Heat’s Bam Adebayo Says Seeking Insurance Amid NBA Restart ‘All About Safety’

Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) handles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Washington. The Heat won 100-89. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

On Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported a number of the NBA‘s young players, including Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ Kyle Kuzma, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Boston’s Jayson Tatum, held a call on Friday to discuss league-financed insurance policies for the NBA’s restart plan in case of injuries or sickness.

“It’s all about safety,” Adebayo said Tuesday while explaining he still wants to play, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “We want to play and give our teams the best chance of winning a championship.”

The Miami Heat big man also said he believes Kuzma, Mitchell, Fox and Tatum will speak more about the issue while adding: “Our ultimate goal is to play. So, I don’t want anybody thinking, ‘If they don’t get their insurance, they’re not playing.’ No, we want to play.”

Wojnarowski explained all five of those players were members of the 2017 draft class and eligible for rookie extensions during the upcoming offseason, which all figure to be worth a substantial amount of money given their roles on their respective teams.

The league has been shut down since March 11, and there is understandable fear about increased injury with a shortened training camp before play potentially resumes on July 30. There is also the reality that players will be taking the court amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving them vulnerable even in a campus-like environment in Disney World.

According to Wojnarowski, the league and players association are negotiating potential insurance protections for players before the season resumes.

If and when the 2019-20 campaign begins again, all five of the listed players are on teams that will take the court.

Adebayo’s Heat, Kuzma’s Lakers, Tatum’s Celtics and Mitchell’s Jazz are all in the current picture, while Fox’s Kings are within the necessary six games of the final playoff spot to be included in the NBA’s restart.

The plan is for each team to play eight regular-season games before a potential play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed if the No. 9 seed is still within four games of it. After the play-in tournament, there will be the traditional 16-team playoff format remaining for best-of-seven series.

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