The NBA season is tentatively scheduled to return at the end of July, but a growing number of players have been voicing their concerns over a number of issues, from the health risks associated with playing in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, to the difficulties of being isolated within a bubble at Disney World, to the current social and racial issues under the spotlight amid worldwide protests against injustice.
Nets superstar Kyrie Irving has emerged as a leading voice against the planned restart, but given the health concerns and the financial ramifications of not playing, the entire situation is extremely complicated.
From a health and safety perspective, at least, the NBA’s plan for 22 teams to compete within a bubble is “sound,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an interview with Stadium’s Michael Kim, Fauci commended the NBA for devising a “creative” plan that prioritized the safety of players and team staffers.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told @Stadium he is supportive of the NBA’s restart plan: “It’s quite creative.. I think they might very well be quite successful with it… They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players was paramount.” pic.twitter.com/qwo5bCDrVt
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 13, 2020
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“I actually have looked at that plan and it is really quite creative. What they are really trying to do, and I think they might very well be quite successful with it, is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble. Essentially testing everybody, [making] sure you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament-type play.
It’s not the classic basketball season, but certainly for the people who are thirsting for basketball, who love basketball the way I do, it’s something I think is a sound plan. I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all. They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players and the people associated with the players was paramount.”
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