The first NBA player has decided to sit out the league’s restart.
Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans has decided he will not play in Disney World in the NBA’s bubble attempt to finish out the season, ESPN.com reported. The league has continued forward with its plans despite Florida’s recent coronavirus spike and some black players’ concerns — led by Nets star Kyrie Irving — that basketball would distract from their fight against racial injustice after George Floyd was killed by a white cop in Minneapolis.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Bertans, a 27-year-old Latvian, is scheduled to be a free agent coming off his best season and has had two ACL tears in his career. The NBA has previously said players would not be punished for skipping the restart.
The 24-40 Wizards grabbed one of the final spots in Orlando and would participate in eight seeding games prior to the start of potential play-in games and then the playoffs. Their title chances land somewhere between none and none. This could be a trend as players weigh health risks against what their team could realistically accomplish in the sport’s return, which is scheduled for July 30.
The 6-foot-10 Bertans averaged 15 points per game on 42-percent 3-point shooting in his first season in Washington.