NBA players including San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay joined Kyrie Irving’s call to discuss concerns about resuming the season in Orlando next month.
The latest chunk of news regarding the NBA’s plan to resume its season comes as roughly 80 players joined a call led by All-Star Kyrie Irving discussing the ramifications of this Orlando plan. One of the participants, as cited by Yahoo Sports reporter Chris B. Haynes, was San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay.
Irving, who is the Vice President of the National Basketball Player’s Association, discussed the importance of focusing on social issues including the fight against police brutality and racism against Black Americans. He was joined in that sentiment by future Hall of Fame candidates Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, who have been active in using their platforms to fight these injustices.
Others cited differing issues with the league’s plan. It was said that Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who’s up for his rookie extension this offseason, noted his fears of serious injury-risk after being away from the game for this extended period. In addition, Mitchell reportedly didn’t feel that the league’s young players were being taken seriously—an opinion that was shared by Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba.
Though Gay hasn’t been attributed to any specific train of thought, the fact that he was cited as a noteworthy participant brings questions to the forefront. Gay has an injury history and after being away from the game for many months, he may fear re-injury as he nears the end of his playing career. The 33-year-old has one more year left on his contract after this one and wouldn’t want to risk hurting himself before securing another deal to end his career.
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Spurs players and staff members have been active since the murder of Minneapolis man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. Head coach Gregg Popovich has popped up on numerous occasions, speaking out and trying to educate those who are willing to listen. We’ve seen DeMar DeRozan, Lonnie Walker IV and Bryn Forbes all protest as well.
Finding a plan that meets the needs of players, owners and the league’s representatives has been a major hassle for the NBA’s decision-makers. After weeks of brainstorming and combing through various plans of attack, it was finally decided just last week that the NBA would hold the end of its season with only 22 of the 30 teams living in a bubble in Orlando, FL.
There’s never going to be a conclusion that satisfies everyone, but it sounds like the league didn’t do a good enough job of making sure that all of their players were on board with this plan.
Now it’s time to take the infrastructure of the current plan and make it work for their players.