A number of players are questioning whether it’s smart to resume the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando late this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We can now add another star to that list.
Joel Embiid on going to Orlando: 'I don’t think it’s going to be safe. I know I’m going to do the right thing. I only play video games. I don’t trust those other guys to do the same.' #Sixers— Tom Moore (@TomMoorePhilly) July 7, 2020
It seems that Embiid also called out teammates whom he believes might put the All-Star center in harm’s way. Embiid also talked about how basketball isn’t everything. Health is important.
More Embiid on Orlando: “You don’t want to be in a situation where you put yourself at risk and all that stuff for the money. At the end of the day, basketball is not all that matters.”— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) July 7, 2020
This isn’t to say Embiid will opt out of the season. He’s fully ready to go and will join the Sixers in Orlando to start the season on July 30.
We’ve seen the likes of Victor Oladipo, Avery Bradley and Trevor Ariza opt out of resuming the season. Meanwhile, Nets stars DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie will not be in Orlando after testing positive for COVID-19.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted recently that an outbreak of the virus could very well put a halt to the season resuming. As of right now, we’re not seeing that outbreak.
But as teams make their way to Orlando this week, there’s a chance we could see an uptick of cases. It has happened with Major League Soccer as that sport’s season resumes at the very same Walt Disney World location on Wednesday.
Before the season was suspended back on March 11, Philadelphia was a hot mess. Embiid and fellow star Ben Simmons had been dealing with injuries. Head coach Brett Brown was on the hot seat.
The Sixers now head to Orlando as the East's sixth seed with a 39-26 record. They will have eight regular-season games to jump the standings.