Enes Kanter: I heard ‘so many’ players on East playoff team, including superstars, won’t play

Celtics center Enes Kanter vs. Nets
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NBA owners approved resuming with 22 teams in Disney World. The National Basketball Players Association approved the format.

A question that didn’t receive enough attention earlier in the process:

Would players actually play under these conditions?

Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston:

Celtics center Enes Kanter:

I have so many friends on different teams, right? I was actually talking to one of my friends, and he said – I’m not going to tell who or which team – but he said, “There’s so many guys on our team, that they’re not going to play.” They’re actually in the Eastern Conference. They’re in a playoff spot.

And they’re like superstars. If I told you who it is, you’d go crazy. I just can’t tell you who it is. But he said, “Hey, they’re not going to play.”

They said until they found a vaccine, until they find a cure, that they’re not going to play.

Keep in mind, this is second-hand at best. It’s also an attention-grabbing claim from someone who loves grabbing attention. So, have some skepticism.

But there are definitely players with reservations about resuming for a variety of reasons – health, comfort, racial injustice.

Nets star Kyrie Irving is the only player known to be clearly against a restart.*

*Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum‘s priorities are unclear.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum shared that he voted “no” on resuming the season in a group chat, but he stressed the importance of finishing the season out of fear the next CBA negotiations wouldn’t be so kind to the players, sources said.

McCollum also commended Trail Blazers owner Jody Allen for voting no on the 22-team plan.

However, the union’s vote for resuming was 28-0, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. McCollum is an NBPA vice president.

I don’t know which group chat McCollum was referring to. The union’s informal poll a month ago?

McCollum’s concern about the Collective Bargaining Agreement is quite valid and sounds like a point by someone who supports restarting.

If Kanter is talking about Brooklyn… OK. Irving and Keivn Durant are out for the season, anyway. The only major revelation would be players waiting for a vaccine or cure. That could be a while.

There’s also a huge difference between expressing hesitation about playing and stating an intent not to play. There’s ANOTHER HUGE JUMP to actually not playing and sacrificing salary.

I suspect nearly all players on the continuing 22 teams will ultimately report to Disney World. But that’s not a certainty, and there’s definitely plenty of chatter about players sitting out.