NBA already set a new format for what's left to play in the 2019-20 season, but now the league faces a new challenge. Several NBA players are reluctant to come back to the court until there's a vaccine for Coronavirus. This Sunday, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, claimed several NBA athletes don't want to play under current conditions.
"Some players are from playoff spot teams" - Enes Kanter
"There was a conversation with a friend the other day, who also plays at the Eastern Conference, and he told me that he had several colleagues who refused to return until there was a vaccine against Covid-19. We are talking about a team that is in a playoff spot. It will be a problem to solve", claimed Enes Kanter to NBC.
Players should not be forced to participate in NBA's restart
Despite all the testing NBA is putting in place, there are still risks to the player's health. And some players don't want to take that risk.
Reports coming from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN point to a negotiation between the NBA and the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA), on how the league should approach this issue. Players should have the right to choose to stay at home and not be punished for that. Not by the league or the team.
Both the NBA and the NBPA agree that refusing to play and stay at home is a personal decision every player has the right to have. But, it's also fair to say they should not get paid for not playing.
It remains to be seen if this issue comes from just a few players or far more. Also, how many of them will be willing to forgo thir payment and stay at home. Will they impact contending teams?
NBA will begin in July, with 22 of the 30 teams. Top 8 teams from each Conference, plus 6 teams with 6 or fewer games of distance from the 8th spot.