Jeff Van Gundy issues massive warning for NBA ahead of Orlando return
The basketball world has been overwhelmed with anticipation after the NBA confirmed plans to resume the 2019-20 season by the end of July. However, former head coach and current ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy has come out with a stern warning to the league in the unfortunate event that a player contracts the coronavirus.
Much has been made about how the NBA is taking extreme measures to ensure the health of safety of everyone who will be taking part in the resumption of the season, but perhaps not enough light has been shed on how the players feel about this development. This is exactly where Van Gundy is coming from with his statement.
“Right now we’re somewhat underestimating the fear of [a player potentially contracting the virus],” Van Gundy told Stefan Bondy of the Daily News. “For the players on the guy’s team, for the players who have played against that team or will play against that team or that will play against that team. I’m not sure we know — because I know I don’t know, if that fear is going to be more than I expect, less than I expect.”
Van Gundy presents an excellent point here for the NBA. One cannot help but wonder if some players are being forced against their will to risk their own lives in order to follow through on the NBA and their respective team’s mandate to return.
Van Gundy took his argument further by posting an even more compelling query to the NBA:
“And what if, God forbid, it happens to one of our star players?” Van Gundy says. “It’s one thing if it happens to a 12th man, for competitive reasons, but also for the amount of fear it drives. What if it happens to one of the all-time guys in league?”
There is no denying that the risks are high not only for the players, but for everybody within the bubble as well. Nonetheless, the NBA has prepared a comprehensive plan that still prioritizes the health and safety of the players and the staff, so at this point, we can all only hope for the best.