The NBA might be resuming its 2019-20 season soon, but some staff members are worried about how it might impact their career.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is one of a handful of NBA coaches worried about how the league’s new COVID-19 restrictions “could be restricted from leading their teams and some could face considerable challenges in resuming their careers,” per ESPN.
In fact, the National Basketball Coaches Association worries the new rules could “severely jeopardize” some coaches’ future.
“The health and safety of all NBA coaches is our main concern,” the NBCA told ESPN in a statement. “However, we are also concerned with a coach’s opportunity to work and to not have their ability to secure future jobs be severely jeopardized. The league assured us that a coach will not be excluded solely because of age.
“We feel the medical review process is designed to flag only those individuals who pose significant threats of substantial harm to themselves that cannot be reduced or eliminated by the NBA’s considerable steps to create a healthy and safe atmosphere in Orlando.
“Adam (Silver) and the NBA have created a situation in Orlando that is likely far safer than in our coaches’ home markets. Absent a significant threat, we believe a coach should be able to understand and assume their individual risks, waive liability, and coach in Orlando.”
Popovich, 71, and other older coaches are among those considered “higher risk” for COVID-19 once the NBA resumes play. But the doctor’s decision “will be final, binding, and unspeakable,” per the league.
How the 2020 season actually will play out, however, remains to be seen.