Sacramento Kings minority owner and former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal believes that the league should scrap the rest of the 2019-’20 season.
Shaquille O’Neal spoke with the New York Post last week and shared his drastic opinions on what the league should do about the 2019-’20 season. The former superstar and current Sacramento Kings minority owner was quoted as saying that he believes the NBA should scrap the rest of season due to player safety.
The league suspended operations on March 11th in a night that will now live in infamy. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was diagnosed with the Coronavirus, and the league was shut down immediately. The Kings were scheduled to play their first and only nationally televised game of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans, but the contest was called within an hour of game time.
In the two months since, the NBA has been exploring the possible options for safely returning to play, in some capacity, though there still has been no timetable set. There have been talks of having a play-in tournament of sorts for the playoffs, and other talks of ending the regular season altogether.
O’Neal has an idea, and it isn’t one that anyone is going to like to hear.
"“We should scrap the season…continue to care about the safety of the players and the people, let the government figure out how they’re going to get rid of this thing forever. I hate hearing this statement, ‘oh it’s going to come back, it’s going to come back.'”"
O’Neal got specific with his concerns later in the interview.
"“If we try to finish the season with no fans, you still got to bring in a camera crew, you still got to bring in the trainers, you still got to bring in other people. What if one of those guys gets it? All it takes is one.”"
While it is easy to assume that these ultra-competitive players are itching to get back to action and are ready to do so under any circumstances, there are certainly players who have plenty of concerns. O’Neal is just a handful of years removed from being a player himself, and surely has his finger on the pulse of what the current players are saying and thinking. Last week, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum questioned whether simply returning to practice facilities was safe or even worth it.
While allowing players back in to team facilities (with restrictions) is certainly a step in the right direction for a potential return to action in the coming months, there is still no clear prediction for when that might actually happen. The situation is completely fluid, just as this epidemic has caused the rest of the world to be, as well.
For continued coverage of the NBA’s current hiatus and how it pertains to the Sacramento Kings, stay tuned to A Royal Pain.