The National Basketball Players Association wants to determine the sentiment of its players.
The union’s regional representatives began texting the league’s 400-plus players Tuesday with a “yes or no” question in regards to their desire to resume the 2019-20 NBA season, a league source confirmed. The NBPA denied it polled players a couple of hours after the news broke. However, a source said it happened.
That night, the NBPA sent a memo to agents stating the players and the NBA both want to finish the 2019-20 season.
An ESPN report said one representative asked a team’s players, “Do you want to try and play this season, yes or no?” Another representative asked a team’s players, “Do you want to try to play this season to start again?” The report named two of the representatives, Tim McCormick and Frank Brickowski.
After the NBPA’s denial, ESPN revealed McCormick’s group text to players: "Michele [Roberts, the union’s executive director] asked for me to reach out and ask the simple confidential question: “Do you want the season to start again?”
Los Angeles Lakers reserve forward Jared Dudley all but answered yes in his tweet.
“Safety obviously, 1st!” he tweeted. “No where will be as safe as the NBA compound site they determine but, I Don’t think players know the effects of NOT playing does to next year. This is bigger than My team isn’t in the playoffs so who cares! No playoffs, no tv money, NEW CBA next year!”
Yahoo Sports reported that LeBron James, Chris Paul, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry established a united front in favor of resuming the season during a private conference call on Monday.
The NBA season was suspended March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first player to test positive for COVID-19.
League commissioner Adam Silver told players during Friday’s NBPA teleconference that the league can wait until June to make a decision on resuming the season. Silver also confirmed that one or two locations with no fans would be best for the health and safety of players. On Monday, the NBPA and NBA reached an agreement to extend the league’s right to terminate the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) until September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Silver told the players Friday the CBA was not built for an extended pandemic.