NBA Insider: Kyrie’s Comments “Not A Threat”

Kyrie Irving does not support resuming the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando

Tiki and Tierney
June 16, 2020 - 7:45 am

If it were up to Kyrie Irving, the NBA would not resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando – or potentially at all. 

Irving, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery March 3, made these thoughts known on a conference call with dozens of players last Friday. 

It appears other players feel the same way.

“When the Players Association approved the owners’ 22-team format to resume play, a lot of players felt like they didn’t have a voice, they didn’t have a say,” Yahoo Sports NBA insider Chris Haynes said on Tiki & Tierney. “A lot of players were coming to me, saying, ‘Man, every player should have a right to vote on whether to restart the season or not.’ So Kyrie, he’s the vice president of the Players Association, he put on this call last Friday.”

Approximately 84 players participated on the call, which lasted for one hour and 40 minutes.

“[Irving] basically let them know that he was against going to Orlando,” Haynes said. “He felt like there were things he needed to do in his community with all the racial injustice going on in the aftermath of the George Floyd tragedy. He felt like it was in his best interest to stay back and do things here and it would be a distraction to go over there and play. Other players felt the same way.”

Dwight Howard. Avery Bradley. Carmelo Anthony. C.J. McCollum. The list goes on.

“So for Kyrie, this was just a platform call to give players a voice to speak their minds,” Haynes said. “It’s not a threat [to the NBA’s plan] at all. There wasn’t enough opposition. There’s not enough opposition in the league, and there wasn’t enough opposition on that phone call to say that this is a threat. This season will be resumed. I expect it to be resumed. The league has to come out with a protocol and a structure on how things are going to look on a day-to-day basis in Orlando. . . . But this is just guys speaking their mind. Whenever a guy says they don’t want to play or they don’t plan to play, those are going to be the big headlines, but there’s not enough of those out there.”