There has been a lot of back and forth regarding the resumption of the NBA season. It seems like everybody was on the same page about the desire to play, either if it was jumping straight to the playoffs or resuming the regular season.
However, it seems like things aren't that simple anymore. There have been some concerns about the safety of the players and their health due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and now the uprising and protests across the nation have made it even more complicated.
Some players thing playing won't help the Black Lives Matter movement and it'll only create a distraction. Others claim they need the money to actually make a positive change in their communities. Also, skipping the season will make the salary cap take a massive drop that could hurt multiple rising stars.
Adam Silver already stated that players who don't want to go back won't face penalties, although they won't get paid for the games they missed. Thus, with this conflicted picture, there have been at least four players that have openly expressed their desire to sit out and boycott the resumption of the season:
Eastern Conference All-Star
While he didn't disclose his identity, Enes Kanter claimed that one of his former teammates from a playoff team in the Eastern Conference told him that he's got no intentions whatsoever of suiting up in the Orlando bubble, and neither do his teammates:
“There’s so many guys on our team, that they’re not going to play.” They’re actually in the Eastern Conference. They’re in a playoff spot," Kanter told NBC Sports.
Again, the identity of said player was undisclosed so we have to take this with a grain of salt.
Carmelo Anthony is reportedly 'up in the air' about joining the Portland Trail Blazers for the season's restart. The 17-year-old veteran recently claimed that he's not fully convinced about playing as he still doesn't know 100% of the details about the Orlando bubble.
“As far as actually playing and going back down into Orlando, I’m still up in the air a little bit because I really don’t, we don’t have all the details,” Anthony told TNT’s Ernie Johnson, as quoted by The New York Post.
The Blazers are currently 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
Dwight Howard was in the midst of a redemption season with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he recently said that he doesn't feel like playing would help the movement regardless of how much he wants to win his first-ever NBA Championship.
"I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just too beautiful to pass up. What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families? Howard stated via his agent.
The Los Angeles Lakers currently hold the best record in the Western Conference and Howard was averaging 19.2 minutes per game.
Avery Bradley has never been known for being a vocal leader on any of his teams but it seems like he's finally willing to take a stand. Apparently, he's one of the leaders of the coalition that doesn't want the season to resume and is willing to sit out.
"We are combating the issues that matter most: We will not accept the racial injustices that continue to be ignored in our communities. We will not be kept in the dark when it comes to our health and well-being. And we will not ignore the financial motivations/expectations that have prevented us historically from making sound decisions," the coalition said on a statement.
Bradley is currently averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game on 24.2 minutes for the Lakers.
Kyrie Irving has gained a bit of a reputation for being a troublemaker. This time, however, he's just doing his job as the VP of the NBPA, by voicing out the concerns of plenty of players that don't have the same profile as him and are reportedly hesitant to speak up.
“I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with systematic racism and bullsh*t. I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform)," Irving told the players.
Kyrie was going to sit out for the rest of the season anyway with a shoulder injury and his stance has raised a lot of controversies around current and former NBA players.