Irving against Orlando plan as NBA players eye return: reports

AFP
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, out after shoulder surgery, reportedly says he doesn't support the idea of an NBA return from its coronavirus shutdown in a bubble environment at Orlando (AFP Photo/Mike Stobe)
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, out after shoulder surgery, reportedly says he doesn't support the idea of an NBA return from its coronavirus shutdown in a bubble environment at Orlando (AFP Photo/Mike Stobe)

New York (AFP) - Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was among NBA players on a conference call who raised doubts about resuming the season as planned in a Florida quarantine, according to multiple reports.

ESPN and The Athletic, citing unnamed sources, reported that racial justice issues and the chance to impact the ongoing discussion were among the topics touched upon in the Friday night session of nearly 100 players.

Others were concerned with issues regarding the Orlando "bubble" and coronavirus safety measures in the wake of the pandemic that forced a shutdown to the campaign in March.

"I don't support going into Orlando," Irving said, according to The Athletic. "Something smells a little fishy."

Joel Embiid, Carmelo Anthony, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard were also among those reportedly on the call.

Irving is out for the completion of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery three months ago.

Reports said the players agreed they needed to present a united front in any decision and there was concern about economic impacts upon players.

Agents reportedly have warned players they could lose $1.2 billion in salary if the season is not completed and prompt the NBA to opt out of its collective bargaining agreement with the union, which could lead to worse salary terms in future seasons with the pandemic likely to reduce previously expected revenue levels.

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