John Wall is still recovering from rupturing his left Achilles, but that hasn’t stopped the Washington Wizards point guard from having an opinion on the NBA’s Disney World restart plan. He’s siding with another player who’s out for the season: Kyrie Irving.
On 'The Tuff Juice Podcast,' Wall told host Caron Butler that he, like Irving, wouldn’t want to play in Orlando even if he was fully healthy.
"For me, if I was playing, I wouldn't want to go to it, to be honest,” Wall said via NBC Sports Washington. “I just don't feel like it's safe. I just don't feel like it is. I understand why they want to do it and what they're trying to get to, but I wouldn't want to.”
Wall also aired his reservations about the length of the resumed season. Each of the 22 teams in the NBA bubble is guaranteed only eight games before the eight top teams in each conference advance to the playoffs. With the Wizards 5.5 games behind the 8th-place Orlando Magic, Wall doesn’t think it would be worth it to suit up for such a minuscule chance at the playoffs.
"If I was healthy enough to play, I wouldn't want to go play," he said. "What am I going, just to play eight games? I'm not going for just eight games and then coming back home."
Irving’s reservations about the season are a little different. On a call with other NBA players last week, he reportedly said that players should consider not playing the rest of the season in light of the protests and outrage over the murder of George Floyd, but also due to health and safety concerns over COVID-19.
When discussing Irving’s concerns, Wall said that he understands and respects where Irving is coming from.
"Kyrie has his things where he be in his own world... 'The Earth is flat,' " Wall said, via NBC Sports Washington. "But to be honest, I think he has a point. A lot of people feel that way. I think that's why they tried to get on that call to see how many people really want to go play and how many people don't want to play. Because with all this 'Black Lives Matter' going on and protesting and trying to get justice and all that; a lot of people feel like it's not safe to go there. That's what he stands on."
With both Wall and Irving out for the season, it’s unlikely that either will be able to travel with their team to Orlando. But with COVID-19 infections spiking in Florida, their concerns are valid. Speaking out about them might lead a healthy player to do the same.
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