Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum—who also serves as the National Basketball Players Association vice president—told ESPN's Jay Williams he believes around 150 NBA players are living paycheck to paycheck during the NBA's hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
"I think a lot of guys are going to be hurting especially people on minimums or people that didn't just budget correctly and didn't expect this to happen," he said. "Maybe they loaned money or paid money to family. Maybe they're taking care of multiple people and now there's a work stoppage for us and for a lot of people in America.
"I would say out of 450 players...150 probably are living paycheck to paycheck," he added.
The NBA and NBPA are currently negotiating a salary reduction while games remain suspended. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the league is proposing a 50 percent pay cut to take place on April 15, while the NBPA has countered with a 25 percent reduction that would go into effect in mid-May.
There is growing uncertainty over whether the season will resume at all, and whether the remaining regular-season games will be lost if play does continue.
With nearly 10 million Americans filing for unemployment by the end of March alone amid the coronavirus pandemic, it's unlikely that many will sympathize with the plight of NBA players who are paid hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year.
But it is a reminder of just how much this pandemic has affected nearly every facet of society. Almost every major sporting league shutting down around the globe is unprecedented. Major competitions like the Olympics or UEFA's European Championship being postponed by a year, or the NCAA tournament being canceled altogether, have been shocking developments.
Many people were not prepared for such a dramatic change in everyday life. That, potentially, includes some NBA players.