Michael Jordan argued for player safety, no meaningless NBA games
The NBA is still in the process of trying to come up with the best possible format for the resumption of its season, and Michael Jordan is among those who feel there is no use in teams that are all but eliminated from playoff contention taking the floor again this year.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with the league’s Board of Governors on Friday, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that four possible scenarios for the resumption of play were presented. They ranged from going straight to the playoffs to playing a handful more regular season games. Jordan, whose Charlotte Hornets would not make the playoffs if they started today under normal rules, does not think the league should risk player safety with meaningless games.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan advocated on the call for player safety, and not simply having players return for meaningless games, sources said. Given the NBA is prioritizing health and safety first and foremost, 30 team return is unlikely. https://t.co/03pAvpDPi7
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
Most NBA general managers are in favor of jumping straight into the postseason, though questions remain about what the format should be. Ideas to give teams that are currently outside the top eight in each conference a chance to contend for a postseason spot include a play-in tournament or a World Cup-style group stage, though the latter seems unlikely.
If the NBA were to play a handful more regular season games, teams like the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers — who are nowhere near contention — would not have a chance to even qualify for a play-in tournament. They would essentially just be going through the motions to determine which other teams get in, and Jordan is not the only one opposed to that scenario.
One star NBA player has already said he will refuse to play again this season if his team is not given a fair shot to make the playoffs. That is something the NBA needs to consider as well, and it is one of the reasons only bringing back teams that are in postseason contention seems like the idea that has more supporters.