While the NBA Board of Governors was nearly unanimous in supporting the plan to restart the 2019-20 season inside a “safety bubble” in Florida on July 31, players, including Kyrie Irving, have expressed a more diverse range of views.
Even so, the National Basketball Players Association voted last week 28-0 to approve commissioner Adam Silver’s proposal for 22 teams to resume play.
In a conference call on Friday, Irving and about 80 players, according to published reports, talked about the pros and cons of the season’s resumption and the Black Lives Matter movement, among other topics. They also discussed the restrictions that will be imposed on them while living and working in the Walt Disney World bubble and injury risks after the long layoff, New York Times reporter Marc Stein tweeted.
The NBA season has been on hold since March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by Kyrie Irving and his peers, the NBPA has the NBA’s undivided attention.
“Sources: Kyrie Irving led a call of 80-plus NBA players, including Chris Paul/Kevin Durant/Carmelo Anthony/Donovan Mitchell, and Irving and several players spoke up about not supporting resumed season due to nationwide unrest from social injustice/racism,” NBA insider Shams Charania tweeted.
The NBA is addressing the issues.
“We understand the players’ concerns and are working with the Players Association on finding the right balance to address them,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass commented in a statement, responding to players’ concerns that relaunching the season could distract from their focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Kyrie Irving voices support
Despite his legitimate concerns, Irving, a Brooklyn Nets star, said we would support the NBPA’s decisions.
“If it’s worth the risk, then let’s go and do it,” Irving was quoting as saying on the conference call, according to Yahoo. “But if you’re not with it, it’s OK, too. We’ve got options for both ways. Let’s just come to a middle ground as a family.”
Meanwhile, June 15 was the league-imposed deadline for players traveling from outside the United States to get back to their team markets.