League commissioner Adam Silver wants NBA to return close to normal as possible
Three months ago, the NBA season was going according to plan.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers were atop their respective conferences. The Miami Heat were among the league's best stories, sitting as the No. 4 seed in the East.
Only one month remained in the season before chaos entered when league commissioner Adam Silver decided to postpone play March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.
Since, Silver has been scrambling for options to salvage the season.
Even with the league planning to resume play July 30 in Orlando, Silver recently acknowledged obstacles remained.
"Listen, it's not an ideal situation," Silver told ESPN Monday night. "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."
After facing the revenue lost during the pandemic, Silver now is up against players who aren't yet comfortable with returning to the court for various reasons. A group of young players, including Heat center Bam Adebayo, are requesting the league offer insurance policies in case of serious injuries. The return also comes on the heels of the country being upset about the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in custody of four police officers in Minneapolis. The incident led to protests across the world and drew the attention of LeBron James and several other NBA superstars.
Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard have been among the most vocal, suggesting the league should focus on social injustice issues instead of resuming the season.
Rather than combat the players, Silver said he is willing to work with them while also moving forward with plans of restarting.
"Things are changing around us," Silver told ESPN. "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."'
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