After months of hiatus, the NBA announced its plan to come back.
Owners on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the league’s proposal for a 22-team return-to-play format, decided by a 29-1 vote.
And surprisingly, the single vote against didn’t come from a team being excluded from the NBA’s resumption. It came from the Portland Trail Blazers, who were within six games of eighth place in the Western Conference, and thus earned an invite to Orlando.
But according to ESPN’s Aidrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers opposition didn’t come from a a desire not to play.
“Blazers are eager to resume season, but chose to vote ‘No’ because franchise believed there were more competitive and innovative formats on table — including those that addressed 2020 NBA Draft lottery odds based on regular-season game results in Orlando,” Wojnarowski reported.
“Portland’s vote — the lone dissenting in the 29-to-1 Board of Governors call today on the NBA’s 22-team plan to resume season — reflected the franchise’s feedback from its players too.”
Portland's vote — the lone dissenting in the 29-to-1 Board of Governors call today on the NBA's 22-team plan to resume season — reflected the franchise's feedback from its players too, sources said. https://t.co/xwA5cKDxdJ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 4, 2020
Before a proposed format was announced, Blazers’ star Damian Lillard announced he wouldn’t play if his team didn’t have a real shot in the playoffs.
It appears his team didn’t care for the structure, where the 13 teams from the West and other nine from the East play eight regular-season games to will determine seeding, followed by a play-in tournament for the No. 8 and No. 9 teams.
We’ll see if Lillard hates it enough to sit out.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Wayrynen/USA TODAY Sports Images