NBA Teams Not Included In Orlando Plan Worried About Long Layoff
Some NBA teams that would not be among the 22 clubs participating in the restart of the '19-20 season in Orlando have "long-term" concerns about the “idea of your season ending in March and not starting again or playing another NBA game until late December,” according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Some teams “rebuilding with young players” are worried about on-court issues, while other franchises "want to stay in the consciousness" of their market. Wojnarowski: "You’ve got to be able to sell tickets, you’ve got to be able to sell sponsorships. I think there are business and basketball concerns about disappearing for this long” (“Get Up,” ESPN, 6/2).
SMALL BUT MIGHTY: The Thunder would safely be included in the 22-team field, but ESPN.com's Wojnarowski & Lowe noted Thunder Chair Clay Bennett during last Friday's NBA BOG call delivered an "impassioned soliloquy on why the league and owners needed to consider the competitive and financial plights of smaller-market teams that could be left out of the season's summer resumption." Bennett also spoke about the "potential symbolic power of all 30 teams gathering there to play as one united association." As the league moves toward a plan of inviting 22 teams to restart a truncated season in late July, sources said that Bennett spoke of "exhausting ways to accommodate non-playoff teams still wanting to play." Wojnarowski & Lowe noted between now and Thursday's BOG vote on its plan to restart the season, the NBA is "working to complete the details of a 22-team format for Orlando." A three-fourths majority of the league's 30 teams is required for a plan to pass, but sources said that owners "expect unanimous support for whatever form the NBA's final proposal takes" (ESPN.com, 6/1).
READY FOR WHATEVER: In Boston, Steve Bulpett reports Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge "dodged the issue of his format preference, expressing confidence in commissioner Adam Silver and appreciation that there will be more to the 2019-20 season." Ainge said, “There’s so many different opinions on what should be done. I think Adam has a tough job keeping everybody happy -- well, that’s an impossible job. But I think that I trust Adam will do the right thing, and whatever he decides, we’ll follow along." He added, “There’s not one thing that I’m adamantly dying for from the different plans" (BOSTON HERALD, 6/2).