98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The NBA’s decision to move the finish their season in the Disney World bubble has been rife with potential issues.
Led by Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley, a coalition of NBA players have brought up the various issues facing the league upon a restart, both socially and financially, and questioned the validity of the NBA’s plans. Bradley has since backed out — citing the health of his young son, who has respiratory issues — and the Wizards’ Davis Bertans and Portland’s Trevor Ariza have done the same for reasons of their own. More have or will back out, too. A group of young stars on the precipice of major paydays, including Boston’s Jayson Tatum, also brought up the need for insurance in the event of a career-altering injury. (They’ve since gotten that.) Oh, and Disney World employees are pushing to delay the opening of the parks due to the recent massive spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Florida.
There’s just issues galore.
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has brought up another of them, too, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
All staff members of Finals teams, mind you, will go approximately three months without seeing their families. If nothing else, it’s quite the culture shock to each family’s system after these past three months where they were home so much more than ever before. A source said Boston coach Brad Stevens has consistently pushed the league to reconsider its ruling that the families of staff members will not be allowed.
As of right now, teams are expected to report to Orlando in early-July. (The Celtics’ date is July 8, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.) From there, the 22 teams summoned to return will play an eight-game regular season beginning July 30, and then begin the postseason. The NBA Finals could go as late as Oct. 12, too, meaning you’re talking about three months away from the family.
That’s tough on anybody. Stevens is not the only Celtic with a young family, either; C’s forward Gordon Hayward has three daughters (and his wife is pregnant with their fourth child), and Jayson Tatum’s son, Jayson Jr., is two and a half years old.
And the Celtics, who entered the pause as the third-best team in the East, could be one of those teams away from their family for close to three months, so these concerns are undoubtedly valid.
But according to one GM, the entire return to play plan may be in doubt if Florida continues to explode with COVID-19 cases.
“If the cases keep spiking in Florida, things are going to happen,” an anonymous GM told Amick. “I’m really, really concerned for the league big-picture wise in many, many ways.”