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NBA

NBA Players Coalition Wisely Focuses on Diversifying NBA Hiring Practices

Improved hiring practices for Black candidates in management and head coach positions should be players' first priority.

The NBA Player’s Coalition wants the League to take real action in addressing Black causes before restarting the season. In the meantime, plans for the season continue as the NBA gave players an extensive handbook on rules and regulations and operations for the restart inside the Disney Bubble.  

Traveling Party 

35 staff members with a team may travel (13-17 players). 

Private trainers and security personnel are also permitted. The NBA is encouraging all parties to include a mental health doctor in their bubble squad.

The league is exploring the possibility of assigning each player a designated spot on the bench. 

Family and guests will not be allowed until the Conference semifinals in August. 

Accommodations

Players only lounges, movie screenings, 24-hour VIP concierge, team outings (golf, fish, boating) and access to Disney’s animal kingdom. 

Teams will be staying at three Disney hotels (Gran Destino, Grand Floridian, Yacht Club)

Season schedule

Teams will arrive in Orlando between July 7-9. July 30-Aug 14 they will play the remaining 8 regular-season games. 

The play-in games will run Aug 15-16

The playoffs will begin on Aug. 17. Aug. 30 marks the start of the Conference Semifinals and Sept. 15 is the tentative date for the launch of the Conference Finals. The NBA Finals would start on Sept. 30. 

Players Coalition spokesperson Avery Bradley wants to see owners back the players with action and Bradley told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that he felt having the support of the owners would have a bigger impact in his mind than what any individual player can do. Owner support makes the players’ concerns and demands less adversarial and presents the League to the fans as a unified front.  

Bradley is among a coalition of NBA players including Irving and Dwight Howard who are pursuing further examination of the NBA’s plan to restart the season in Orlando. Irving and Howard went as far as to suggest that the players might boycott the season and embrace the moment, continuing to fight for racial equality.  

Bradley says that the Coalition wants three specific things addressed by the NBA and League owners before players can risk their health and immerse themselves in the sport of hoops with a clear conscience 

PLAYER DEMANDS

1. Commitment to reevaluate the hiring practices; improved hiring practices for Black candidates in management and head coach positions

2. Community donations and partnerships with Black-owned businesses and vendors 

3. Donations to organizations that serve the Black community. They want to see that become more widespread 

Now that it seems as if Kyrie Irving’s suggestion to sit out the season to focus on police brutality and social injustice issues has fallen upon mostly deaf ears, Bradley has emerged as the deliverer of the NBA players’ demands to the owners.

Not playing was an option, but the consensus opinion is that NBA players can get more accomplished by using their platform during the season and that the support of the owners in accomplishing these goals is imperative to executing them successfully. Howard has recently said that he intends to play. Bradley, who has started 44 of 49 games for the Lakers this season, is unsure. 

The NBA announced that players who choose not to play have to tell the NBA by June 24. Reports say they won’t be disciplined but they also won’t get paid. 

Bradley’s demands for the NBA falls directly in line with what The Shadow League said should be at the top of the players’ social justice agenda. 

The fear that the Players Coalition has is that the games will begin and fans and players, owners and head coaches alike would forget about George Floyd, the massive global protests of the past month and the struggle to revamp the police department, end police brutality towards Back people and flush out the systemic racism that is ingrained in every institution in this country. 

However, by raising the possibility of not playing, the players have already seized the moment and are using their leverage to make owners take a serious look at how they conduct business and treat the players that comprise the lucrative league, which is 80 percent white but has just 7 Black general managers, 8 Black head coaches, 1 Black team president and one owner (Michael Jordan). 

Systemic racism must be changed by acknowledging the problem and then setting legislation and programs in place to try and even out the discrepancies and inquiries in the hiring process.  

If the NBA players can get the owners to support their objectives then that would be a huge leap towards creating a league leadership group and hierarchy that reflects the racial and ethnic composition of the players. 

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