Although the NBA has officially announced a plan to resume the 2019-20 season in late July at Disney World in Orlando, that doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen. There's still a lot to get squared away regarding specifics about the league's return-to-play plan, like testing and if Disney employees will be required to stay within the campus-like environment for the nearly four months of play. However, while the league is trying to get its ducks in a row before heading to Orlando, there's been discussion among players around the league about if the season should even resume in the first place.
One such concern that players have been voicing is the safety of the "bubble." Players will be restricted from leaving Disney World, separated from their families for at least a month before they're allowed to join them and have to undergo consistent testing to avoid spreading COVID-19. Aside from the safety, though, there's been another issue that notable players have been vocal about in recent weeks. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests calling for police reform, and many NBA players used their platform to speak out against racial injustice in the U.S. by protesting, donating or raising awareness to the issue.
On Friday night, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving led a phone call with around 80 NBA and WNBA players, where they discussed how continuing the season could deter from the protests happening around the country. Irving doesn't support the NBA's plan to resume the season, and several other players have voiced their opinion on the matter one way or the other.
"Hoopers say what y'all want, if [LeBron James] said we hooping, we all hooping," Beverley tweeted out Sunday afternoon. "Not personal, only business."
James, who wasn't present on Friday night's call, reportedly believes that "playing in Orlando won't deter his ability to continue inspiring change." LeBron's voice undoubtedly carries a ton of weight in the league, and ultimately if he decides he wants to play, other players will probably follow suit.
However, if there is a strong contingent of players who don't want to play either for safety reasons due to COVID, or because they think basketball would be a distraction from unrest in the country, that could be just another issue blocking the league's plan to continue playing in July.