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NBA players approve plan for 72-game season beginning in December – CBC.ca

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The National Basketball Players Association voted Thursday to support the notion of starting this coming season on Dec. 22, the date that the league has been targeting in its talks about how and when to get teams back on the floor for a planned 72-game season.

The vote, conducted by the NBPA’s board — which has a player rep from each team, entrusted to speak on behalf of his teammates — is just another part of a lengthy process.

Among the primary matters still to be determined: how much escrow will be taken from player salaries because of the shorter-than-usual season, and how the league and the players will navigate testing and other health and safety issues amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

All that has to be worked out before the plans for next season truly become official.

“Additional details remain to be negotiated and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season,” the union said in a statement.

Talks between the NBA and NBPA on those and other topics are continuing, though there is obvious urgency to finalize things. The NBA draft is scheduled for Nov. 18 and the plan presented to players — and now approved by the team reps — calls for training camps to begin on Dec. 1.

Free agency would almost certainly have to be wedged between the draft and the start of those camps, the league year would have to open, trades would have to become permissible again and some players need to be presented with deadlines by which they will have to either accept or decline options for this coming season.

The NBA wanted the Dec. 22 start date over a mid-January notion for many reasons, revenue being foremost among them. A 72-game season, by league estimates, would allow for $500 million US more in revenue than a season of no more than 60 games — the mid-January option — would have provided.

The Dec. 22 start also means that the NBA’s traditional Christmas schedule of games will be possible, something the league and its broadcast partners wanted. The season is also expected to conclude before the start of next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, meaning NBA player participation in those games remains possible.

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In Pictures: Grief and shock over Maradona's death – Aljazeera.com

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Hundreds of people have begun filing in to see the coffin of Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires’s Casa Rosada after the football legend died at the age of 60.

At a slow pace, people on Thursday passed in front of the coffin that was draped with the Argentinian flag and his number 10 jersey.

Scuffles briefly broke out as crowds jostled as they queued to enter and police had to hold people back.

Maradona’s family and closest friends came at dawn before the start of the public wake.

Tens of thousands of people spent the night in a vigil in the Plaza de Mayo, singing songs in tribute to Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986.

Stunned fans gathered outside the humble home where he was born and raised in the Villa Fiorito neighbourhood.

Fans also went to the stadium of Argentinos Juniors, where he started as a professional footballer in 1976. They stood at the historic La Bombonera stadium of his beloved Boca Juniors.

More were at the headquarters of Gimnasia La Plata, the team he was coaching.

“I am touched. I can’t understand it, I can’t see the reality. Diego will never die, today is the birth of the Maradona myth,” said Dante Lopez, a physician who went to the Argentinos Juniors stadium, which carries the beloved player’s name.

Fans put candles and flowers along the wall around the field.

“Diego was Argentina in the world. He gave us joy and we will never be able to repay him for so much joy,” said Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, who issued a decree for three days of national mourning and offered the presidential palace for the funeral.

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Raptors waive centre Dewan Hernandez, open up additional roster spot – Sportsnet.ca

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The Toronto Raptors have waived centre Dewan Hernandez, the team announced Thursday.

The 23-year-old battled injuries throughout his time with the Raptors organization after being selected 59th in the second round of the 2019 draft, and spent the vast majority of his on-court stints with Raptors 905, where he posted career stats of 13.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on 40.8 per cent shooting in nine games.

Waiving Hernandez, whose deal was set to guarantee this coming weekend, also opens up an additional roster spot for the Raptors, who will likely use it on Canadian forward Oshae Brissett (he had a nice season on a two-way contract with the team last season) or a standout training camp invitee.

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Report: Ravens record more positive COVID-19 tests – theScore

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The Baltimore Ravens recorded multiple new positive COVID-19 tests and will continue to work virtually Thursday, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

The positive tests from Wednesday include one player, one position coach, and one staff member, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Baltimore has reported multiple new cases every day since Sunday.

The Ravens’ Thanksgiving matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed to Sunday amid the team’s ongoing outbreak.

Baltimore has seven players on the reserve/COVID-19 list and an unconfirmed number of positives among coaches and staff.

The AFC North club disciplined a strength and conditioning coach Wednesday for failing to report symptoms, or wear a mask or tracking device consistently, which may have led to the outbreak.

If the game can’t be played Sunday, it’s possible the NFL will have to use its contingency plan of adding a Week 18 to make up delayed games.

If the NFL does add Week 18, it could push back the start of the playoffs or eliminate the extra week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

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