John Wall defends Kyrie Irving’s restart stance despite flat Earth comments
Washington Wizards point guard John Wall defended Kyrie Irving’s idea of not going through with the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season after the Brooklyn Nets star prompted a series of concerns with the plan.
Wall has been away from the court since Dec. 16, 2018, but the Wizards star has closely followed the internal conflict between players — one that the National Basketball Players Association will need to resolve before the plan to resume the season materializes.
Transcript via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington:
“Kyrie has his things where he be in his own world… ‘The Earth is flat,'” Wall said on The Tuff Juice Podcast with former NBA player Caron Butler. “But to be honest, I think he has a point. A lot of people feel that way. I think that’s why they tried to get on that call to see how many people really want to go play and how many people don’t want to play. Because with all this ‘Black Lives Matter’ going on and protesting and trying to get justice and all that; a lot of people feel like it’s not safe to go there. That’s what he stands on.”
Irving is leading a coalition of players who oppose the NBA’s plan to return at Walt Disney World in Orlando, citing reasons like lack of safety measures against COVID-19, the need for insurance against career-derailing injuries following a long layoff, and the stringent policies that would keep players away from their families amid a three-month period.
Some, like Irving, feel the optics of playing in the midst of a civil movement like Black Lives Matter is contradictory to the cause.
As far as Wall is concerned, he wouldn’t take part in the NBA’s restart, even with the Wizards fighting for a playoff spot:
“For me, if I was playing, I wouldn’t want to go to it, to be honest. I just don’t feel like it’s safe. I just don’t feel like it is,” said Wall. “I understand why they want to do it and what they’re trying to get to, but I wouldn’t want to.”
The Wizards point guard doubled down on it:
“If I was healthy enough to play, I wouldn’t want to go play,” he said. “What am I going, just to play eight games? I’m not going for just eight games and then coming back home.”
Wall might not be ready to buy into Kyrie Irving’s flat Earth conspiracy theories, but the Wizards star is more than willing to hop on the no-play train due to the unforeseen danger and lackluster benefits from taking part in the season restart.