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NBA minicamp for non-bubble teams hits snag, source says

Then-Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau complains over a

Then-Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau complains over a call in the second half half of an NBA game against the Rockets in Minneapolis on Dec. 3, 2018. Credit: AP/Jim Mone

Just a week ago the Knicks believed that with Tom Thibodeau about to take over as head coach the stage was set for the NBA to allow him to conduct a voluntary minicamp with his new team. But as the 22 teams in the NBA bubble continue to work in a resumption of the season the eight teams left out are now in limbo.

A league source indicated that no agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association has been reached on the protocols and parameters for a return to play for the eight teams not participating in the bubble in Orlando.

While there has been some talk about a second bubble for the eight teams to stage an exhibition schedule, some teams have little interest. The Knicks and Golden State Warriors are against the notion of gathering in one place to play meaningless games.

The preference for those teams, and what the league was believed to be moving toward, was to hold minicamps at their own facilities, allowing the coaches to control the action and serving as a time for teaching. 

This was particularly of interest to the Knicks with Thibodeau taking over and a new coaching staff expected to be named shortly. Right now the few players who are in New York have been allowed to conduct individual workouts with Knicks staff. It is believed that the only players in New York are Taj Gibson, Theo Pinson and Kevin Knox, who arrived recently.

Speaking on the Zoom conference call to introduce Thibodeau Thursday, Knicks general manager Scott Perry said, “The NBA is currently in communication with the NBPA about what the non-bubble teams will be able to do with our players. Our front office has been actively involved along with the seven other organizations through this entire process. Our hope is that in August coach Thibodeau will be able to get right to work and oversee organized team activities in our home market.”

New York Sports