Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter claims to have heard from a fellow NBA colleague that there are a number of players who are against a return to the court.
The NBA is reportedly targeting July 31 as a potential restart date and, while many players are looking forward to the season’s resumption, it’s understood that there are several of them who aren’t very keen on playing during the pandemic.
Kanter referenced information he says he got from an unnamed player on an Eastern Conference team while speaking on his podcast, The Enes Kanter Show, revealing his “shock” over the revelation.
In quotes cited by NBA Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, he said:
“This is my ninth year in the league, 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, they’re not going to play.’ They’re actually in the Eastern Conference, they’re in a playoff spot, and they’re like superstars. Like, if I tell you who it is, you’d go crazy.”
There are reports out there that lend credence to Kanter’s claim. Various players were said to have felt pressured into attending voluntary workouts when certain facilities reopened this month.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Chris Paul relayed this to Commissioner Adam Silver, who insisted that workouts were optional and asked the Oklahoma City Thunder star to follow up with the NBA if such persists.