Players’ Conference Call Focuses On Restart Concerns

More than 80 players participated in a conference call on Friday night to address concerns over the NBA’s restart plan, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Nets guard Kyrie Irving was the leading voice on the call, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While the NBA has solidified key restart dates, a plan approved by player reps last week, Irving has emerged as the most prominent player with major reservations about resuming the season.

Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Donovan Mitchell were among the participants on the call, and numerous players voiced their concerns about finishing the season amid nationwide unrest regarding social injustice and racism, Charania adds.

During the call, one unnamed player texted Wojnarowski regarding some of the issues raised during the call (Twitter link), including playing in the Orlando bubble: “(Kyrie)’s trying to give players a platform to be able to have a discussion — on the bubble, racial equality and unity. … It’s a good call.”

Irving underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in March. His presence in Orlando would only be as an interested observer and to support his Nets teammates.

Irving was an active participant in last week’s call when the reps agreed to the restart plan and only chimed in with mundane questions. Thus, his actions to organize a broader conference call that could change or even halt the restart plan has surprised several of his NBPA colleagues, according to Wojnarowski.

Irving’s stance has pitted him against many of the league’s superstars, most of whom have strongly supported the resumption of the season. Irving seems to be relishing the clash, Wojnarowski adds.

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36 thoughts on “Players’ Conference Call Focuses On Restart Concerns

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I will never forget all of the media around this time last year when free agency began, and the Nets were declared the big winners after they got both Kyrie and KD. It’s laughable how wrong they were in their declaration, what a joke!

      • x%sure

        And there he is with his mantra. Bet HWM didn’t see Irving leading a wildcat strike while he’s not playing anyway, leading followers who don’t want to show up because of a virus that there’s no guarantee there will ever be a vaccine for?

  1. cant_teach_speed

    Dude isn’t even going to be playing? Just shut up Kyrie. Even if he has legitimate concerns, if the other players in the league want to run, get the f outta the way.

  2. Al Hirschen


    Shams Charania
    Kyrie Irving told NBA players on call Friday, sources tell

    : “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy.”

  3. Afk711

    If his Nets were a top seed and KD was playing he would be singing a different tune. If LeBron and Giannis are the only ones that want to play so be it. No one is stopping sports because of racism. Lebron does a lot to fight the issues but you don’t hear him not wanting to play.

  4. brewcrew08

    If the players back out of this season I bet we don’t see the NBA next season. The NBA will rip up the CBA and the players will lose all of next years salary. At this point the NBA has done everything to make a return both safe and fair to the players.

    • cant_teach_speed

      Nah. Too much money. Owners don’t want to miss out on a season and a half of pay and neither do the players.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The only one of the big 4 US sports in real jeopardy right now is baseball. Things will work out just fine with the NBA, NFL, and NHL. But MLB?

  5. Al Hirschen

    Shams Charania

    Donovan Mitchell, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard among others spoke out about possibly sitting out due to social/COVID-19 issues, per sources. NBPA leadership, Paul/Garrett Temple, provided insight too. Every player had a voice — wants to find purpose, whether they play or not.

    • x%sure

      Way to get a checkmark onto the post. But where are the quotemarks?

      “Wants to find purpose”
      How about finishing basketball?

  6. Simmons>Russ

    I totally understand being hesitant on the bubble and thinking safety first and all of that which is great. You should be looking after yourself and not jumping into a situation you could get sick or hurt in.

    I also understand the George Floyd death and BLM movement and wanting to make a stand, have a voice and opinion and be able to make a change. There is so much racism in the world and right now black people are being heard more than ever and hopefully we can see some changes. Totally understand that but right now you have to seperate basketball from racism.

    If you choose to not go to Orlando and protest with the BLM movement that’s 100% up to you. But the NBA isn’t the bad guys, there season starting isn’t a bad thing.

    • bedbathandbiyombo

      totally agree. everyone’s individual decision should be respected. I would really hate for this to be painted as an NBA vs players thing, like MLB is suffering from. I hope they are able to come to a compromise on the terms of players’ participation. If Kyrie hadn’t stirred the pot, I wonder if someone else would have.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Also agree with the Kyrie part. From being in Lebrons shadow and leaving Cleveland, to the flat earth theory, to getting Kenny Atkinson fired to multiple other things.
        He’s becoming an advocate for being a distraction and someone hard to agree and get along with.

        I was a fan of his at Cleveland but since he left he’s only made bad decisions and his level of play hasn’t been the same

    • Arnold Ziffel

      Any player under 34 the odds are better of being struck by lightning than dying of this. Over 34 odds drop to 1 in 600000. Play the stupid game already.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Yes I know the stats and stuff but what about teams coach’s teams staff players family members. It’s not 5v5 under 34 year olds playing a game.

        It’s 15 man rosters, 10 coach’s and staff members, NBA referees and game organisers and commentators. Playing multiple games mixing with various people. Meanwhile their family members are sick and dieing.
        You have to respect people’s decisions and if someone is cautious then that’s a fair approach. Yes players PROBABLY won’t get sick or die but it’s going to have impacts on players. Just look at KATS mom as an example

    • i hate my father

      Well said! Give the players a choice to play or not play and respect their decision but Don’t make NBA the bad guy here.


    Carmelo and Dwight don’t play, guarantee there nba career is done.. not worth the headache and they quit on there team. Lakers will just sign cousins to replace. Mitchell had corona.. why he not playing.. kyrie is strictly a cancer. Him. And Kd both

  8. jessaumodesto

    Kyrie is a nut, who has shown to be very unstable and argue things such as the world being flat…and he’s your voice of reason?

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    Why is there even a discussion. There’s a pandemic. The President is a donkey. Florida is run by not the smartest people. But NBA is in control if this. We are talking about 2 months then the Finals. I’ve been home for 4 months. This is a freakin vacation. Just control outside elements. There should be no issues. Unless the players break protocol. This seems pretty simple to me. No one cares what Kyrie thinks. I know if they don’t start soon. Then they might as well just wait till next yr. At this point I could care less. Life is not changing any time soon. We all are sacrificing. NBA ain’t sacrificing shot. They’re just being inconvenienced.

    • emac22

      I can’t believe you have grown men crying about not being able to see their families for a few months.

      No one should have to work if they don’t want to but not being able to see my family is as bad as an NBA player using the have to feed my family argument.

  10. mrmet6141

    Coming from the guy who thinks the earth is flat. Nets made a huge mistake signing this guy.

  11. The Human Rain Delay

    “Irving seems to be relishing the clash”

    “I do research on both sides,” Irving said at the time. “I’m not against anyone that thinks the Earth is round. I’m not against anyone that thinks it’s flat. I just love hearing the debate.”

    This guy has major major issues

    • hiflew

      I still can’t believe this man got into Duke. Yes, he was a great prospect, but Duke gets a lot of great prospects. They have a reputation for being one of the best universities in the South. They had to know that he was not that bright when they interviewed him.

  12. emac22

    Irving, Durant and Anthony are leading the charge to keep guys who haven’t gotten paid from working?

    Stay classy!


      If they are so passionate about not playing than maybe they should forfeit future salaries into a fund so the players that need to get paid due to there lower salaries can still receive income.. real easy to say let’s not play when you are or have made 100’s millions.. celtics dodged a bullet.. Howard and anthony are lucky to even be in the league.. they should keep there mouth shut on whether players should play or not

  13. Luckylefty2

    Tired of these “woke” players who become activists after they have earned over 100 million dollars. Does this douche not understand that they’re guys in the league that cannot afford to miss out on paychecks? I will respect him if he donates his whole net worth to BLM & give his salary to the players across the league. IF not he should just stfu.

  14. ilther

    Kyrie irving average salary $34,122,000.00 ….. kyrie irving flat earth believer…… this guy is the leading voice for basketball players ? Lol

  15. KnickerbockerAl

    Best to stick to sports. When the rants are flying out your mouths. The Pandemic is a real dilemma for all of us. Much more manageable for rich leagues.
    You want numbers. Covid19 started in China. In Dec 2019. In USA and S Korea same day 1-20-20. In Vietnam 1-22-20. And today 5-6 months later.
    USA has 2.12 Million cases. 117,000 Covid19 DEATHS .
    China has 83,132 Covid19 cases. 4,634 Covid19 DEATHS .
    S Korea has 12,085 Covid19 cases. 277 Covid19 DEATHS
    Vietnam has 334 Covid19 cases. ZERO DEATHS
    OK let that sink in. In USA 1000 a day are dying.

    If all teams follow protocol. They should be ok. The Finals are 2 wks. For only two teams. So only the first 6/8 wks will be tough. When Playoffs start. It will get to 8 teams quickly. Be safe

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