A week after NBA commissioner Adam Silver told players to prepare for what could be the “single greatest challenge of all of our lives,” the president of the players’ association, Chris Paul, has affirmed publicly — and adamantly — that players want a return to competition.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard, in an interview with Rachel Nichols that aired Friday on ESPN’s The Jump, said the issues inherent are complex but worth navigating.
“A lot of hard conversations that have to be made, a lot of hard decisions,” Paul said. “But with the team around us, I think ultimately we’ll get to where we want to. Obviously we want to play. Oh man, we want to play. We want to play bad. And I think that’s a consensus for the guys around the league. We want it to be, obviously, as safe as possible. But the biggest thing is, we miss the game.”
Silver and Paul hosted a conference call last Friday with players that addressed some of the problems the NBA would face when and if it returns during the coronavirus pandemic. Defining how to do it safely remains elusive, Paul told The Jump.
“I don’t have the answers,” Paul said. “I don’t have all the answers. But I know that people are working tirelessly, trying to figure it out.”
Asked whether he was concerned about the fairness of a potential playoff structure upon returning, Paul said it went beyond that.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things,” he said. “But at the end of the day, right now, no one expected this and knew that this was coming.
“So what is normal now? So I think that’s what we’re trying to figure out is what it looks like, and until we find those answers and we can come up with an actual plan, right now it’s basically sit and wait, so that the virus is in control.”