As the NBA’s return from the draws closer, some players are voicing their concerns about being stuck in Orlando, Florida.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that a group of 40-50 players hopped on a conference call to voice their concerns with some of the restrictions the league is planning on implementing:
“As players have started to come to terms with the restrictive and isolated nature of the Orlando bubble --- including no visitors until after the first round of the playoffs, nearly seven weeks after the opening of mid-July training camp — there has been increased dialogue about the prudence of restarting the season for a number of players, especially those on non-championship contenders.”
Woj adds that there a number of factors that the players are citing for their hesitation, including: the dangers of COVID-19, not being able to leave the campus for an extended period, and the social justice movements that are happening around the country.
Former King player Matt Barnes offered his opinion:
Barnes said some players have expressed discomfort about playing. pic.twitter.com/ohttNKhVYW— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 10, 2020
Several Sacramento Kings players, as well as owner Vivek Ranadivé, have spoken out in support of the protests in recent weeks. It is not know if —or how many— Sacramento players are a part of the group of 40-50 Woj mentioned.
If a player does not make the trip to Orlando, he will simply not be paid for the final eight games, on top of the 25% salary reduction that was agreed to as of June 15. The NBA will not look to discipline the player with a fine or suspension. If a player elects not to make the trip, the team will be allowed to sign a free agent to take his place on the roster.
This whole thing will be an interesting experiment. With coronavirus cases rising in Florida, and in other parts of the country, the NBA will have its work cut out to make sure things go smoothly. It is a lot to ask players to be sequestered in a single location for an extended period, not to mention being unable to see family until after the completion of the first-round.
On to some more links:
What are you most looking forward to when the Kings get back on the court? NBC Bay Area’s James Ham gives us five things to watch for when play resumes in Orlando.
Who is the one player Sacramento gave up on too fast over the past 30 years? Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley came up with one player for each, and it is no surprise which former King makes his list.
San Antonio Spurs’ All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge is out for the rest of the season after having shoulder surgery during the hiatus. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Didion looks at how the injury impacts the Kings’ playoff chances.
Its Pride Month, and one staff member of the Kings is being celebrated. Check out this profile on Special Events Sales Director Karl Crudup.