NBA union not interested in sending eight leftover teams to Orlando
The NBA Players Association has no interest in sending the bottom eight teams to the Disney campus to train, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This refutes a report from The Athletic that indicated the league was exploring the idea of eventually sending the eight non-playoff contenders to the Orlando bubble.
But the union is not privy to that idea, per Wojnarowski, who added that voluntary workouts at team facilities remains the most likely scenario for the eight leftover teams.
The emphasis there would be on voluntary -- and not mandatory.
General managers and coaches of most of the eight teams not in Orlando were hoping to gain some sort of competition before the start of the 2020-21 season, expected to tip off in December.
The league has gone back-and-forth in calls with GMs, reportedly broaching the concept of a second bubble in Chicago.
But that was weeks ago and the idea of games and scrimmages (or even organized practices) for the bottom eight teams appears to be a long shot at best.
None of that sits well with those who want to be on the court.
"We are looking at nine months between games now, and if the season is delayed, we are looking at possibly a full year between competitive games," Wojnarowski quoted a GM as saying. "That's unprecedented in the history of the sport. We deserve help here."
Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff and Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego are among those who have openly campaigned for organized practices and some form of games.
“Our expectation is that the league is going to let us do something,” Bickerstaff said in June. “We are fighting, and I know there’s other teams too that are fighting to get something done.”
But The Athletic reported earlier in the week that there is "significant doubt" around the league that the bottom eight teams will take the court anytime soon.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls are the eight teams not in Orlando.