Last week, NBA owners and the National Basketball Players Association officially agreed to the proposed 22-team model to finish the 2019-20 season that was suspended on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As uncertainty hovers over much of the United States due to a virus outbreak that remains uncontrolled and that endangers even top-tier athletes, and also because of unrest following the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests seen in cities around the world, some players may be having second thoughts.
On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that a "faction" of players are questioning if living and playing at the Orlando Walt Disney World Resort bubble site is best for all involved:
Sources: As NBA and NBPA are finalizing terms on return-to-play plan today, there’s a faction of players discussing as a group whether restarting season in the Orlando bubble is a good idea. Several dozen players participated in a conference call in last 24 hours to discuss it.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2020
This doesn't mean fans won't see the NBA return on July 31. Wojnarowski added players who don't want to participate in the season's resumption will lose portions of their salaries but won't otherwise be disciplined:
The NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on a provision that wouldn't require players to restart the season, nor subject them to discipline for staying home, sources tell ESPN. The players would lose a portion of salary for those games missed. https://t.co/WkV5qqEmE5— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2020
The NBA and NBPA are nearing completion on items needed to reach a final agreement on parameters of a return-to-play, sources said. Some players with hesitation have been discussing a number of issues on return, including family concerns, COVID-19, social justice, and more.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2020
Over the past few weeks, players around the league have taken part in protests over police violence and racial injustices. Some of the demonstrations in bigger cities became violent and destructive, and others involved clashes between protesters and police officers.
Last week, Wojnarowski reported family members can only join players in Orlando after the first round of the playoffs. Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, those individuals will have to quarantine in Florida for seven days.