Add Anthony Tolliver to the list of players who believe there’s strong support throughout the league for finishing the season. Tolliver, a member of the NBPA executive committee, offered some insight into the players’ position during an interview with Darren Wolfson of KSTP (video link).
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that guys want to play, and I think guys want to do it in a safe way,” Tolliver said. “We need to figure out a way where we’re not putting the assistant coaches, especially the older people who would be in that environment, as long as we’re not putting them in serious health risk — I think that’s going to be the biggest key. Guys want to play ball. Guys don’t want to lose money. I think that as long as we have the protocols in place that everybody’s confident in, that’s whenever things will start to pick up some momentum.”
It was already an eventful year for Tolliver, even before the league shutdown. He left the Timberwolves last summer to sign with the Trail Blazers, then was traded to the Kings in January. Sacramento waived him a month later, and he signed a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies on March 2. Tolliver says he was planning to ink a second 10-day deal on March 12, but the league hiatus got in the way.
There’s more coronavirus-related news:
- Lakers forward Jared Dudley believes the season will start again in July, probably in a bubble atmosphere in Las Vegas or Orlando, relays Steve Popper of Newsday. Appearing on ESPN Radio in New York, Dudley said the amount of money at stake will drive the league to find a solution. “We’re going to be safe in this bubble because of the testing — we’re going to be doing them before every game,” he said. “That’s why Adam Silver wants to wait another month or two to be able to sign off on it because he wants everybody in society to be able to get tests first. And second, the data will show the virus that between the ages of 19 and 35, it’s what, 0.001% that someone has died and that’s not even a professional athlete.”
- The NBA’s willingness to push back the start of next season increases the likelihood that this season will be completed, writes Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. He adds that the decision to permit asymptomatic testing in some cities shows that the league is serious about playing again.
- The unusual circumstances surrounding the end of the season means this year’s champion should receive an asterisk, especially if the playoffs are affected because some players have to be quarantined for two weeks, argues Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. However, ESPN’s Jalen Rose disagrees, telling Mike Singer of the Denver Post that champions have always had to overcome some type of obstacles.