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The NBA announced a plan to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 teams on July 30 in Orlando, Florida, after the season was initially suspended in March because of the coronavirus. Union team reps reportedly approved the deal with a 28-0 vote, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Players have since voiced their frustrations about the restart, with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reportedly holding a call with about 100 players asking them not to participate, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Among the concerns from players are the injury risk after a long layoff, the restrictions within the Orlando “bubble” and the idea of detracting from recent protests against systemic racism.
Former player Matt Barnes recently said on Yahoo Sports’ Dunk Bait that there could be holdouts, noting that “there are some whispers about some teams not being comfortable.”
However, James was reportedly part of a private call with Chris Paul, Giannis Antetokounmpo and other stars who decided in May they would take the court when the league resumed, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. James’ Lakers led the Western Conference with a 49-14 record before the season was suspended.
Even if not all players are comfortable, Beverley thinks the league will side with James if it comes to it.