Growing Concern About NBA’s Restart Plan

Even as the NBA works to finalize specific dates for various aspects of its resumed season, there’s “growing concern” about the plan among players, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).

Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report (via Twitter) reports that approximately 150 players are planning to take part in a conference call tonight to discuss what they can do to take a stand expressing their concerns and reservations about the league’s Orlando plan.

Beck (Twitter link) hears that up to 200 players may be involved in that call, adding that NBPA vice president Kyrie Irving has been a “driving force” in raising concerns and organizing player discussions. Irving believes that the idea of not returning to play should be considered, given the importance of the anti-racism activism currently happening in the U.S. and around the world, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

According to Beck, one agent estimated that about two-thirds of the league’s top 40 players may refuse to play based on the current information presented by the league.

As we’ve detailed in previous stories, players’ concerns are related to their health and safety, spending significant time away from their families, and directing the spotlight away from social justice issues. Beck suggests that the proposed restrictions involving freedom of movement within the so-called “bubble” in Orlando are also a key factor.

Although players will technically be allowed to leave the campus-like Disney environment after reporting in July, as Jared Dudley explained last month, recent reports have suggested they’d be subject to a 10-day quarantine period for doing so. In other words, leaving the “bubble” likely wouldn’t be a viable option for a player once the season officially resumes, since it would mean missing at least four or five games.

On top of that, as ESPN’s Zach Lowe (video link) and Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports (Twitter link) have pointed out today, the Disney support staff involved in the restart won’t be subject to the same protocols as players, coaches, and other NBA personnel. Those Disney staffers would be free to come and go from the premises as needed, without necessarily being tested daily for COVID-19.

Players who are already apprehensive about spending weeks or months on the Disney campus may push back against the idea of doing so if they feel as if the “bubble” isn’t really a bubble and that their safety could be compromised by support staffers.

Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links) hears from a Walt Disney World source that there would be Disney employees willing to stay in the “bubble” for months on end to help complete the season and reduce health risks, but it’s unclear whether Disney and/or the NBA would ask those staffers to do so.

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33 thoughts on “Growing Concern About NBA’s Restart Plan

    • jump shot

      Agreed…
      If you had to pick which one of 400 players to do this, he’d be at the TOP of your list Smh

  1. Afk711

    What a pathetic excuse from Kyrie. They didn’t stop sports during WW2 or the Civil Rights movement. Anyone who gets distracted enough by sports to stop their activism isn’t commited.

    • ChapmansVacuum

      The athletes werent at risk of catching enlistment in WWII. Its different when the players could be exposed to the virus and play stoppage was done in the first place because it was a risky behavior that could infect and hurt those involved.

    • carlos15

      WW2, when players had to miss 3-4 seasons of their sport to fight in the war.

  2. Adam Silver has been such a champion for equal rights. I’m sure he and the owners would be happy to discuss creative ways that they could give players a platform to speak on racial injustice, be that special halftime events, postgame conferences, doing moments of silence during the game, etc.

    • Al Hirschen

      Yea Let Jim Dolan lead a Focus group of players in discussing racial injustice matters

    • ChapmansVacuum

      29 white billionaires and MJ who dont show and take no risks. Owners want it all for nothing just like baseball. Money splits where players take less just means useless billionaires get more…

  3. I really don’t understand these players. Most have a financial resume that makes me sick just thinking about it. Yet Kyrie and his cohorts seem determined to make matters worse. What a burden being paid millions to play in Orlando for the next few months. Boo boo, I feel sorry for them….NOT!

    • ChapmansVacuum

      Your only deciding about risking your own health thats all. Its not about the money for most of them. They just dont think this half baked idea makes sense in a number of places….

      • martevious

        It is? Kylie wouldn’t even be going, and he’s the one who’s leading the charge. His health isn’t going to be compromised.

    • Strike Four

      Stop trying to shoehorn in your tired narratives to an unprecedented situation.

    • dkcsmc1991

      Kyrie will get hurt doing this probably just like when he tries to play.

    • Steven Juris

      Why allow vendors in to a closed campus who might have an actual virus and not test them them at all? That’s what they ate rightly complaining about. Maybe they should find some scrubs who don’t care if they get sick just like everybody else in Florida.

    • Strike Four

      It forces b00mers to actually fix the problem instead of repeatedly passing the buck the last 50 years.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Kyrie can’t and won’t play anyway. We all have been quarantined. They are going to do it in luxury. All helpers will be covered. You have medical there. Last thing you need to worry about is catching it. Stay away from People. Don’t go out. Just stay in shape. Who couldn’t do that for 500 grand- 2 mill. There is no bigger platform than the NBA playoffs. It’s the biggest and most powerful black enterprise in the world. Not only can you keep the message going. You can actually do more. So please STFU Kyrie. You’re the last person who should be speaking. Since we all know you ain’t playing. Go find where the end of the world drops. You got plenty of time.

    • ChapmansVacuum

      A few players getting it can mean all players getting it, and thousands of people interacting with support staff coming and going isnt close to quarantining like the rest of us. I would love to see NBA, but if half the league gets sick its shut down anyways, and a couple players die in the misguided attempt its not worth it.

  5. jump shot

    I’d be surprised if Kyrie lasts the whole year with Brooklyn next season. If he does, he’ll be gone soon after. His personality is like fingernails to a chalkboard – and blames the chalkboard.

  6. Strike Four

    Kyrie finally does the right thing, and he has airtight logic around it for once. What a tone deaf move to play pro sports right now. No, we are busy with other things right now. Make those resisting understand that the longer you resist, the longer it will go on.

    • We can still do the right thing and we can still speak and we can still make our opinions heard when we go to work. You don’t need to take the whole week off, or 2 months off just to be heard. In fact if they play they may even get more interviews and more television coverage? Thoughts?

  7. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    From this report, the biggest and most legit gripe I can see that the players have is support personnel being allowed to come and go (without constant testing) while players will essentially not be allowed the same – paying a ten-day penalty for leaving the bubble is obviously not a viable option.

    Doesn’t that essentially destroy the bubble concept? On other points, I can see where both sides would have talking points, but this one point seems ludicrous to me, and I completely feel the players are right in regards to it.

    • x%sure

      I had no idea Disney would drop the ball on this. Apparently DW has not even asked! Are they waiting to be asked to ask? Was the word “bubble” always avoided?
      Maybe Silver is to blame. Fix it, boss man.

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    The whole country is opening back up. Now some states are more careful than others. I will always be on the careful side. But their complex is run by them. They are in total control. No outside, fans or help. The less people involved the easier it is to monitor. They should all be ok now. Unless they caught it protesting. But they can get tested all the time. First if they are not going to play. Then they shouldn’t have a voice. Only ones who should be in on talks. Are all managers and leaders of actual participants. I’m sure they can come up with plan and protocol. We are talking 2 wks if gms. Then playoffs for 8 sets of games. 4 sets (8 teams) in East 4 in west. Then down to 2 sets and 8 teams total.
    Then 4 teams.Then Finals 2 teams. So after first 2 wks. It well get easier and easier to monitor. It’s not rocket science. It’s protocol and service to your trade. These are adults. What you can’t follow protocol like children. Seems easy to me.

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