NBA return not in jeopardy as players discuss best way to enhance Black Lives Matter movement
A new report has emerged that debunks theories of the season possibly being cancelled due to the rise of a recent player-led movement that is going against the NBA’s bubble idea. For some players, the continuation of the coronavirus-struck campaign might serve as a distraction against the bigger issues at hand — the fight against systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. As it turns out, however, the resumption of the season still remains imminent despite the roadblock.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the general consensus by the owners, team representatives, and most importantly, the players is still leaning towards supporting the league’s intention to see out the remainder of the season in Florida.
ESPN’s reporting with players, agents, the NBPA and league officials over the weekend found no indication that the NBA’s return is in jeopardy — or that there’s even a significant group of players ready to sit out.
There are expected to be some players who decide not to play, sources said, but so far there’s no indication that it’s enough to compromise the league’s plans to return, which have already been approved by the owners (29-1) and team representatives (28-0).
Over the weekend, big names such as Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers expressed their desire not to take part in the bubble. However, their faction seems to be a minority, and the rest of the league still wants to play out the remainder of the campaign.
Other players have also raised concerns about the injury risk they will be taking once the season starts again in Orlando. This has not fallen on deaf ears, and the league is looking at a number of measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the NBA — not only from injury, but from the threat of the virus as well.
The NBA is preparing the release of two documents to teams early this week, sources said: a side letter of agreement to changes in the collective bargaining agreement to accommodate the 22-team restart to the season, and a 125-page health and safety manual detailing the step-by-step protocols from June workouts, July training camps through the regular season, and playoff games through October in Orlando.
This is indeed a welcome development for folks who are looking forward to the much-awaited restart. This appeared to have been threatened over the weekend, but this report is clearly stating otherwise.