NBA boss Adam Silver said on Monday that resumption of the season scheduled for late July in Orlando, Florida was "maybe not for everyone", repeating that it left players the choice. Between fear of the coronavirus, isolation from families and the fight against racial injustice, "I can only say that it may not be for everyone. This will involve enormous sacrifices for the players and for all people. involved, coaches, referees … that I don't want to water down, he said to ESPN Monday.
"It will not be a violation of his contract"
"If a player chooses not to come, it will not be a violation of his contract. We accept that," he said, immediately maintaining the position of the league, which said from the start that it would tolerate the absence of players pleading health or other reasons. Since the NBA announced its plan to return to the game to 22 teams in the Disney World "bubble", set for July 31 (a date likely to be advanced to 30), many players have expressed various concerns.
Irving finds "something that doesn't smell good"
A number of them, in the wake of the Brooklyn star Kyrie Irving, notably consider that the time is not for basketball, but to mobilize for the fight against racial injustices, after the death of George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis on May 25. "I do not support going to play in Orlando. There is something that does not smell good," said the leader, however not affected by this recovery since he is recovering from a shoulder operation right.
Responding indirectly to these players wishing to concentrate their efforts in the fight against injustice and racial violence, Adam Silver considered that a return to the game would precisely present "an opportunity" for them "to draw attention to these questions. because the eyes of the world will be on the NBA. "
The head of the body admitted that there could not be "unanimity of views" among some 375 players affected by the recovery in Florida. He said the NBA would continue to talk to the players' union to both preserve the health of the teams and promote the fight for social justice. The league and players will be able to "resolve most of these issues in the coming weeks," he said.