Some of the NBA’s biggest stars, including Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, took part in a private conference call earlier this week to discuss continuing the 2019-20 season.
League sources told Yahoo Sports and CNN that Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, arranged the secret phone call that included Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, James and Durant, among others.
The players spoke Monday and were in agreement on a return to the court with proper safety guidelines once the league is allowed to restart, according to Yahoo Sports. The group’s decision is expected to have a significant influence on the rest of the NBA’s players when deliberations begin on whether to resume this season.
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, who is one of the NBPA’s vice presidents, also was on the private call. He told CNN on Wednesday that a lot of players want to resume play but don’t want to “come back too early.”
“I think that the purpose of the conversation was for Chris Paul to do his due diligence and make sure he gets a feel for what players want,” Brown said. “There’s a bunch of information that’s being gathered right now. When that information proceeds, we’ll be able to continue things regularly.
“… A lot of the guys want to play. I think the most influential players that were on that call that we speak of, a lot of those guys want to continue the season and that’s very important to us. But we’ve also got to get with some of the other guys that also make up this league and see how they feel. Everything is moving in the [right direction].”
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Most recently, the league started allowing some teams in states with relaxed stay-at-home orders to resume individual workouts at their respective facilities.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver previously said he doesn’t have to make a decision on whether to restart the season until sometime in June.