NOT all National Basketball Association players are thrilled about the league’s plan to restart action in a central Florida “bubble,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday.
As a result, the league and the National Basketball Players Association are working on an agreement to allow players to voluntarily skip the season’s resumption with no consequences, according to the report.
A conference call that featured up to 50 players reportedly saw some of the participants express concern about the protocols surrounding the resumption of play at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando.
Especially among players on teams that aren’t viewed as legitimate threats to reach the NBA Finals, doubts about the plan are surfacing, though they haven’t yet risen to the level of the NBPA seeking any protocol changes, per Wojnarowski.
The sentiment is being driven by concern over both the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd on May 25.
Training camp is set to begin in mid-July for the 22 teams that were in playoff position or close to it when the NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Among the major sticking points is the fact that visitors won’t be permitted in the “bubble” until the end of the first round of the playoffs, almost seven weeks after players arrive at Disney World, according to the report.
Players who leave the facility reportedly would be subject to a 10-day quarantine upon their return.
Wojnarowski reported that players could undergo a medical exam to be classified as being at high risk of COVID-19, which would grant them permission to stay home. Those without a medical waiver could opt out of the Disney World action by forfeiting their pay for the team’s last eight regular-season games, according to the report.
ESPN cited sources as saying fill-in players would be allowed to compete in Orlando in place of any who opt against appearing. In addition, any players who are replaced on the roster because of an injury or because they contract the coronavirus reportedly would not be allowed to resume action this season. — Reuters