NBA players reportedly asked to weigh in on re-start

The National Basketball Players Association has informally polled players to gauge their appetite for resuming a season halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, US media reported Tuesday.

ESPN was among multiple outlets reporting the players’ union had begun asking players to respond to a “yes or no” question about whether the season should resume.

The Los Angeles times cited unnamed players who said they were asked via text, with one player saying he thinks about 70% of players want to finish a season that ground to a halt on March 11.

“But 30% is a big number,” the player told the newspaper. “And what do you say to somebody who says, ‘You know what, I just don’t feel safe?’ It’s hard to argue that. But there are reasons to argue that because I know the NBA would be one of the safest places to be at. That thing would be tight, clean, protocol, all that.”

The polling is reportedly being handled by regional union representatives, and the questions posed by each could differ slightly.

The NBPA told The Athletic that it was “not engaging in and has not authorized any formal poll of its players.”

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, executive committee members including president Chris Paul and other players held a conference call Friday with league commissioner Adam Silver to discuss various topics related to a possible resumption of play, including health concerns and finances.

Yahoo Sports reported that Oklahoma City star Paul held a private conference call with superstars across the league on Tuesday, with all wanting to resume the season at some point.

Yahoo reported that Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis as well as Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook were all on the call, and “all parties were in agreement to take the court with proper safety measures” when that is possible.

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Silver has discussed multiple scenarios for resuming play, including playing in one or two hubs and playing without fans.

The commissioner said last week that all 30 club owners are committed to resuming play, and the league is leaning toward a minimum of three weeks of training camp ahead of a re-start.

The league was heading into the final weeks of the regular season when play was halted. Under normal circumstances the playoffs would now be in full swing on the way to the NBA Finals in June. (AFP)