NBA news: Players 'really want to play' and want 'level of certainty' after long hiatus, per NBPA head
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NBA players ‘really want to play’ and need ‘level of certainty’ after long hiatus, per NBPA’s Michele Roberts

NBA, NBPA

National Players Basketball Association executive director Michele Roberts lobbied an “overwhelming” sentiment from NBA players, noting that “they really want to play” the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

After a two-and-half-month hiatus, Roberts told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne the players are ready for a decision:

“It’s time. It’s time,” Roberts told ESPN. “It’s been two and a half months of, ‘What if?’ My players need some level of certainty. I think everybody does.”

Roberts plans to speak with players from all 30 teams over the upcoming week and gauge how they feel about the NBA’s plan to resume play. Roberts will provide as many details as possible about how the league plans to mitigate their risk of contracting the coronavirus — starting with training camp measures and what can be expected at the Disney World campus and facilities.

The season has been in limbo ever since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver brought operations to a halt on March 11, once Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first confirmed case of COVID-19.

Things have been murky since, nearing nearly three months since regular-season action and with only pitches of what can be done to restore it and eventually crown a champion.

Silver recently said he’d give his final verdict in two to four weeks, as ideas have started to take shape. A regular season with 70-plus games has been bandied about, as have multiple different playoff scenarios, including the idea of seeding the playoff teams 1-16 instead of the normal two-conference format.

Whatever the rest of the season and playoffs look like, players are expected to get some time in training camp before returning to action, with some teams lobbying to resume basketball activities in Orlando to avoid repeating a two-week quarantine period upon arrival for players who have traveled to their home states and countries.