It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the NBA will finish its season in just one or two cities. But players apparently won’t be required to stay there the entire time.
“You will be allowed to leave,” Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley said Wednesday, according to ESPN’s David McMenamin. “Now just because you leave, if we’re going to give you that leeway, if you come back with (COVID-19) you can’t play.”
Dudley, of course, is well aware of discussions between the league and the National Basketball Players Association. But neither NBA commissioner Adam Silver or National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts has confirmed this.
While he certainly wouldn’t want to leave the bubble city, wherever it might be, Dudley knows other players likely won’t have the same mindset. He believes it would be a “somewhat selfish” decision for a player to make, but it wouldn’t surprise him.
“When you’re dealing with 300 different players — if you’ve seen the (Michael) Jordan documentary, every team’s got a (Dennis) Rodman, he just doesn’t have green and blue hair,” Dudley said in reference to Rodman’s decision to partake in “WrestleMania” while the Chicago Bulls competed against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals. “There’s always someone who’s outside the box, who does that, takes the risk and says, ‘Hey listen, man, I’m healthy and I feel good.'”
As for stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Dudley says the team will “be wrapping them in a bubble and not letting them go anywhere” as they aim for this year’s NBA championship. (And considering the Lakers’ odds of winning the title are promising, we certainly can’t say we blame them.)
The league reportedly is aiming for a mid-July resumption of the 2019-20 season. More guidelines for the season are expected to be made June 1.
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