If you haven’t been paying attention over the past week or so, the NBA’s proposed plan to resume play at the end of July has started to show a few cracks.
Kyrie Irving was the first player to come out and say that he is against the return to action with people still out on the streets fighting systemic racism and police brutality. Other players reportedly share that same thought process as they don’t want to take away from the Black Lives Matter protests by getting back on the court.
On Friday, Irving led a call with more than 80 NBA players including the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and others in which several players spoke out against the NBA’s return due to the nationwide unrest.
While racial injustice was the main talking point during the call, the coronavirus was also discussed and the discussion wasn’t a good one.
According to Shams Charania, the National Basketball Player’s Association has already looked ahead to next season and doesn’t expect to see fans in attendance. This isn’t a good omen on a lot of fronts if you’re in the crowd that wants to see the NBA return sooner rather than later.
Many fans were already criticizing the NBA for waiting so long to resume the season arguing that the league was coming across as too safe, and that was a thought many people shared before George Floyd’s death. On top of that, you have players that carry a lot of weight around the league voicing that they simply don’t want to play until real strides are made when it comes to social injustice and police brutality around the country. Now you have players switching their attention to next season already and just assuming no fans will be allowed in the building?
Players not wanting to play given the social unrest around the country is understandable and it’s, of course, their right to voice their opinion, but why are players thinking of the 2020-21 season, and why are they thinking about it in the most negative way possible?
If all goes to plan and this season does resume, then that means next season is scheduled to start on December 1 instead of the usual October start date. When it comes to the virus, nobody has been all that successful in predicting what it will look like on a week-by-week basis let alone what things may look like six months from now.
I don’t think NBPA members have access to any data the medical professionals tracking the virus don’t have, but who knows.
It simply makes no sense that the NBPA would even think about fans attending, or not attending, games next season when the league seemingly can’t get itself together to close out the current season.