On March 11, the NBA elected to suspend the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a competitive format to resume the 2019-20 season, which will include 22 teams that will compete to fill the 16 playoff spots in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference down in Orlando, Florida. The NBA season is slated to resume on July 31, 2020, and The Finals finish no later than October 12.
However, players such as Kyrie Irving, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Joe Ingles have been vocal about not playing with the NBA season returns.
On Friday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Irving played a ‘key role’ in a Zoom conference call asking questions as they pertain to financial implications, how injured players will be counted as team personal. And how they would be able to continue their rehab process.
“I don’t support going into Orlando,” Irving said, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy.”
He also add that, he would be willing to sit out to fight for social reform.
“I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform).”
Per Woj, Irving was seen as a ‘disruptor’ during the zoom meeting, and a source within the Western Conference shared that they weren’t interested in Irving being the messenger.
“I’m not as interested in him as the messenger than I am in the message,” one Western Conference player told ESPN on Friday. In some instances in the past several days, Irving has assured some in the NBPA that he’s aligned with the broader plan surrounding the league’s return in Orlando — and then directed a far more skeptical tone to players he has engaged with within the Nets and across the league, sources said.”
Heavy’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson tweeted Friday evening that he spoke with a Nets official about how Irving might feel with the characterization, and the source replied,
“Who gives a sh**?!”
However, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon revealed on The JJ Reddick Podcast last Thursday that several players are interested in sitting out.
“I’ve talked to a few guys that are super interested in sitting out possibly,” Brogdon said Thursday on The JJ Redick podcast. “At the end of the day, I was actually talking to Chris Paul the other day and he said, ‘Man, this is an individual decision that every man has to make for himself.’ I think that’s exactly what it is. I think it depends on your perspective.”
NBA training camp for the resume season is schedule to begin on July 9th, and continue through July 29th.