Report: NBPA Tells Agents That Players, League Want to Restart League

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver unveils the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award during a news conference Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

The National Basketball Players Association issued a statement Tuesday denying that it is formally surveying players about a possible return to action this season.

"The NBPA is not engaging in and has not authorized any formal poll of its players," it said in a statement to The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania. However, Charania later reported that the players association informed agents that the "sense is" both players and the league want to restart the season.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: The NBA and NBPA are forming a working group and have a call Tuesday to discuss return-to-play strategies; will include NBPA president Chris Paul and players Russell Westbrook, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Lowry, Dwight Powell.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski had reported that NBPA regional representatives texted players Tuesday with a "yes or no" question about whether they want play to resume this year. The results, he reported, were expected to remain confidential.

Wojnarowski added some teams received the question as part of a group text.

Los Angeles Lakers veteran Jared Dudley and Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant provided their input on the supposed question:

Jared Dudley @JaredDudley619

Safety obviously 1st! No where will be as safe as the NBA compound site they determine but, I Don’t think players know the effects of NOT playing does too next year. This is bigger then My team isnt in the playoffs so who cares! No playoffs, no tv money, NEW CBA next year! https://t.co/jFb1dH89E4

Ja Morant @JaMorant

I wanna play 😤 https://t.co/hYoxWcUUln

The NBA season has been on hiatus since it was suspended March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are no official plans for a return.

Teams were allowed to reopen facilities last week for the first time in almost two months, although only the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers took advantage, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The NBA draft lottery has also been postponed indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Adam Silver said he plans to hold full seven-game playoff series if the season does resume but also told the NBPA that "no decisions may be made for another several weeks," according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (via NBA.com).