Silver expresses confidence NBA season still on target to resume
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he remains confident the season will resume despite the coronavirus pandemic, social unrest and more than a few massive doubts.
"Listen, it's not an ideal situation," Silver said during an ESPN appearance Monday. "We are trying to find a way to our own normalcy in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of essentially a recession or worse with 40 million unemployed, and now with enormous social unrest in the country.
"And so as we work through these issues, I can understand how some players may feel, that it's not for them ... it may be for family reasons, it may be for health reasons they have, or it may be because they feel -- as some players have said very recently -- that their time is best spent elsewhere."
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reportedly held a call last week with more than 80 players, questioning the league's return to play. One player on the call, Utah Jazz forward Ed Davis, told Hoopshype he is "99.9 percent sure" play will resume despite that call.
"Things are changing around us," Silver said. "The social unrest in the country was -- in the same way we never could have predicted the pandemic would unfold, in the way it has -- what's happened since George Floyd's death is also unprecedented.
"I'm incredibly sympathetic and empathetic to what's happening in people's lives. And in the midst of all that, to say, 'We're looking for an opportunity to restart this league, to try to move forward with crowning a champion,' it's not top of mind for a lot of people."
Silver began his talk by saying he believes the NBA will be able to "work through most of those issues over the next few weeks."
LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry and other stars recently held a call in which they expressed a desire to return to the court, according to reports.
Twenty-two teams are scheduled to resume the season at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando at the end of July.
“My sense is we’re gonna be able to work through most of those issues the next few weeks. … We have an agreement with the players association. If a player chooses not to come, it’s not a breach of his contract," Silver said. "We accept that.”