Kyrie Irving, Numerous Other Players Voice Concern Over Bubble City
There appears to be a slight snag in the NBA’s return plan.
According to league sources, there is a growing number of players who appear to be disappointed that the NBPA’s higher-ups did not allow them to voice their opinions regarding the resumption of the 2019-20 season. The league and the NBPA agreed to return to play over a month ago and have recently approved a 22-team format.
While there remains some unease over the global pandemic, numerous black players are concerned over the timing and question the league’s decision to isolate them in a central site in the midst of an ongoing racial justice movement.
Kyrie Irving told NBA players on call Friday, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: "I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy."
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 13, 2020
“What message are we sending by agreeing to this during this time?” a black player told Yahoo Sports. “We’re out here marching and protesting, and yet we all leave our families in these scary times and gather to perform at a place where the owners won’t be at? What type of sense does that make? We’ll be going backwards. That place isn’t that magical.”
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, a conference call led by Kyrie Irving was held with up to 200 players discussing their concerns over the bubble plan slated for Orlando.
“I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform),” was a powerful message said by Irving on today’s call.
With the league announcing its plan to re-start the season a day earlier on July 30 and requesting that all international players arrive back to the United States by June 15, it is unclear as to how the NBA and PA proceed from here.
Sources: NBA's expected restart dates:
– July 30-Aug. 14: Seeding games
– Aug.15-16: Play-in tournaments
– Aug. 17: Playoffs begin
– Aug. 30: Family/guests of teams arrive
– Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Conf. Semifinals
– Sept. 15-Sept. 28: Conf. Finals
– Sept. 30-Oct. 13: NBA Finals
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 12, 2020
Meanwhile, the NBA has revealed its plan for the season as well as outlined the safety protocols that will be enforced by players, coaches, team personnel, and on-site resort staff at all times while in the bubble city.