Portland Trail Blazers beat writer Jason Quick has detailed how CJ McCollum initially voted not to participate in the NBA restart. He is now in, though.
As reported by Jason Quick of the Athletic, ( subscription required to read ) McCollum initially voted no to being part of the proposed bubble in Orlando, but now he is 100 percent committed. He said he had changed his mind now after being fully informed of all the details around what the league has put in place.
So far, Victor Oladipo, Avery Bradley, and Willie Caulie-Stein are some of the names who have decided not to take part in the season resumption for various reasons.
It would have been a devastating loss for the Blazers if McCollum had opted not to play, especially after teammate and starting small forward Trevor Ariza will not be there.
Damian Lillard also went on the record recently to discuss his thoughts on the bubble. He is 100 percent committed to the bubble but has expressed concern anyway.
Jason Quick got Lillard again on the record for his views, Lillard thought the league wouldn’t get 22 teams full of players to follow all the rules. But he hoped the league would handle the situation so no players or staff would be put in a dangerous situation.
Lillard and McCollum’s concerns are both valid. Several NBA teams have been shutting down their practice facilities after numerous players tested positive for COVID-19. The practice facilities won’t have the strict quarantining requirements or segregated accommodation, but the reality is, we don’t know if this will work till they get to Orlando.
McCollum is more comfortable with the bubble, even if he has reservations about it. His role as one of the six vice-presidents on the National Basketball Players Association has meant he has taken a leadership stance, while also using his platform to help promote social justice.
McCollum is one of several players who will use the NBA’s idea of messaging around social justice on their jerseys.
The Blazers are blessed to have players like McCollum and Lillard who see the bigger picture and use their platforms to address issues that are bigger than basketball.
Players and fans alike are concerned about the season’s resumption, but it’s up to the NBA to take care of them and ensure this goes off with as few hitches as possible.