Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets are reportedly part of a coalition of NBA players who are seeking to find answers in the debate over whether or not to resume the 2019-20 season.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews indicated that the coalition had provided the media giant with a statement that’s meant to offer a greater understanding of the group’s approach.
In addition to the health concerns connected to the season’s resumption, the coalition also seeks to address the continuing racial issues that have led to conflict across the country.
“Among concerns surrounding the league’s return to play after a three-month shutdown in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, sources said the coalition is citing: A surge in positive coronavirus cases in Florida, conditions surrounding the restrictive environment in the bubble, insurance and liabilities for players based on possible sicknesses, and injuries in a truncated finish to the season,” Wojnarowski and Andrews wrote.
As a newly elected vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, Irving helped the union ratify the proposed return earlier this month, even though he won’t play after having had season-ending shoulder surgery in March. This new push marks a drastic new approach for the nine-year veteran, a move that has drawn criticism in some quarters.
Bradley is part of a Lakers team that currently has the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14 and is considered a strong contender to win the NBA title.
The leadership roles that Bradley and Irving are taking include bringing together players who have similar misgivings about getting back on the court with the coronavirus pandemic continuing.
“Irving and Bradley were among the organizers of a Monday call that included 40 players and a Friday call that included closer to 100, sources said,” Wojnarowski and Andrews wrote. “The Monday call included 1968 U.S. gold medalist John Carlos sharing his perspective on social justice then and now, sources said.”
While the coalition appears to be in the minority among NBA players, it’s clear that if play does resume at the end of next month, that decision will not have universal support.