These are the stories shaping sports and business for Monday October 5th, 2020.
Thanks, Jimmy Buckets
There will be no sweep as the Miami Heat pulled off a big upset in game 3 of the NBA Finals behind the play of the bubble’s resident barista. Jimmy Butler had a career-defining performance becoming just the third player to have a 40 point triple-double in NBA Finals history, joining Jerry West and LeBron James and he also became the only player ever, teammate or opponent, to outscore, out-rebound, and out-assist LeBron in a Finals contest. So while it remains to be seen whether the Lakers are actually in trouble like Butler told James they were near the end of the game, Miami has made it a series, at least for a day, thanks to Jimmy Buckets.
President Donald Trump remains hospitalized at Walter Reed, though he plans to be discharged at 6:30 p.m. ET Monday.
According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 35.2 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over one million deaths.
The U.S. has surpassed 7.4 million cases with 209,000 deaths.
Since there have been a ton of headlines throughout the weekend, let’s take a step back and break it down.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced Monday that she had tested positive for the coronavirus. McEnany’s aides Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt have also tested positive for the virus.
Now--to recap--as of Monday afternoon, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Notre Dame president John Jenkins, Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Chris Christie, Senators Mike Lee, Thom Tillis, and Ron Johnson as well as Trump’s bodyguard Nick Luna have all tested positive.
Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence tested negative on Monday morning, we also got negative test results from Attorney General Bill Barr on Sunday, and he’s currently quarantining until mid-week. On Monday we got negative test results from Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
TheStreet's Katherine Ross asked Dr. Rashid Chotani, medical director at IEM, what his advice would be for anyone who has come in contact with someone who has tested positive--especially someone in the White House--and he told me, “...any contact that [President Trump or Melania Trump] might have had needs to be quarantined until it is absolutely sure that they do not have the disease. So yes. I would not suggest anybody to be out there doing anything, exposing anybody else or making themselves at risk in terms of where they are in their age, etc., to not take this seriously.”
And Ross asked whether or not, on Friday, he’d apply that to Joe Biden, who was at the debate with President Trump days before Trump tested positive and he said that while he’s sure the Cleveland Clinic took all precautions, he would still say that “...Biden testing negative [Friday] really doesn't mean too much in terms of his exposure to an individual who has tested positive. So essentially, guidelines are that if you are exposed to an individual that is positive, then you've got to quarantine yourself. You've got to test and quarantine yourself.”
Biden tested negative again on Sunday--after a negative test on Friday--but did hold an event in Michigan on Friday. Pence, who has also been in contact with multiple people who have now tested positive, still reportedly plans to campaign as Trump remains in the hospital.
NFL Shuffles Games Due to Coronavirus
A week after the first serious Coronavirus outbreak of the season, the NFL was forced to shuffle its schedule turning a Sunday afternoon tilt between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots into a primetime Monday night game on CBS.
The Pats/Chiefs game is schedule for 7:05 PM kickoff Monday night. The regularly scheduled ESPN Monday night game is being pushed back to 8:50 PM, minimizing the overlap between the two games.
Last week, positive tests to 20 members of the Tennessee Titans organization left the league scrambling to delay and then ultimately postpone the Week 4 matchup between the Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers to three Sundays from now on October 25.
Meanwhile, tonight’s game was able to be salvaged for week 4 as former NFL MVP Cam Newton was the only person on either team to test positive for coronavirus.
But there are still logistical issues to work out with the league’s broadcast partners and the people buying advertisements for the game.
I reached out to the NFL and they deferred to CBS, telling me that the league had nothing to do with the ad buying process. Meanwhile a source at CBS said the network is “taking care” of advertisers who bought time for the game’s original slot.
The bottom line is there is inherent risk involved with playing contact sports in the age of coronavirus. The NFL has opted against the bubble approach employed by other sports leagues like the NBA, and while last week’s spate of positive tests was the NFL’s first tests against Covid, it almost certainly won't be its last.
TheStreet's Tony Owusu and Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg contributed to this report.