We might have some more San Antonio Spurs news on the subject coming soon with the NBA preparing for players to opt-out of the Orlando bubble.
Even when the NBA announced its final plan for a 22-team bubble to finish out the season in Orlando, FL, the work had only just started. Now that Commissioner Adam Silver has a finalized plan in place for that aspect of the resumption, it’s time to get the player on board. Though according to a report by ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, participating teams including the San Antonio Spurs might be shorthanded for the main event.
Restrictions about the NBA’s bubble pose difficulties for many players whose lives don’t solely revolve around basketball. Woj cited “family situations, the inability to leave the Disney World Resort campus, COVID-19 and the implications surrounding the emergence of social justice causes in the country” as just a few of the reasons why players are skeptical about the league’s plan. With that in mind, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Michelle Roberts is giving her players an out.
Roberts is working with the league to create an opt-out system that will let players sit out the remainder of the season without having medical cause to do so. The report said that 40-to-50 players joined in a conference call to discuss their concerns with the restrictions on family members joining the Disney bubble cited as a primary issue at hand.
And rightfully so! Many of these players, coaching and staff are parents or primary caretakers to people in their lives. There are going to be some very displeased spouses around the league when their significant others leave them alone with kids and responsibilities for at least seven weeks.
Sources: Different players are expressing different concerns on restart, but consistent among them all: restrictions surrounding quarantine in Orlando. Players are talking on conference calls — and among each other. Both NBA and NBPA expected to further engage them on issues. https://t.co/6J62J0k8Nv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 11, 2020
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For the Spurs, this could mean more than just some players opting out. With star big man LaMarcus Aldridge already missing the main events as he rehabilitated from shoulder surgery, we could see other vets from San Antonio opting out of this event to keep put and preserve themselves for next season.
Though most of the team’s players are young and without the restrictions of fatherhood, the players in their late 20s and 30s are going to strongly consider what it might mean to head to Orlando. Concurrently, you have to wonder what this is going to mean for some of the team’s staff—especially head coach Gregg Popovich, who’s considered “at-risk” when it comes to COVID-19 due to his age. I also think of assistant coach Tim Duncan, who rejoined the Spurs on a trial basis this year and might not want to leave his young children.
Everything will come to fruition in the coming weeks, but we may see a very different version of the Spurs in a few weeks. While their illustrious playoff streak is likely going to come to an end this year, the end of the regular season might give us a chance to see the young core in action.
Not for nothing, that would be a hell of a lot of fun after a rough season in San Antonio.