Back in May, before the procedures for the NBA restart (and most other sports) had been sorted out, Alicia examined how the leagues that were including families in the set-up seemed to be having more success at securing player buy-in. That finding is fairly obvious — people like being around their loved ones, and family can provide a source of comfort and stability in an otherwise unnatural situation, like a three-month-long quarantine bubble.
Ultimately the NBA settled on allowing family members onto the campus site after the first round of the playoffs to limit the total number of occupants. The Clippers, however, want the league to do better.
Per a report from Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Clippers have been petitioning the league to bring family members to Orlando at the start of the playoffs, which are currently scheduled for August 17. That would be a full two weeks before families arrive in the present format:
Sources say the Clippers have been the most vocal when it comes to pushing for more family and friends to be allowed earlier in the timeline, with their routinely-stated hope (via weekly calls between the NBA and front office executives) that the league will eventually allow at least one family member or friend to join players at the start of the first round.
“They’re fighting for that,” a rival GM said.
The Clippers are a veteran team, and at least ten of the players are married or have children. It only makes sense that they would bring people with them to Florida when they plan to stay there through October.
It’s interesting that the women’s sports leagues (the NWSL and the WNBA) made children a priority in their season plans. Kids will be in the bubble for the entirety of the NWSL Challenge Cup and the 22-game WNBA season. Trying to suggest otherwise was a non-starter for both leagues. However, the men of the NBA are expected to spend at least seven weeks without their children and their spouses/significant others, when a normal season would have them on the road for maybe 12-14 consecutive days at most. Even the team that has the biggest problem with this is only pushing to shave two weeks off of that timeline.
It’s clear that the NBA is trying to reduce the number of people in the campus environment to ensure safety, but it would make a lot more sense (at least for me) to have families around than the Suns, the Wizards, or the Spurs.
On to the links...
- Lou Williams was 50/50 on participating in the NBA restart last week. The L.A. Times caught up with his agent, who said that the Clippers sixth man “is still mulling his decision” as of Wednesday.
- The Clippers came in 26th in Sam Vecenie’s rookie scale rankings. Vecenie has high hopes for Johnathan Motley, who has yet to find consistent NBA playing time.
- This was a really fun feature about the 2010 USA World Cup team — including then-Clipper Eric Gordon — and how it changed the landscape of the NBA over the last decade.
- One of the appeals from Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley’s players coalition was improved hiring practices from the NBA so that Black people would be better represented in executive positions. As it turns out, the NBA is falling behind when it comes to hiring and keeping Black coaches.
- In that vein, members of the Players Association met with NBA leadership Wednesday to discuss how to use the Orlando restart to combat systemic racism.
- How one Los Angeles basketball star is working towards social justice.