More Details Emerge From Friday’s Conference Call

We relayed details last night about a conference call regarding player objections to the plan to restart the NBA season in Orlando. More information on that call, which involved in excess of 80 players, has been released by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Charania confirms that Kyrie Irving was the leader of the effort to make players reconsider their support of finishing the season. He spoke first and offered a direct message to his peers, telling them, “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bull–. … Something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as black men every day we wake up.”

Avery Bradley, who was outspoken throughout the conversation, was the first player to follow Irving’s comments. He encouraged the players to take a stand and to use the opportunity to “play chess, not checkers.” Other prominent names on the call included union president Chris PaulKevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Donovan Mitchell.

Players have been involved in conversations for the past two weeks, sources tell Charania, expressing concerns about the games in Orlando and the restrictive conditions that are rumored to be part of the bubble environment. The opposition began among “rank-and-file” players, with Irving and Durant providing prominent voices.

Sources offered Charania a few more tidbits from the conference call:

  • Anthony emphasized the need for player unity and the importance of conveying a single message. He also urged all 80 players on the call to donate $25K to a cause of their choice.
  • CJ McCollum told players they have to be prepared for financial setbacks if they choose not to play and the possibility that owners will nullify the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Howard warned that resuming the season will distract from the social justice issues the country is focused on. He encouraged players to use the moment as a catalyst for change.
  • Mitchell talked about players “being behind the 8-ball” by being forced into a competitive environment after being idle for so long. “We’re taking a big injury risk,” he told his fellow players.
  • NBPA leadership doesn’t expect fans to be allowed into games at any point during the 2020/21 season, which would result in another huge revenue loss for the league.
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20 thoughts on “More Details Emerge From Friday’s Conference Call

  1. sportsfan101

    Smh Irving is a cancer to the entire sport of basketball. The nets will regret signing him quickly especially after his replacement in Boston kemba Walker is doing everything right. That must kill his ego n he needs to find a new reason to be in the spotlight.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    Irving comments show how uneducated he is.

    “I don’t support going to into Orlando. I’m not with the Systematic Racism and the bull-.”

    These are two completely different things and he’s looking at them as if they are together.
    Going to Orlando means going back to your job. It means the resumption of the NBA and finishing the season. That’s one thing. The second thing is you don’t agree with systematic racism. I agree with you that stuff shouldn’t exist and I totally agree with black players wanting to be heard and make a change and using their platform. 100% make the world a better place and do what you can. But the NBA isn’t the bad guy. Going to Orlando doesn’t mean you don’t support the BLM or that you support racism. These two things are completely unrelated.

    However everyone else in the call I can agree with. Melo said everyone should donate to causes that make a change. Everyone who earns millions a year should donate, even if you don’t earn that much you should be helping to make a change.

    McCollum said if you choose not to play then don’t be surprised if you lose some money. Don’t work don’t get paid. Yes players signed contracts but your breaking your deal if you miss 8 games and the playoffs.

    Dwight I also agree with. Having NBA games will be a distraction for social justice and take away from the protesting and things. However you can use games to be heard. People that choose to watch games over protesting that’s their decision just like it’s your decision to not go to Orlando or do but there will always be outcomes from every decision good or bad.

    Lastly with Donovan, I like his take. He wants to protect himself from injury after having a big lay off and not being able to consistently train and having to jump into playoff type level basketball. He in particular will likely have to go from he couch to almost 40 minutes per night in close playoff games and have to help carry that team.

    • jellbuc

      I agree. Kyrie has always been a cancer on every team. He’s working against the players by trying to drum up support for not playing so he can feel better about not playing? The NBA isn’t perfect but they go out of their way to be fair and work with the union. That statement adding in systematic racism seems like he was just throwing around the word to try to get people behind his cause.

      For the insurance I don’t understand why this would be any different then any other season. Actually I think this set up would be better on the body. They’ve had time to recover, could/should have maintained some shape and now have 2 months to ramp back up. I’m sure someone like Lebron is still close enough to game shape that 2 months is ample time to get back in playoff shape. And it’s the younger players that are complaining?? I dread sports in the next 20 years when gen z players come out of every game because they got an ouchee. If you don’t want to play don’t, but don’t expect to get paid. I haven’t taken one day off during this pandemic because as my boss says. You don’t have to come to work but we’re open so if you want us to pay you be here.

  3. C-Daddy

    I don’t really understand how returning to play will detract from the movement. If anything, won’t the spotlight on the NBA give the players an even bigger platform to speak out against social injustice? Also, playing games = getting paid = having more money to donate to the cause. Seems like a win-win to me.

    • x_burner_X

      Dude is bending the truth to his favor, if he and kd are healthy he would have been all in on playing

  4. Afk711

    The NBA coming back can enhance the movment even more. Kyrie just wants everyone to be miserable with him. Dwight and Melo should be smarter since they have finally both landed in a desirable sitation after years of being outcasts.

  5. GABEPERKINS1

    I maintain that if melo and Howard Decide not to play their NBA careers are over they are both in good situations after being basically out of the league.. This would equate to them quitting on their team. And although the NBA said no punishment doesn’t mean the GM’s not gonna say these guys are a pain in the ass and not offer them a contract.. Dwight Howard has the best opportunity to win a ring and he’s gonna walk away from that.. He truly doesn’t wanna win a ring.. He quits GuessWhat Lakers will get DeMarcus Cousins because it’s been four months longer for cousins to get healthy

  6. hiflew

    If you are sitting out because you are worried about Covid-19, I am okay with that. If you are sitting out for ANY other reason, you shouldn’t get paid. Simple as that in my mind.

  7. Didn’t realise this is a site for Trump supporter basketball fans. Man, you all need to do a bit of research on your country’s history

    • x%sure

      Rant warning!– not approved by the current mainstream media.
      This site, beyond being pro-basketball, would also tend to attract the posters that are anti-anti-basketball… against those who want to make everything about race because such people are often jealous about the prominence of sports and want to shift that attention to what they want people to see by shutting down sports.
      Covad19 is/was an exception to that, at least for me in March, and for most eventually. But there was a resistance to adopt a season postponement.

      There is a strong history of racism, in America and everywhere, even moreso than there is today, but I don’t see why that is an argument to stop it.
      The problem is public-sector labor unions providing policemen guaranteed protection. All living things and some non-living things have preferences, but only a small percentage of humans have unions that will make the law protect them rather than prosecute them. That should be eaten into.

      Union protections should be applied where needed, to minimum-wagers trying to live not millionaires looking for an excuse.
      The NBA does need a union to sign off on salary caps however, otherwise caps might be declared illegal, rightly or wrongly. (Another topic.)

      • Luckylefty2

        “those who want to make everything about race because such people are often jealous about the prominence of sports and want to shift that attention to what they want people to see by shutting down sports”

        THIS! I am a black male and I been saying this all along. Alot ot black people sneakily want the league to shut down because of jealousy not because of the cause.

  8. bigeasye

    First of all, why are Carmelo, Dwight and kyrie relevant? Let’s hear what Steph Curry has to say as someone who actually does something with his voice. LeBron as well.
    I think that if they feel strongly- don’t play. And don’t hold others back who do want to. I’m curious about the players who actually have a shot at winning the title this year and what they have to say. Also- there will be a much bigger stage to promote their message with the TVs on, them sitting on the sidelines.

  9. GABEPERKINS1

    Yeah we see whole lot of kyrie, Dwight and Carmelo ouT there letting there voices be heard.. I sure do hear a lot of lebron and he’s playing so what’s their excuse?

  10. Arnold Ziffel

    Time for some reality here. In 2019 there were 41 unarmed people shot by police of which 9 were black. The numbers have declined greatly since the 60s so progress is being made,

    The players making the biggest stink are those who are borderline play off players like Irving or not even playing Durant. Unless there are underlying health concerns, young adults like the NBA players dying from Covid are lower than being struck by lightning.

    Hopefully if the season ends up cancelled, highly doubtful, the bargaining agreement gets torn up and the owners smarten up.

  11. DarkSide830

    its one thing to not like the Orlando plan, and its one thing to want to stand up to racism, but its another thing to juxtapose the two to suggest going to Orlando has anything to do with race.

  12. KnickerbockerAl

    There’s no bigger platform than NBA playoffs. Injury concerns, I can understand that. Well no one told you season was over. So you should be in shape and healthy and rested. You want to get paid. Then you play. You don’t want to play. Then stay home and watch. No Pay and no ring. You can explain it to your teams. If they don’t start soon. Then they might as well just wait till next yr. I guess we go straight to draft.

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