Suns’ Aron Baynes not sure current NBA season will resume
Apr 30, 2020, 10:09 AM
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes didn’t sound optimistic about the 2019-20 NBA season resuming when he joined an Australian radio station for an interview.
Baynes, who is from Australia, was giving insight into the coronavirus pandemic as it stands in the United States while doing a radio interview Tuesday with SEN Breakfast on SEN 1116 in Australia. He began by saying that there isn’t an end in sight to the NBA hiatus — which is probably closer to fact than opinion — but he went on to give his take on where things stand.
“Everyone’s itching to get back and play and finish out the season, but there’s bigger things right now than basketball and people’s safety is first and foremost,” he said. “We’ve got to take a step back and see the world for what it is right now and see what’s important. And us running back out there isn’t what it is right now.
“Personally, I’m not sure if this season will continue, but hopefully there’s some progress toward when we can begin next season. Maybe a month or two late, but find some way to get it going for the next one.”
Baynes also sounded pessimistic about the idea of a centralized hub to resume the season. According to reports, the NBA was considering Las Vegas for such an idea in early April.
“They’re trying to come up with some scenarios that would work, but I think in terms of everyone being in one hub, how’s that going to work when you have 450 guys and if one guy does test positive then you have to get back in two months of isolation to get back to playing again?” Baynes said. “That’s unrealistic and there’s a better way to put all those resources that are being used into something else than professional sport.”
The NBA announced earlier this week that it was targeting May 8 as the earliest date that teams could reopen facilities for players to practice on a limited basis. Baynes explained that had a lot to do with keeping players safer, as they might otherwise go to a public gym rather than stay home altogether.
“Right now the problem is some states that are opening up and lessening the restrictions,” Baynes said. “They’re worried if they do have access to a commercial gym, the players would start going out there and working out there. So the NBA’s trying to step up and give teams an option so guys aren’t going out and playing pickup in a commercial gym and putting themselves and others around the team at risk as well.
“They’re trying to come to an agreement and right now we’re sitting at May 8 to allow NBA teams to have individuals to come in and work out. But then there’d be restrictions on the number of guys, the cleaning process of what guys are allowed to do after they’re in there. It’s all to give guys an outlet, a safer outlet than if they’re going down and playing pickup at a gym where the chance of contracting COVID are a lot higher.”