Michael Jordan opposed to having out-of-contention NBA teams return
Chicago Bulls Hall of Fame shooting guard Michael Jordan, the current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, reportedly voiced a dissent in all 30 NBA franchises resuming play upon the restart of the 2019-20 season following the three-month-plus hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Michael Jordan, 57, was a prominent voice in Friday’s Board of Governors meeting discussing a plan of action to resume the season, which went into hiatus on March 12. Jordan was against including every team.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan advocated on the call for player safety, and not simply having players return for meaningless games, sources said. Given the NBA is prioritizing health and safety first and foremost, 30 team return is unlikely. https://t.co/03pAvpDPi7
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
The likely proposal for the NBA will look like most of the league congregating at a single location: Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is the front-runner “hub” for players, coaches, and league staff and their families to stay in one place to minimize travel and potential infection to coronavirus, the pandemic-level public-health crisis, which has claimed the lives of at least 100,000 United States residents, per latest known figures.
The Hornets, at 23-42, currently sit seven games back behind the Eastern Conference’s Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the playoff picture at the time of the NBA’s suspension. Should the league decide to resume the regular season, the Hornets figure not to make noise in the postseason, possibly reasoning behind Jordan’s dissent against all 30 teams having to return to play.
Other proposals have included skipping the less than a quarter of the regular season to jump right into the playoffs, or perhaps playing several round-robin style games to determine the playoff seeding.
Regardless, centralizing players and their families and others in one location can minimize the risk of coronavirus infection. However, the risk is still very much there, so out of contention teams may get to bypass the resumed NBA season.