There will be NBA basketball. But will all the players be there as well?
That’s been the question these last few days surrounding the NBA. The league expects to resume its season in Orlando at Disney’s World Wide of Sports Complex at the end of July. But ongoing COVID-19 concerns and the push for social justice across the U.S. have players debating whether it’s such a good idea.
Athletes Voice Their Opinions
On Friday, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was one of over 80 NBA players that took part in a conference call that saw the athletes address a number of topics from health concerns to racial inequality.
Irving, who is the NBA Player’s Association’s vice president, led the meeting and was admittedly against the idea of going to Orlando. He is concerned over the fact that getting back to basketball could take away from matters that he feels are more important right now in society. One of these being the fight for social justice.
Irving isn’t the only well-known NBA star to voice his thoughts on this issue. Players like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokuonmpo have also expressed their feelings by joining in on protests that have taken place nation-wide.
Additionally, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard is also showing support for his colleagues who are against the idea of getting right back into basketball.
Athletes have voiced their opinions on playing amidst trying to push for change in society. However, concerns over the coronavirus remain.
The growing number of protests across America has seemed to shift the spotlight off of the COVID-19 pandemic. But make no mistake, the virus is still around.
In addition to talking about the topic of social justice, those who attended the conference on Friday night also expressed their frustrations with how the league has handled getting information to the players about Orlando. This includes details regarding health and safety.
Lillard said he isn’t completely on board with returning to play. But it’s a sacrifice he is willing to make.
Commissioner Adam Silver also gave a rundown of what kind of safety measures will be put in place when the NBA resumes play in Orlando.
The league prepares to resume the rest of the 2019-2020 season in just over a month. It remains to be seen exactly how many players will be in attendance when the season resumes.
What is certain is that the remainder of the season will be played out until at least October. This means the start of next season will be delayed.
But while it may be pushed back a little bit, Silver said the turn around time for the 2020-2021 season will be a short one.
Of course, this is still a little way down the road. But it will be interesting to see how it plays out when the time comes.
Sound used in this story is courtesy of ABC Newscall.