Report: NBA Players Must Notify Teams of Restart Participation by June 24

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2020

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The NBA will allow players to opt out of participating in the restarted 2019-20 season in Orlando, Florida, as long as they notify their teams by June 24, according to a National Basketball Players Association memo obtained by Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

"It is critical that every player understand that he has the right to choose not to return to play," the league stated. "Any player who exercises this right will not be disciplined."

The players who don't play will reportedly see their compensation reduced by 1/92.6 each game missed.

The league will also have "Protected Players" and "Excused Players" who will not see any salary reduction. This group includes those who are at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, according to Charania.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe previously reported the NBA asked all team personnel for medical records to determine risk for the coronavirus.

The 2019-20 season was initially suspended in March due to the pandemic, but the league announced it will return on July 30 with 22 teams competing in Orlando. All teams are expected to play eight seeding games before the start of the playoffs.

While the plan was approved by team representatives, several players have voiced their concerns about competing.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reportedly asked players to sit out the resumed season, per Wojnarowski. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard said he didn't want the return to be a distraction amid protests against racial injustice, via Jill Martin of CNN.

Other players have had concerns about injury risks after a long layoff as well as the challenges involved in competing within a bubble in Orlando.

Per Charania, anyone who leaves the campus without prior approval will be subject to 10-14 days of quarantine and reduction in pay.

The league also announced safety precautions once players arrive at the facility in Orlando, including wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Players will have the option of wearing an Oura smart ring that tracks temperature, heart rate and more, potentially leading to early detection of the coronavirus.