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NBA players’ union reportedly polling members about finishing season: Yes or no?


USA - 2007: Amanda Raymond color illustration of pastel candy hearts imprinted with “SAY YES.” (The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Tribune News Service via Getty I

Update II: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Update: Shams Charania of The Athletic:

OK then.

NBA owners and players split revenue nearly equally.

But owners and players would not share risk and discomfort nearly equally if play resumes amid the coronavirus.

Players would have to travel to and live in a bubble. Owners could (and probably should be encouraged to) stay home.

So, while LeBron James – who’s chasing a legacy-boosting championship – is outspoken about finishing the season. it’s easy to see why other players (especially on lottery teams) could be apprehensive.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The National Basketball Players Association should absolutely get a full understanding of whether its members want to play. I’m shocked that hasn’t happened already.

But this method seems haphazard.

Some players might not trust the results to remain confidential – especially with the existence of the question leaking. The questions being worded slightly differently can taint results. Likewise, a simple yes-no question leaves too little room for nuance.

Practically every player would eagerly return under the “right” circumstances. Projections for a resumed season can vary wildly. Everyone has their own estimates of how safe they’d be and how much money they’d earn. Similarly, people have different ideas about what canceling the rest of the season would mean. Players are answering based on those divergent underlying assumptions.

NBA careers are short. The salaries are large. Players are competitive. Most external pressure points toward playing.

I’d expect a large majority of responding players to say “yes.”

But I’m just unconvinced union leadership should take much from these results.