SI Insider: NBA Players Wary of Returning to Action In Bubble

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Video Rating:
TV-G
Video Duration:
2:30

SI's Chris Mannix breaks down why some players are concerned about the NBA returning to action and whether or not its worth it, especially for those without realistic championship hopes.

Read the full video transcript: 

Robin Lundberg: According to an ESPN report, some players are uneasy with the league's plan to return to action when the NBA wants to restart the season in Orlando at the end of July. For more, I'm joined by SI senior writer Chris Mannix. Now, Chris, that report also says that the league won't require players to attend. But what have you heard? 

Chris Mannix: Yeah, I've talked to a number of different players over the last few weeks and one as recently as yesterday that expressed uneasiness about the whole situation, because right now, not everything is known about what's going to happen in the bubble. How long do they have to stay down there? How many family members are allowed to join them? What kind of quarantine situation are they stepping into? And a lot of players. Look, they've got unique situations. Some of them have new children. Some of them have family members that might be more susceptible to COVID now if they wind up coming back. So there's a little bit of unease among a faction of players about going down to Orlando and participating. 

Robin Lundberg: You know, it's a myriad of factors, right? I mean, one you have, though, the fight against social injustice in the country. You have the safety concerns. And then, three, you have the parameters of living in this bubble site, if you will.

Chris Mannix: Yeah, all three of those are factors for players right now. The killing of George Floyd has certainly resonated with a lot of players. And that weighs on their mind to this day, will continue in the coming weeks and months and the health issues that could arise from it. I mean, there just are a lot of players that just aren't keen on the idea of potentially being quarantined for six, seven, eight weeks. And a number of those players are from teams that really aren't playing for something. If you're a member of the Lakers or the Bucs or the Clippers, you might be more willing to be part of all this because it could end in a championship. But if you're a player from a lesser tier team, someone is going to wind up in the five, six, seven, eight seeds and you have to go through seven, maybe eight weeks of quarantine when you really deep down know there's probably no chance you can make a run for a championship. It's less appealing on that in that respect. But as you noted at the top, the NBA is not going to force these players take part if they have a legitimate reason not to participate. I believe the league is going to be willing to allow them to do that. 

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