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Russell Westbrook got approval to return to practice with the Rockets for the first time since a positive COVID-19 test. Michael Wyke/Associated Press

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook is set to practice with the team for the first time since revealing that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Westbrook did not travel with the Rockets on July 9 when they flew to Florida for the NBA’s restart. The nine-time All-Star revealed on social media that he had tested positive for the virus on July 14 and he did not arrive in Florida until Monday.

Westbrook had to quarantine upon his arrival at Disney but was cleared to join the Rockets for their practice on Wednesday.

He said his only symptom was a stuffy nose and that he’s feeling great now and ready to get to work with the Rockets, who open the season July 31 against Dallas.

Westbrook, who wore a mask as he spoke to the media despite being inside the NBA bubble, urged people not take the coronavirus lightly and to wear a mask.

“I’m not a doctor nor a specialist, but I do know that it’s definitely something to take very seriously,” he said. “To understand that wearing a mask can be between life or death honestly … there are people dying from this virus each and every day and it’s something that we all need to take very, very seriously.”

CLIPPERS: Patrick Beverley departed the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World to take care of what was described as an “emergency family matter,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Anyone who leaves the NBA’s campus can reenter only after spending between four and 10 days in quarantine. The timing not only rules out Beverley for the team’s first two scrimmages, against Orlando on Wednesday and Washington on Saturday, but also puts into question Beverley’s availability for the team’s first seeding game on July 30, against the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.

The playoffs begin Aug. 17. Beverley is the second key Clipper to leave the NBA’s so-called bubble since Friday, when reserve Montrezl Harrell departed to be with his grandmother.

Beverley signed a three-year, $40 million contract one year ago to return to the Clippers. He averaged 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists this season while reprising his role as one of the team’s key leaders.

TIMBERWOLVES: Kevin Garnett wants to come back to Minnesota – as a Timberwolves owner.

The longtime NBA superstar said he is part of a group that is hoping to buy the franchise from Glen Taylor, who has owned it since 1994. Taylor said in a statement he was recently approached by a third-party group to discuss the future of the franchise. He said he’s always wanted what’s best for the team’s fans and “ will entertain opportunities ” on the ownership structure of the Timberwolves and Lynx, Minnesota’s WNBA team.

Taylor told The Athletic that interested buyers have been told that the franchise must stay in Minnesota, which doesn’t appear to be a problem for Garnett. He tweeted that “no two people love the city more than myself and Glen Taylor and I look forward to trying to work with him to achieve my dream.”

ESPN reported that Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf had emerged as serious candidates to buy the team. The Vikings declined comment.

 

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