Pelicans' JJ Redick: 'Would Be a Lie' to Say Players Comfortable with Restart

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick (4) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The Jazz won 128-126. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

NBA players are set to report in Orlando from July 7-9 for the restart of the 2019-20 season, but New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick said "there is absolutely no comfort level" among players given the spike in coronavirus cases and ongoing social unrest, but he thinks playing is the right thing to do. 

The veteran explained his thoughts in a statement to ESPN's Malika Andrews:

The eight seeding games for each team are scheduled to begin on July 30, with the Pelicans currently 3.5 games behind the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

As Redick noted, the restart comes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets were each forced to close their team facilities at different points because of positive COVID-19 tests in the last week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this week saw the highest single-day total of new coronavirus cases nationwide.

The NBA is planning to continue as scheduled, but commissioner Adam Silver told reporters June 26 the league could cancel if there is a "significant spread" of the disease within the NBA bubble.

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Meanwhile, players around the league have also been focused on the ongoing movement for racial justice following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving called on players to opt out of the restarted season to avoid taking attention away from the movement. 

Redick has discussed the ongoing unrest and the movement on social media and his podcast in recent weeks. 

His latest statement provides further insight into players' mentalities as they return to action over the next few weeks and months.

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