Despite everything that is going on in the world, one of the few sports-related things that we have been able to fall back on in recent weeks is the imminent return of the NBA at the end of July.
Things have already begun to ramp up, with players returning to their markets, workouts beginning, and team training camps set to start soon after.
However, just as soon as the NBA began to gain some real momentum towards that return, a handful of potential roadblocks have begun to appear, some of which could change the face of the NBA for through the end of the 2021 season.
Donut 1: Brooklyn Nets Star Kyrie Irving Is Opening A Discussion With Players About Not Returning
Nets guard Kyrie Irving was reportedly at the center of discussions recently about the NBA's return, along with Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Avery Bradley, making it clear that he is not in support of the season's resumption in Orlando due to the nationwide conflict with social injustice and racism that was amplified with the murder of George Floyd.
"I don’t support going into Orlando," Irving said on the call. "I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy." Irving also noted that he is "Willing to give up everything I have (for social reform)."
Whether Irving is on to something or not, other NBA players, including those with the most powerful voices, are listening to what he has to say. And some of them are echoing similar sentiments.
Donut 2: The NBPA Believes Fans Won't Return Until After 2020-21
On the same call, per a report from Real GM, the National Basketball Players Association said that it does not believe that fans will be allowed to return to games until at least after the 2020-21 season. That would be a significant blow to the NBA's bottom line, but one it will surely be able to weather.
Donut 3: Popovich Calls Out Jerry Jones... For Some Reason
Gregg Popovich is known for speaking his mind when it comes to politics, and in the current situation we find ourselves in 2020, minds and personalities like Popovich's are a necessity to help keep these kinds of discussions fresh on people's minds. This time, Popovich aimed his ire at the NFL, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Patriots Owner Robert Kraft.
“It’s just hypocritical,” Popovich said in an interview with columnist Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. “It’s incongruent. It doesn’t make sense. People aren’t blind. Do you go to your staff and your players and talk about injustices and democracy and how to protest? I don’t get it. I think they put themselves in a position that’s untenable.”
Donut 4: Some Good News
In some more encouraging news, COVID-19/Coronavirus Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed his support of the NBA's return plan and noted that he thinks it could be very successful.
“I actually have looked at [the NBA’s] plan and it is really quite creative what they’re really trying to do and I think they might very well be quite successful with it,” Fauci told Stadium. “They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players was paramount."
Fauci went on to explain that he was especially pleased with the safety and testing measures the league is taking and that the safety of the players is of paramount importance.
“What they are really trying to do is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble,” Fauci said. “Essentially testing everybody, make sure that you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure that there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament-type play."
Donut 5: Luka Is Getting Ready For Action Either Way, And He's Looking Good
Following an interview of Luka Doncic's trainer Jure Drakslar in which he had reportedly noted that Doncic was "Not in the best shape" rumors began to swirl that Doncic had put on weight and had "gotten fat".
A likely-angry Doncic quickly dispelled those rumors, and following some social media posts, showed that he is doing just fine in his training.
Donut 6: BTW, Here's A Reminder That Luka is Way More Athletic Than We Realize
Remember how some people said Luka Doncic lacked athleticism? Well here's a friendly reminder that they were wrong.
Donut 7: KP is Getting Ready Too
Doncic isn't the only Maverick who looks serious about his return either, as Kristaps Porzingis has implemented a 'Kobe Like' training regiment to get himself back into game shape, and it looks as if it is going pretty well.
Donut 8: The 75-Member Staff Expectations
Speaking of an NBA return, the DallasBasketball.com Staff got together to discuss their expectations on how the remainder of the season could go, and how the Mavericks might be the one team that no one wants to face.
Donut 9: Oh hey, God Shammgod Has a Sneaker!
Mavs assistant coach God Shammgod has his own signature shoe, and even superstars like Floyd Mayweather are getting in on them. You can find the dribbling legend's new Puma sneakers here.
Donut 10: Quotable
"In sports, here’s always a heart attack or lightning that can strike. But (generally), as an organization, for our fans and our family, death has never been on the table.'' - Mavs GM Donnie Nelson.
Donut 11: COVID-19 in DFW
Donut 12: The Final Word
“I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all. They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players and the people associated with the players was paramount,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “Could you extrapolate that to some of the other sports possibly? I think they should look at that model, see how it works, and then take it from there.”