As we speak, the NBA and the players union are planning a potential resumption of their suspended season. That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is on board, though. Given the health risks involved, the minimal stakes for certain players and teams and the impact of pushing back next season, there is certainly a faction that would favor scrapping the 2019-20 campaign without naming a champion.
Just don’t count NBPA president Chris Paul among them. The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard appeared on ESPN’s The Jump on Friday and reiterated that not only does he want to play, but his fellow players do as well.
“Obviously we want to play,” Paul confirmed. “Oh man, we want to play. We want to play bad. I think that’s the consensus among the guys around the league. We want it to be obviously as safe as possible, but the biggest thing is, we miss the game.”
The problem for Paul, at the moment, is how little control those involved have over the situation.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things, but at the end of the day, no one expected this and knew that this was coming,” Paul continued. “So what is normal now? So I think that’s what we’re trying to figure out, what it looks like, so until we find those answers and we can come up with an actual plan, right now it’s basically sit and wait. The virus is in control.”
Paul has been among the leaders in the union’s push to resume the season, and even took part in a superstar’s only conference call earlier in the week that included LeBron James and Stephen Curry with the intent of presenting a united front on the matter. There are still a number of issues to be worked out, such as how player salaries will be adjusted in the coming years as the league grapples with the fallout of the pandemic and how the players can safely play games without a vaccine, but the sentiment is clear. The players want to finish the season, no matter what form that takes.