rising, there are still concerns about how the event will happen.

“For a lot of people this is great news,” Jones said. “The other side of the coin, though, is with COVID cases rising across the country there’s a lot of trepidation about how the provincial championships will go. 

“Provincial associations are all meeting right now as we speak. There’s surveys going out asking curlers how this should look.”

In an email to CBC Sports, the Department of Canadian Heritage said it has received a request from Curling Canada to hold an international event in Canada — that would be the men’s world curling championship.

“An authorization will only be granted if plans offer robust protocols to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada,” the email said.

“An authorization would be conditional on ongoing support from provincial and local public health authorities and the provincial government, as well as a risk mitigation measures plan, developed and implemented by Curling Canada and assessed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.”

The curling extravaganza will most likely begin with the crown jewel of women’s curling, the Scotties. All of the events will be played without fans at The Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park.

Colleen Jones, seen in action at the 2013 Scotties, says with COVID-19 cases rising across the country there’s some trepidation about how provincial championships will unfold. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

While there are still many details to work through regarding player and coach safety, Alberta’s Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, Leela Sharon Aheer, said it’s a positive thing for the province.

“This series of championship curling events is a fantastic opportunity for Alberta to once again show the world that our ability to host major hub city sporting events is second to none,” she said.

“We look forward to delivering an exciting and memorable curling experience for all players, participants and fans.”

The Scotties was originally going to be held in Thunder Bay, Ont., but the pandemic quashed those plans. Pre-event tickets had been sold out. However, Thunder Bay has been awarded the 2022 Scotties.

The Brier was going to be played in Kelowna but is now also set to take place in the Calgary bubble. It marks the first time the Scotties and the Brier are being played in the same city in the same season.

‘I trust Curling Canada’

Defending Brier champion Brad Gushue is thrilled Curling Canada found a way to safely get curlers back to the pebbled ice.

“Every player I’ve talked to has wanted this to happen and [is] excited it’s going to happen,” Gushue said. “I’ve heard some players are a little hesitant but they are few and far between.

“I trust Curling Canada enough to do this in a safe manner. Our team is on board.”

Gushue says his team has had a number of conversations about what life in the Calgary bubble might look like, including potentially being away from family for nearly two months.

“That’s a hard one to swallow. To be honest though, it’s something we’ve discussed at length with our families,” Gushue said.

“There might be some teams that don’t do it. It’s hard not to do when you love the sport and you want to compete.”

Gushue is hoping to defend his Brier title and earn a spot back to the men’s world championship, having not been able to wear the maple leaf at last year’s championship in Scotland because of the pandemic.

WATCH | Gushue disappointed by cancellation of curling world championship:

In an Instagram Live with our curling aficionado Devin Heroux, Brier 2020 champion Brad Gushue said he was ‘disappointed but not surprised’ about the cancellation of the curling world championships. 1:34

“Missing a world championship is not the end of the world but when you’re a competitive curler it tears at you a little bit,” he said.

“It weighed on me. There were moments throughout the summer when people would bring up the worlds and I thought this just sucks that I’m not going to get there.”

Gushue is also planning on playing in the mixed doubles national championship and two Grand Slam events that will also be housed in the Calgary bubble.

Preparing for lack of fans

The grind of six to seven consecutive weeks of curling is something Gushue is already preparing for, including not having any fans inside the arena to motivate him.

“I feed off the crowd,” he said. “To not have them around is going to be a challenge for me. I’m working with our sports psychologist on how to handle that. I don’t know how it’s going to affect me.”

Gushue says his Newfoundland and Labrador team have only played in two competitions this season — by far the least amount of time they’ve been on the ice during a season in their careers.

And they haven’t even been a complete team.

Brad Gushue, left, seen discussing a shot with Geoff Walker in 2018, says coronavirus restrictions in different provinces can make the logistics of practice difficult. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Geoff Walker is in Alberta with his wife, Laura, and their newborn baby. Walker opted to stay in the province as he didn’t want to leave and quarantine for two weeks before being able to play with Team Gushue.

“I still haven’t seen Geoff in person since the night we won the Brier,” Gushue said. “How do we get together to practise and play?”

Provincial restrictions make playdowns a puzzle

That’s a common question many of the top curling teams in the country are asking these days as most of the foursomes have at least one player living out of the province — restrictions in each jurisdiction of the country differ, making it increasingly challenging for curlers to get together on the ice.

That brings up the issue of provincial playdowns.

With many provinces imposing strict rules around gatherings, curling associations are trying to formulate plans that would allow them to safely and fairly select provincial and territorial representatives to attend both national championships.

The announcement of this Calgary curling bubble comes a year out from the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifiers scheduled for Saskatoon next November into December.

This is a crucial quadrennial for Canadian curling after both the men’s and women’s teams failed to reach the podium for the first time at the 2018 Olympics.

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Tampa Bay just the latest stop on Nick Nurse's worldwide coaching journey – CBC.ca

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When Nick Nurse coached Derby of the British Basketball League back in the early 1990s, the team could only afford to book the Moorways Centre practice hall two nights a week.

Nurse and his team would arrive for a 7 p.m. start just as the badminton players on the floor before them were taking their last swings and removing the nets.

Nurse is used to adjusting to different set-ups, making a dozen career stops in the U.S. and abroad before finally settling into his first NBA job in Toronto.

On Monday, Nurse and the Raptors moved into their temporary home away from home in Tampa, Fla., another push pin on Nurse’s basketball travel map.

“Just another stop along the coaching journey for me. Just another place to live, another city, another thing going on,” Nurse said on a Zoom call on Wednesday.

WATCH | Nurse’s expectations remain high despite relocation:

The Raptors are playing their home games in Florida after the federal government denied the team’s request to play in Toronto. Head coach Nick Nurse says he’d prefer to be back in Canada but won’t make any excuses and expects the team to play at a high-level. 1:52

Due to Canada’s travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raptors are playing their “home” games at Amalie Arena, normally home to the NHL’s Lightning, and are setting up a practice facility in a downtown hotel.

Nurse conjured memories of Derby when asked about the worst place he’s ever practised.

“There’s been some other good doozies in there,” he laughed. “I always say just get me to a practice floor and to the games and we’ll be happy.”

Emphasizing the positive

It’s key, Nurse said, that the players and staff fully buy in to their temporary Tampa home, rather than dwell on the fact they’re not playing out of Scotiabank Arena.

“You guys know I’m not shy about telling you guys how much I love being in Toronto, it’s our city and it’s our team and our organization — there’s a lot of unsettling feelings about having to leave, to be honest. It’s not easy, right?” Nurse said.

“I can only say this: I know I’d rather be in Toronto, but I’m not. And now I’m going to make the best of it here . . . we’re going to do our best to focus in on just becoming the best basketball team we can become. And we do that by starting with accepting, here’s where we are. Put a smile on our face, get out on the right side of the bed, positive attitude and go to work.”

The uncommon cloud hanging over this season is the threat of the global pandemic, which has wreaked havoc with pro leagues, particularly the NFL. NBA teams are currently limited to individual sessions with one coach and one player per basket. Players and coaches are being tested daily, and teams can begin holding group workouts on Sunday, just five days before the pre-season tips off.

The league’s health and safety protocols mandate it could take as long as 12 days for a player to return to action after a positive test. While there were no positive tests in the NBA’s “bubble” at Walt Disney World near Orlando, there was also no travel involved, and movement was limited.

‘Things are gonna happen’

It’s “critically important” that players follow the rules, Nurse said.

“The responsibility falls on each of us individually, to make sure we’re following all the protocols. I hope that everybody has their own health and safety and the health and safety of their family first and foremost as they’re moving around their day,” he said. “It does place an extra layer of importance or priority that’s different than a normal season, but we’re certainly not in a normal season or in normal times, so we’re all going to have to be very vigilant on this aspect.”

Two unnamed Golden State Warriors players recently tested positive for COVID-19. Raptors guard Norman Powell said, with the difficulty controlling players’ environments, there’s bound to be more.

WATCH | Raptors GM Webster embracing team’s temporary home:

Bobby Webster discusses how the Raptors chose Tampa as their temporary home. 2:03

The NFL has been ravaged by COVID-19, with dozens of players testing positive, forcing schedule adjustments

“I think those things are gonna happen throughout the season. You’ve just got to handle them as they come just like football players got some positive tests,” Powell said. “You’ve got to have protocols and regulations in order to stop the spread and make sure those players are safe and are quarantined and can get over those symptoms and be back healthy and get back to playing as fast as possible.”

Florida has been a coronavirus hotbed for months, and Tuesday surpassed one million cases.

The Raptors open their three-game preseason schedule with two games in Charlotte, Dec. 12 and 14. They face Miami in their first “home” game on Dec. 18. The season tips off Dec. 22.

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Rockets deal Westbrook to Wizards for Wall, 1st-round pick – theScore

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The Houston Rockets are trading Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall and a future first-round pick, the Wizards announced Wednesday.

The pick is lottery-protected in 2023, top-12 protected in 2024, top-10 protected in 2025, top-eight protected in 2026, or becomes two second-rounders after that point, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.

“Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell’s caliber and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said in a statement.

He added: “With that said, the decision to part ways with John, one of the greatest players in franchise history, was extremely difficult. What he has meant to our organization and our community is immeasurable and will not be forgotten.”

Both guards reportedly requested trades this offseason.

Sheppard and Rockets executive Rafael Stone reached an agreement within a few hours on Wednesday afternoon after the two sides hadn’t spoken on a potential deal for weeks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

The Wizards GM previously said he had “no plans” to deal Wall, though owner Ted Leonsis reportedly had the final say.

“At the end of the day, this is a Ted (Leonsis) call,” a source told The Athletic’s David Aldridge.

Wall is set to earn $41.3 million this season and $44.3 million the following year. He holds a $47.4-million player option for the 2022-23 campaign.

He hasn’t appeared in an NBA contest since December 2018. Wall is the Wizards’ all-time leader in assists and steals.

Meanwhile, Westbrook is owed $41.4 million this coming campaign and $44.2 million in 2021-22. He also holds a $47.1-million player option for the 2022-23 season.

His move to the nation’s capital reunites him with former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

“Russell’s accomplishments and honors on the court speak for themselves, but his drive and will to win are what separate him as a truly unique player,” Brooks said in a statement.

Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 boards, and seven assists during his lone season in Houston.

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