An unexpected champion has risen for players concerned about the NBA’s seemingly haphazard re-start plans: Kyrie Irving may be the voice of this movement.
A week ago it seemed like the NBA had smooth sailing ahead in its plans to relaunch its suspended season. Of course, “smooth sailing” is relative when you’re talking about a hiatus caused by a global pandemic which is still surging and promises to be no better any time soon, but a dateof some kind is better than nothing. However, a rising group of NBA players have objections, and it appears that Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is a driving force in this movement.
The more we hear about the bubble plan expected to take place in Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports, based in Orlando, Florida, the more dubious the plan’s outlook becomes.
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Most recently, NBC Sports’ Tom Haberstroh reported that Disney employees working in the bubble will not be expected to remain quarantined within the bubble. The whole point of a bubble is to keep it as cut off from the outside world as possible, but if support employees like chefs, servers, housekeepers and the like are able to come and go, that ain’t a bubble.
It’s important to remember that central Florida’s COVID-19 numbers appear to be relatively under control, but the state has been caught fudging those numbers before and with the incentive of wooing sports leagues to its borders, the government there hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt.
Players are likely to have a wide range of concerns. Whether it be directly COVID-19 related, regarding the health and safety of the bubble (such as it is, if we’re even able to reasonably call it that now), the rigidity of said bubble and an inability to go out, time removed from family or what have you, they’re all valid complaints.
While there is probably a prop bet somewhere that gives good odds on Kyrie Irving having something to do with the NBA not returning this season, don’t forget that he is one of the VPs of the NBPA. Representing the players under his charge is part of his job, and it’s his duty to speak for them.
Clearly, there have been failures of communication between the NBPA and its members considering we’re a week removed from the NBA’s announcement that it intends to return in late July. Perhaps Irving is seeking to right the failings of the union and ensure that the voices of all the players are heard, not just the league’s superstars and owners.
Anyway, if you had “Kyrie Irving” as the reason the NBA might not re-start with your local bookie, your chances just made a pretty substantial improvement.