Here is what has happened over the last couple of weeks in the NBA:MARCH 31The Oklahoma City Thunder organization, specifically members of the roster and basketball operations staff, received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, as first reported by ESPN. The number of personnel who participated in the inoculations was called “significant.” A link was also provided in the social media messages through which Oklahomans could schedule vaccine appointments of their own. Read more here.MARCH 30The NBA has incentivized getting vaccinated, allowing teams that have 85% of both players and staff fully-vaccinated to be freed from the restrictions that have kept them masked in locker rooms, confined to their hotel rooms without guests on the road and banned from eating at restaurants. However, despite the incentives, some players and staff are refusing to be vaccinated, citing religious reasons, health concerns (such as allergies) or other personal reasons. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts spoke with the Wall Street Journal and confirmed that at least a sect of players have concerns about being vaccinated. Roberts suggests, however, that the vaccines -- which she says are “auditioning” -- are “earning credibility” with her constituents. Read more here.MARCH 26Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealed that approximately one dozen members of the team, apparently players and coaches, received the COVID-19 vaccine this week. The news of the inoculations arrives amid reports that some Warriors players do not intend to get the vaccine. Kerr disclosed that the players and coaches who were inoculated Thursday received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which means a second shot will not be necessary. As noted, some Warriors players previously expressed an aversion to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This week, both Andrew Wiggins and Kent Bazemore indicated vaccinations are not in their future. Bazemore provided a blunt “no” when asked. Wiggins, meanwhile, said, “I don’t really see myself getting it anytime soon, unless forced to, somehow.” Read more here.While it fell through the cracks to some extent amidst a hectic trade-deadline week, the latest update from the NBA and NBPA on coronavirus testing results was another favorable one. According to the league and the union, just one player out of 485 tested positive for COVID-19 between March 17-24. Read more here.MARCH 24Some members of the Los Angeles Lakers organization will receive the COVID-19 vaccine at some point this week, according to a report from Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The Lakers will join the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat as NBA organizations that have disclosed receipt of COVID-19 vaccines since inoculations became more readily available to the general public. Read more here.MARCH 23Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), the Heat intend to open two sections in their lower bowl only for fans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning with their April 1 game against the Golden State Warriors. The Heat are the first NBA franchise to announce such a move, but the AP added other clubs are working to follow in Miami's footsteps. Read more here.MARCH 22Knicks point guard Derrick Rose has exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced Monday. However, it remains to be seen when he’ll be cleared to return to action, since he’ll have to rebuild his strength and conditioning following a bout with COVID-19, Peter Botte of the New York Post writes. Read more here.MARCH 18The NBA and NBPA have reached an agreement to lighten health and safety protocols for players who have been vaccinated. There were also be changes in guidelines for teams where 85% of players and staff have received the vaccination. The NBA considers someone fully vaccinated 14 days after they have received the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. According to ESPN's Baxter Holmes, vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to quarantine due to exposure to the coronavirus. Further, they also will be able to have up to four guests on the road without prior testing and allowed to go to outdoor restaurants. For teams that reach 85% vaccination for players and staff, they will no longer be required to wear masks at team practice facilities and they will have more flexibility to leave the hotel when they are on the road, including eating both indoors and outdoors at restaurants. Read more here.The NBA and NBPA announced on Wednesday that three of the 490 players tested for the coronavirus since March 10 returned confirmed positive tests. That’s relatively good news for the league, since there was some concern about players moving all over the country during the All-Star break before returning to their teams. It appears there hasn’t been a spike in COVID-19 cases following the break. Read more here.MARCH 17Warriors big men James Wiseman and Eric Paschall will be quarantining due to COVID-19 protocols for at least one week, per Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. The players were initially sidelined on Wednesday night for Golden State’s battle with the hapless Rockets, a 108-94 victory, after contact tracing revealed potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Slater adds that some of the Warriors’ development staff and assistant coaches have also entered the NBA’s coronavirus protocols. Read more here.MARCH 14Eligible members of the New Orleans Pelicans organization, including several players, received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, the team announced, according to ESPN's Andrew Lopez. Pelicans reserve guard Sindarius Thornwell was among the players. Read more here.MARCH 13While the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on every pro sport and team, the scale of the damage seems to be known for the Sacramento Kings. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Jason Jones, the Kings lost approximately $100 million over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.MARCH 12Rookie center James Wiseman notched 14 points and seven rebounds in the Golden State Warriors' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. He only played the fourth quarter. Wiseman was fully cleared to play, but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr benched him for the first three quarters for missing COVID-19 tests during the All-Star break. Read more here.MARCH 11The NBA has maintained its message that safety is the top priority for this season, but Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy says that the league needs to be honest about its real No. 1 priority: the almighty dollar. "The one thing I will criticize the league office and other people who say… ‘Safety is our No. 1 concern." No, no. It’s your number two concern," Stan Van Gundy said on The Intersection podcast with Jason Page. "Your number one concern is making money, and your number two concern is while we’re making the money let’s keep everyone as safe as we can. Let’s just be honest about that." Van Gundy pointed to last weekend's All-Star Game as proof of the NBA putting money ahead of keeping people safe, noting that it would have been "a lot safer not to play." Read more here.More and more states, cities, and communities are opening outdoor and indoor events to paying spectators despite continued COVID-19 concerns. During a Thursday appearance on ESPN's "First Take," National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that the existence of at least three coronavirus vaccines should permit growing numbers of fans to safely attend sporting events over the next several months. Read more here.MARCH 10A week off for the All-Star break didn’t resolve the Raptors‘ coronavirus situation, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw all remain in the league’s health and safety protocols and won’t be available for Thursday’s game with the Hawks. Read more here.However, Nick Nurse was cleared to return Wednesday and guided the team through practice, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Nurse expects to be back on the sidelines Thursday as Toronto starts the second half of the season against the Hawks. Read more here.MARCH 9The NBA is reportedly quite concerned over how a sizable contingent of league players descended upon Miami while the league held All-Star Game festivities in Atlanta over the weekend. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, an estimated 150 players are believed to have traveled to Miami at some point this past weekend. The concerns are that players may have overlooked following some of the league-mandated COVID-19 protocols while enjoying the nightlife in South Beach and Miami’s many other attractions, leaving the league confronting a possible coronavirus outbreak. Read more here.After having to miss the 2021 All-Star game Sunday due to potential COVID-19 exposure, return timelines from quarantining have been established for Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, should they continue to test negative for the novel coronavirus. Embiid will have to isolate until Friday, meaning he will miss Philadelphia’s contest against the Bulls scheduled for Thursday, March 11. Simmons, meanwhile, is required to quarantine until at least Saturday. This will make Simmons a scratch against the Wizards in a Friday matchup, as well as Chicago. Read more here.MARCH 8Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons missed the NBA All-Star Game and left Atlanta ahead of the contest due to contact tracing that linked them with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19, but the Association confirmed on Monday that no players, coaches or officials tested positive for the virus during the All-Star festivities. Because of concerns related to the virus' incubation period, it's unknown if either Embiid or Simmons will be available when Philadelphia opens the second half of the season at the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. "So far, so good as far as their testing," 76ers coach Doc Rivers told reporters about the pair. "They feel great. They both obviously wanted to play. We're disappointed. Both of them, their biggest concern would be if they could play the first two games when we get back. So we don't know the answer to that yet. That's going to be really important for us. It would be tough to start the second half of the year and not have either one." Read more here.MARCH 7According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will miss the All-Star Game after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Read more here.Brooklyn Nets star James Harden is among the players who have made it known that they aren't happy with the NBA's decision to host the All-Star Game amid the ongoing pandemic. The three-time scoring champion said Sunday that the league "kind of forced" the game upon the players, according to Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated. Read more here.Additionally, Paul George also expressed frustration with the NBA still playing the game. “It is just an unfortunate time in the world where our health and safety should be at the front of the helm,” George told reporters. “I personally don’t agree with the game.” Read more here.MARCH 6ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Joel Embiid is planning to donate his All-Star Game earnings, which is $100K, to homeless shelters in Philadelphia. The money donated will provide meals, clothing and COVID-19 treatment for people at the shelters. Read more here.NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday that he's "optimistic" the 2021-22 season will start on time with "fairly full arenas," according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. Read more here.Additionally, Silver said Saturday he does not envision returning to a bubble environment. Read more here.No fans are allowed to attend the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, plenty of bars and clubs in the area are planning to host parties for the event. With everyone's health and safety in mind, the NBA sent about 200 cease-and-desist orders to party promoters in Atlanta who have used the league's All-Star logo and event name in connection with unaffiliated events this weekend, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. Read more here.The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA, unsurprisingly, took a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. When the entire country came to a halt about one year ago, Forbes estimated that the four major American sports leagues and the NCAA would lose a combined $5 billion in revenue. According to Forbes' most recent report, the revenue losses for the NCAA and the four major U.S. sports leagues have now hit at least $14.1 billion. Read more here.MARCH 5NBA commissioner Adam Silver made it clear in comments this week that the league is discouraging fans from descending on Atlanta for Sunday’s scaled-down 2021 NBA All-Star Game event. Silver laid out how the NBA wants to keep things as safe as possible during this weekend’s festivities at State Farm Arena, home of the Hawks, given it’s being held despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The message within the NBA community is that we’re going to be operating in a mini bubble,” Silver said. “There will be no NBA functions [for fans] to participate in. We appreciate their support and hope they’ll watch our All-Star Game on television … this is a television-only event in Atlanta.” Read more here.Jayson Tatum is averaging 24 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game over his last three contests, but the Boston Celtics star still isn't feeling 100%. After a 132-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, Tatum admitted he's still not feeling right after his battle with COVID-19 in January. "I'm not sure about back to normal. I for sure feel better than I did the first game [on Jan. 25]. It's a long process," Tatum said, according to CBS Boston. "I've talked to guys that said it took months for them to kind of catch their breath, and get their wind back. And I think I'm kind of on the same track with that. I for sure feel better. I don't feel necessarily the same before I got it when I was playing. I definitely know there's a difference. But I feel pretty good." Read more here.MARCH 4After playing without several key rotation players on Wednesday night vs. Detroit due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Raptors missed those same players on Thursday in Boston. As Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets, the club officially announced that Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw remain in the protocols and have been ruled out for Thursday’s game. Read more here.Per Alex Smith of Yahoo Sports, Knicks guard Derrick Rose was available for Thursday's game versus the Detroit Pistons due to the NBA's health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. He missed Tuesday night's matchup at the Spurs following an inconclusive coronavirus test result but, as Peter Botte noted for the New York Post, there was hope Rose would be able to play Thursday after he provided multiple negative tests and returned to New York. Read more here.MARCH 3Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to lift the state-wide mask mandate this week amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was met with plenty of criticism across the country. Even San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich sounded off on Abbott. During a pregame press conference on Tuesday before a game against the New York Knicks, Popovich called Abbott's decision to reopen the state "mystifying," according to TMZ Sports. Read more here.Knicks point guard Derrick Rose was sidelined for Tuesday’s game due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but it sounds like he shouldn’t miss additional time. According to Steve Popper of Newsday, Rose registered an inconclusive COVID-19 test and was held out for precautionary reasons. Rose has since returned multiple negative results and was cleared to accompany the team on its flight back home. As long as he continues to test negative Wednesday and Thursday, the former MVP will be able to play in the Knicks’ final first-half game against Detroit on Thursday, says Popper. Read more here.The Pistons are among the latest teams to announce plans to bring a limited number of fans back into their arena. According to a press release, Detroit will permit up to 750 fans at Little Caesars Arena starting on March 17. That number may increase later in the season. Read more here.Although the 2021 NBA Rising Stars game will not be played at the All-Star Game this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the league still decided to unveil the rosters as a way to honor the players who would have made it. Read more here.There are seven new positive coronavirus test results among the 456 league players tested since February 24, per an announcement from the NBPA. Read more here.Furthermore, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Toronto Raptors are responsible for "many" of those new positives. Read more here.The Raptors are dealing with a COVID outbreak, and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, one cause may have been the coaching staff’s inconsistent mask-wearing. Read more here.MARCH 2The NBA and NBPA intend to further loosen the restrictions facing players on two-way contracts for the rest of the 2020-21 season, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Currently, players on two-way contracts are limited to appearing in 50 regular-season games and aren’t eligible for the postseason. The plan is to eliminate both of those restrictions, pending board of governors approval. Read more here.ESPN's Royce Young reported on Tuesday that the Oklahoma City Thunder have become the first NBA team to announce they won't welcome fans through the rest of the 2020-21 season. Read more here.FEBRUARY 2876ers guard Seth Curry started the 2020-21 season on a high note, but then he tested positive for COVID-19 in January and hasn't been the same since. After the 112-109 loss to the Cavaliers, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said he blamed the coronavirus for Curry's recent struggles. "I don't think he's been very consistent since he's returned from COVID," Rivers said, according to Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. "We have heard that other players have been in and out like this as well." Read more here.FEBRUARY 27The Toronto Raptors have three games remaining before the All-Star break, and Pascal Siakam will reportedly miss all of them. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Siakam will remain in the NBA's health and safety protocols after missing Friday's game against the Houston Rockets. Read more here.Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, who has missed the past 10 games while in the league’s health and safety protocols, will likely play Sunday against the Clippers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Read more here.FEBRUARY 26The NBA will require college seniors to petition the league for inclusion on the early-entry list in order to become draft-eligible this year, ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony reports. The NCAA granted all winter athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, giving every college basketball senior the option of returning for an additional season in 2021-22. The NBA’s decision for seniors to petition for draft eligibility will result in a record-breaking number of players on the early-entry list. In last year’s draft, 163 college underclassmen were on the early entry list. The NCAA’s ruling regarding this year’s college seniors created a loophole in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Givony notes. Normally, graduating college seniors who have exhausted their four years of NCAA eligibility are automatically eligible for the draft. However, college seniors this season still have remaining eligibility. Read more here.FEBRUARY 25Per the Associated Press (h/t NBA.com), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Thursday that large indoor and outdoor venues, such as sports arenas and ballparks, can welcome fans up to 12% of their capacities beginning March 22. According to estimates shared by Logan Mullen of NESN, the Boston Celtics can permit 2,298 fans. Read more here.FEBRUARY 19The NBA is working toward holding its annual Las Vegas Summer League sometime in early- or mid-August in 2021, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. The league is still figuring out all the specifics, sources tell ESPN. Read more here.