His teammate, Danny Green, is not among those pessimists just yet. Green recorded the latest episode of his podcast, “Inside the Green Room,” after sitting in on the latest call with the National Basketball Players Association, and he was apparently encouraged enough by what he heard to offer up the most optimistic take on the season starting back up again that I’ve heard anyone give since everything shut down in the first place:
“I think by any means necessary we’re going to try and salvage the season. And right now we’re fighting... Most guys think that for sure we’re going to have a season, it’s just going to start later than we expected, and just trying to get the next season to be pushed back is not going to be as easy as people think it’s going to be.
“(The second half of this season is) probably going to start in mid to late May maybe, that’s what we’re hoping for at the earliest. Or maybe earlier than that, but that’s the earliest we’re looking at, mid to late May, and it’ll probably go through August (or) as late as September I guess. It’ll be a quick turnaround if we don’t get no break and broadcasters say ‘hey, you know what, we can’t push (the next season) back to December or Christmas.’
“But it was a good call, and positivity for the fans that we’re for sure going to have a season. So all the things that you hear in the news, seeing and reading, don’t believe it that the NBA season is cancelled. That’s not true.”
Resuming the season in May is by far the most optimistic prediction I’ve heard anyone give, and while Green didn’t say this, such a plan would almost assuredly necessitate isolating everyone involved at a neutral site like Las Vegas or somewhere else that the NBA could essentially be put in a bubble, as well as lots of tests (tests that the country may not be able to spare).
But more worth discussing here than the logistics of this, something we’ve all talked about ad nauseam, is what Green saying this so openly after a call with the NBPA means. That the NBPA is talking this optimistically would definitely seem to indicate that players, at the very least, would very much would like to play out as much of the rest of the season as possible, and disrupt as little of their paychecks as possible (I think we can all relate to that last part).
If that’s the case, it would seem that what this will come down to in large part is whether or not the NBA league office and team governors think that people will welcome basketball being back, and not slam or shame the league for being irresponsible while people all around the country are dying.
It’s a fine line for them to walk, and as much as people want basketball back, it still seems like it would be really difficult for the NBA to not take tons of backlash for the amount of testing starting things back up would require (during a shortage of said tests) and for the people the league would be asking to work in complete isolation for months in order to resume the season as safely as possible. That is all without addressing whether or not players on teams with nothing to play for will be eager to jump through all these hoops, or what the NBA would do if it did all of this and then someone tested positive anyway.
But that’s all neither here nor there for now. What we’ve learned today from the NBPA’s internal message (via Green) is that there are at least a decent amount of players who want to get the season going again as soon as possible, which at least is a sign that the 2019-20 campaign may not be quite as doomed as many of us thought. Whether getting things going that early is a good idea is an entirely different discussion, but it will be one worth having as we get more updates on this over the next several weeks.