NBA star players at the forefront of return to play, others skeptical, per agent
The NBA has gained momentum this week, hoping to resume the 2019-20 season at some point, now with the backing of some household names that can’t wait to get the season back up and running.
According to an NBA agent, the feeling is not league wide, as many of his clients are not that eager to play quite yet, still skeptical at what this could entail.
“The players I work with are taking this seriously, and they are trying to find out the information,” an agent told Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports. “They wonder, ‘How are you going to start playing when we still have social distancing?’ No players I’m speaking with are thinking, ‘We’re trying to come back.’”
This makes a whole lot of sense, considering it’s been players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Chris Paul strongly backing the idea of a return. All four of the aforementioned are making considerable money in 2019-20 and could see a fat shave off the top if the season is canceled altogether.
“My vibe is the influential players want their money, and they’re going to make the call,” another NBA agent said. “The players are trying to have it both ways. They’re criticizing ownership for putting them out there and risking their health. But they also want to play and get their money.”
A third agent didn’t think there was a high level of concern but didn’t back the heavy positivity that’s been projected by the aforementioned players.
“I don’t know too many players that are super concerned,” a third agent said. “I don’t think anyone is thinking, ‘I don’t want to go to the facility because I’m going to get sick.’”
While the planned 25% withholding is stiff enough for most players, it’s especially rough on players making more money. If the NBA season is canceled altogether, they could lose upwards of 40% of their salary, which would put some of the highest-paid names in the game like Curry, James, and Paul among the ones who have the most to lose.