While a 22-team restart plan set at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has been approved by both the Board of Governors and the National Basketball Players Association, the league still has various issues to sort out before play begins. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a group of “40 to 50” players have held recent conference calls to express their concerns about restarting play.
Players are citing a number of concerns, including family situations, the inability to leave the Disney World Resort campus, the coronavirus pandemic and the implications surrounding the emergence of social justice causes in the country, sources said. Participants in Orlando — including players — will not be allowed to leave the bubble environment without a 10-day quarantine upon their return to the Disney grounds, sources said.
The NBA’s plan allows for players to skip out on play in Orlando if they don’t want to participate, per Wojnarowski:
Players with medical issues that might put them in high-risk categories could seek an independent examination to learn whether they would be excused from participation, sources said. Even those told that they’re fit to play would be allowed to bow out of Orlando, but without pay for the final eight regular-season games, sources said.
Wojnarowski also notes that replacement players are expected to be used in Orlando, and they could fill in for players who don’t make the trip:
Players who decide against participating in Orlando could be replaced by a substitution player, sources told ESPN. The NBA plans to allow replacements for players who test positive for the coronavirus or suffer injuries, sources said. Those players who are replaced become ineligible for the rest of the 2019-20 season, sources said.
The NBA and NBPA continue to work on finalizing protocols for the league’s return. You can read more about players’ concerns here.