While the NBA’s owners and National Basketball Players Association have agreed on a 22-team plan to resume the season at Disney World, there is no guarantee that basketball will be played again this year.
Several reports Friday indicated that a significant chunk of players have trepidation about resuming the season. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that some players were disappointed that everyone did not have a chance to vote on whether to restart play. According to Haynes, “some players believe it’s bad optics for a league comprised predominantly of black men to be sequestered in one location for up to three months merely to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden.”
That concern is, of course, especially profound in light of nationwide protests about institutional racism following the killing of George Floyd.
Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks reported that there is a call scheduled among players for Friday night to further discuss “what they can do to take a stand.” The call could include as many as 200 players, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, who reported that the Nets’ Kyrie Irving has been a “driving force” in organizing calls and raising concerns about the NBA’s plan.
On The JJ Redick Podcast Thursday night, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon said he’s “talked to a few guys that are super interested in sitting out possibly.”
Redick had a brief and accurate response to reporting from NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh that Disney staff would not be subject to the NBA’s bubble protocols.
So...there isn’t a bubble. https://t.co/ljLrsAbUhd— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) June 12, 2020
Haberstroh’s piece details some of the health and safety concerns the NBA still must address, including rising rates of positive COVID-19 tests in Orange County, Florida, under what conditions players would be allowed to exit the “bubble,” and what the contingencies would be if multiple personnel tested positive.
One of many difficult aspects for the NBA is that the optimal conditions for minimizing risk don’t necessarily align with players’ desires. Per Beck, “players want more freedom of movement while in Orlando.”
Meanwhile, multiple reports also surfaced Friday regarding restart dates.
Sources: NBA's expected restart dates:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 12, 2020
- July 30-Aug. 14: Seeding games
- Aug.15-16: Play-in tournaments
- Aug. 17: Playoffs begin
- Aug. 30: Family/guests of teams arrive
- Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Conf. Semifinals
- Sept. 15-Sept. 28: Conf. Finals
- Sept. 30-Oct. 13: NBA Finals
Players stationed outside of the United States would need to report to their team markets by Monday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, while players within the country would have to report by June 22.
It’s become clearer that those dates remain tentative and reliant on factors outside of the league’s wish to finish this season.
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