By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Just a week removed from successfully voting to approve a plan to return to action in Orlando later this summer, some NBA players are now questioning whether or not they should return and complete 2019-20 season. And it’s a charge featuring the Nets’ Kyrie Irving as the “driving force,” according to multiple reports.
The word regarding the players’ uncertainty with the league’s bubble city plan first came to light via the Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony, who admitted that he was on the fence about returning to play. But that uncertainty about reporting to Orlando went beyond just Melo, as the league has organized Zoom calls, and with Taylor Rooks reporting that over 150 players are expected to be on a Zoom call to go over their options when it comes to taking a stand.
Ahis is where the 28-year-old Irving, who serves as one of the NBPA vice presidents, comes into play as that “driving force.” To Irving, this presence has been felt by organizing the calls and raising concerns, per Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. Those concerns Irving (and others) have brought up have raised some legitimate questions, too, as Beck noted that players “want more freedom” while in Orlando and suggested that two-thirds of the league’s top 40 would opt not to report under the league’s current guidelines.
(Keep in mind that Irving underwent season-ending shoulder surgery back in March and isn’t going to be playing at all.)
Cool. Fun. Awesome.
Now, it probably doesn’t help that Florida has seen a massive, pandemic-high spike in COVID-19 cases this week, but this pivot just a week removed from agreeing to the particulars of a return may have a social component too, per Yahoo’s Chris Haynes.
“Some players believe it’s bad optics for a league comprised predominantly of black men to be sequestered in one location for up to three months merely to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden, sources said,” Haynes wrote. “…’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.”
In other news, Nihilist Disney World just found its new tagline: “That place isn’t that magical. Eat at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.”
And according to Haynes, Irving is of the position that players should consider not playing in light of the uproar over racial injustice, as well as the unknowns of trying to play in the middle of a pandemic.
All this comes just one day after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA was going to move up the resumption of the NBA season one day, from July 31 to July 30.