Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes and senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill discuss the growing number of game postponements due to positive coronavirus tests, extended contract tracing and why the December 22nd season start is still throwing off players. Hear the full conversation on the Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHRIS HAYNES: I'm currently having a couple of text conversations with a few prominent NBA players. And both of them are sharing their frustration with how early, or how soon, they were told to get back to work, which was what, December 22 I believe?
VINCENT GOODWILL: December 22 was opening night.
CHRIS HAYNES: Somebody said "Get the money," is what they told us. But everybody's scared to write what we should have did, how firm we should have held. Another player-- star player-- texted me and said, "We may have to go back to a bubble." And this is a star player who was in the bubble-- played in the bubble-- and was there for a while, and knows the-- the anguish and suffering that can go along with being in that bubble. And so he's saying that right now.
So I shared that to-- to put out there just how-- Players felt like they were caught off-guard with that December 22 deadline. I mean, the December 22 start, excuse me. Not to say that if they would have started later this whole COVID thing would have been figured out, because I don't think that's the case. But most players, they thought it was going to be a February or a March 1 opening night date.
They had settled-- like when they were negotiating back and forth with the league-- they-- they got to a compromise, the players. The association got to a compromise, I believe it was January 18. I believe.
VINCENT GOODWILL: It was MLK Day, MLK Day.
CHRIS HAYNES: MLK Day, OK, MLK Day, thank you, thank you. And, as we know, that-- that didn't-- that didn't work out. So there's frustration right now on-- on all sides. The NBA is saying that they expected this. Like, this was something that was on their radar, and that is why they did not want to put the second half of the season out until the very end in which they had to, for this-- for this very moment.
But I just think if this continues to go on-- Another thing, let's-- let's add context as well, is that this is coming off of the holiday period in which people-- players-- were with their families and--
VINCENT GOODWILL: Absolutely.
CHRIS HAYNES: Yeah, you know, so the numbers were going to pick up. We just assumed that. But the problem-- There will be a problem if the numbers don't go back down.