Will NBA players speaking out affect the NFL’s progress towards season?
COVID-19 has put a damper on everyday life since the early months of 2020. Immediately sports leagues like the NBA and the NHL were shut down. The leagues have made plans to finish their seasons out despite COVID. Will the way these leagues handle their restart affect the NFL’s season?
The NBA hopes to finish their season in Orlando. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA plans on having 22 NBA teams finish the season in an “Orlando bubble environment”
Sources told ESPN the preliminary expectations on the league’s plans for the 22-team format in Orlando include:
- The regular season will extend 16 days, with five to six games per day.
- There will be four hours between games on each individual court to accommodate overtimes, cleanings and warm-ups. The league will be using three courts in the complex for games.
- In the eight-game regular-season format, each team is expected to play one back-to-back.
- The NBA is expected to be aggressive in moving up the dates to start playoff series when the previous round’s series come to an end.
- The NBA Finals format is expected to include games every other day.
It seems that the NBA has put lots of thought and effort into the plan to finish the season while still being as safe as possible. However, some players do not feel like playing in Orlando is the best move right now.
Who won’t play?
Kyrie Irving spoke about racial injustice and why he didn’t support a NBA restart in Orlando.
Kyrie Irving told NBA players on call Friday, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: "I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy."
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 13, 2020
Some players are more worried about COVID, Enes Kanter said that you would be shocked at who doesn’t want to play.
They said until they found a vaccine, until they find a cure, that they’re not going to play.
"If I tell you who it is, you’d go crazy."
Enes Kanter said a former teammate told him there's at least one All-Star on an East playoff team who suggested he won't play if the NBA restarts.
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) May 29, 2020
Will the NBA affect the NFL?
If I had to bet, I would say the majority of players will not sit out of the restart. But if they were to, would this have an affect on the NFL’s plans to start their season?
Well, the answer to that specific question is no. But that doesn’t mean the NBA restart itself won’t affect the NFL. The NBA is set to start on July 31st, just before the NFL preseason on August 6th. The NFL will have some time to see how the NBA is going and decide what their next move should be based on that.
According to Pat Leonard of New York Daily News, Ezekiel Elliott and many other NFL players have tested positive for coronavirus.
On Monday Ezekiel Elliott was among “several” Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans who have tested positive for the virus, per NFL Network.
via Pat Leonard
This is bad news for the NFL, but luckily everything has time to calm down. Even if the preseason is compromised, the NFL regular season isn’t set to start until September 10th.
As the NFL Players Association’s medical director Dr. Thom Mayer said on the Adam Schefter Podcast in mid-May: “Frankly, if we get people in camps at the club facilities and the virus begins to propagate quickly, we’re probably close to game over because of the spread of the virus. So we want to avoid that, number one to keep the players safe, but also to avoid a situation where we’ve got complete clubs out and issues like that.”
via Pat Leonard
Of course right now everything is speculation and no one knows exactly what we are dealing with. All we can do is hope that things can settle down and we can enjoy a regular NFL season.