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Report: NBA players won’t be penalized for sitting out season

Players will forfeit a fraction of their salary for not participating in games, but are otherwise OK to sit out of the NBA return in Orlando.

Detail of a Spalding basketball with NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s signature during the second half of the game between the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 10, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

In light of recent comments from the NBPA, and most notably players like Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard, there’s the expectation that we could see more players sitting out of the season return in late July. If that is the case, these players won’t be penalized and will only forfeit a small fraction of their salaries for the missed games, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

There were nearly 100 NBA players who were present on a call Friday to discuss the return of the 2019-20 season. Irving made it clear he was against a return and how the season coming back would affect the Black Lives Matter movement. As it is a very serious issue in our country right now, we could see Irving and plenty of other high profile players decide to sit out. If that is the case, does that impact the future of the season coming back in Orlando? It could.

The other issue is that the coronavirus outbreak is still going on and Florida has basically reopened. So does that make the players inside the bubble still at a higher risk to get COVID-19? We aren’t completely sure. If the bubble works properly and everyone is isolated, it shouldn’t be in an issue if testing is going on rapidly. But we have had reports that suggest the concept of the bubble will be difficult to maintain for that long. With so many question marks, you’ve got to start to wonder if the League can remain on track.