MIAMI (AP) — A person familiar with the results of poll of NBA players taken by their union says there would be “overwhelming” support for any plan that has this season resuming in a safe way amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll conducted by the National Basketball Players Association was informal but gave a clear sense that players would like to not only get to the playoffs but also resume at least some of the regular season, according to the person who shared details with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because it was not to be detailed publicly.
The exact results of the poll were unknown, and the methodology behind the poll — including how many players participated — was unclear.
The NBPA sent a letter to agents Tuesday discussing, among other things, the results of the player polling and some details of the call the union and its membership had late last week with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. In that call, Silver talked about the possibility of resuming a season without fans and potentially playing at a centralized site — notions that have been discussed for some time.
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 with 259 regular season games remaining. Players have been paid in full on each of the four paydays that have followed, though that will change Friday when most of the league sees a 25% reduction in their paycheck.
Players stand to lose roughly $850 million in gross salary if the regular season is not resumed and the NBA exercises its right to withhold roughly 1.08% of each player’s salary for any game that is ultimately canceled. No games have been officially canceled yet; the 25% reduction starting with Friday’s check was negotiated between the league and the union with the expectation that the season will eventually be shortened.
A handful of teams have opened their facilities for voluntary workouts; Miami and Orlando are expected to be the next two teams to do so on Wednesday.