NBA Owners Encouraged By Efforts To Lessen Health Risk Upon Return
NBA owners and execs on a BOG call with Commissioner Adam Silver yesterday were "encouraged about the league's progress toward minimizing health risk upon a return and the league office's positive conversations" with the NBPA about the "players' desire to eventually restart the season," according to sources cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. Discussions during the call "centered on health and safety concerns, including the goal of getting team officials and players comfortable with the idea that a positive test for the coronavirus upon a return would not shutter play." Wojnarowski: "The question remains: How many positive tests would be too many?" Sources said that once the NBA "formalizes a return to play, the league indicated to teams that the plan would be to standardize coronavirus testing among the 30 teams." For now, the NBA is "allowing teams to use a variety of tests." Meanwhile, sources said that in regard to the format in a return to play, there still is "no decision on the form that would take with the 30 NBA teams." There was "growing confidence among owners on the call about how players were responding to the return to practice facilities." Sources said that the league "believes it will have 22 of its 30 facilities open by Monday" (ESPN.com, 5/12).
MAKING THEIR VOICE HEARD: YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Haynes cited sources as saying that some of the NBA's "biggest superstars formed a united front" to resume the season during a private conference call Monday. Sources said that all parties were "in agreement to take the court with proper safety measures once the league is given the green light to commence." Sources said that Thunder G and NBPA President Chris Paul "arranged the call" that included LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Haynes writes the group's decision is "expected to hold significant weight in the decision-making process for the rest of the league's players when it’s time to deliberate on whether to restart the season" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/12).
SOME CONFUSION: In L.A., Broderick Turner notes some NBAers yesterday "received a group text" from NBPA reps "asking how they felt" about completing this season. One player "estimated about seven out of 10 players want to finish the season." The player said, "But 30% is a big number. And what do you say to somebody who says, 'You know what, I just don't feel safe'? It's hard to argue that" (L.A. TIMES, 5/13). However, in N.Y., Mark Fischer cites a source as saying that there was "miscommunication within the union and that the poll was unauthorized." The NBPA in a statement said it is "not engaging in and has not authorized any formal poll of its players" (N.Y. POST, 5/13).