Sports writers Tim Reynolds, Miami, and Brian Mahoney, New York, teamed up to break news from the NBA’s “Disney bubble” as teams suspended play over racial justice issues. Reynolds got the only on-the-record interview with an executive board member of the National Basketball Players Association, speaking with Andre Iguodala on the day that players decided that they would remain isolated at Walt Disney World and continue the postseason despite the protests.

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NBA referees march in support of players seeking an end to racial injustice in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Aug. 27, 2020. The march came shortly before players met to decide on restarting the season after three games were postponed.

AP Photo / Brian Mahoney

The interview followed Reynolds’ scoop that the NBA’s owners had called an emergency meeting and that a three-hour meeting between players and coaches led to no consensus on how to go forward. The interview with Iguodala, and supplemental reporting by his colleague Mahoney, led to AP being able to break the news that teams would resume practice Friday and playing games Saturday.

In addition to breaking news and navigating game coverage in the unusual circumstnces, both writers also produced compelling behind-the-scenes lifestyle pieces on families and players.

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Officials stand beside an empty court at the scheduled start of an NBA basketball first round playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Aug. 26, 2020. The Bucks didn't take the floor in a protest against racial injustice and the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wis.

AP Photo / Ashley Landis