Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid says he isn't a "big fan" of the NBA's restart plan.
On Tuesday, two days before Philadelphia is expected to land in Orlando for the 2019-20 NBA season's restart, Embiid told reporters during a zoom conference call that "he's not confident in everyone following protocols and being responsible."
"I'm not a big fan of the idea," Embiid said, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic. "But then again, I'm going to do my job. I'm not going to let the city down...I don't like the idea."
Other NBA players shared the same sentiments as the three-time All-Star. Last month, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said the plan "sucks" and called the timing of it "terrible." San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan called the bubble rules "ridiculous."
Embiid said he considered opting out of the return.
"I thought about it. Then again, I wouldn't let my teammates down," Embiid said. "I play in a city that's tough and I consider myself as being tough…if you told me if the current trend was people getting sick and a lot of people die, obviously, you don’t know what's going to happen. You don't want to be in a situation where you put your life risk just for the money. At the end of the day, basketball is not all that matters. I've got my family, I've got myself to look out for. So that's all I care about."
Florida is among the states that have witnessed a massive surge in coronavirus cases. In the past 24 hours, 7,347 people have reportedly contracted the virus, bringing the state's total amount to 213,773, the third-most in the United States.
Embiid is averaging 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds this season. When the NBA suspended its season in March, the Sixers were sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 39-26 record.
Philadelphia is scheduled to resume its season against the Pacers on Aug. 1.