Lakers Starter: Parts of NBA’s Disney Return Plan ‘Not Realistic’

Danny Green, at left, celebrates with Lakers star LeBron James

Getty Danny Green, at left, celebrates with Lakers star LeBron James

Lakers guard Danny Green understands that bringing back more than 300 players to finish out the 2019-20 season while cooped up in three hotels at Disney World never was going to be easy. Players will stay put for eight “regular season” games starting on July 30, then will remain at the resort as long as their teams are active in the postseason—which could stretch all the way till mid-October for NBA Finalists.

Green said that is not “realistic” but still expressed confidence that the NBA will get back on the floor in some form in the coming weeks.

“I think they’re doing it the best they can,” Green said in an Instagram Live interview on The Grio. “I think it will change as time goes on.”

Green, a union rep, also said in an interview with USA Today that negotiations between the union and league are not settled. “It’s very up in the air right now,” he said. “There are still a lot of moving parts.”

Already, players have been clamoring for alterations to the rules and regulations of the league’s return, which was voted on and approved by a 29-1 margin earlier this month. Union executive director Michele Roberts has said that the return to action does not require a vote by players.

As previously reported, many players are not sure they want to come back to play at all and the league is bracing for that. Green, though, sounded excited to be back on the floor.

“It is going to be interesting,” he said, “I am glad they got it done, I think it is the best way they can do it.”

NBA Players Concerned About Hotel Lockdown

Green did not discount the importance of player objections to the return. Players have questioned the necessity of keeping everyone on the grounds without the ability to leave and come back. The NBA is hoping to limit the chances of coronavirus infection affecting the remainder of the season and wants to keep players in place to lessen exposure.

“I know players are fighting for a lot of different things they want changed,” Green said, “because it’s not going to be realistic to keep us there without our friends and family for a month and a half with no other interactions to go see our people and them being quarantined for seven days before they can see us when they do come. So they’re going to have to adjust some things.”

The argument against keeping players locked down gained backing when it was revealed that hotel staff would be allowed to leave the grounds and come back, opening the possibility they will bring in infection.

“Obviously, only using three hotels but the workers are coming and going—there’s a lot of little details that they’re trying to work out the kinks and seeing who’s staying where,” Green said. “We’ll see how it goes and make the best of it.”

Lakers’ Experience Could be an Advantage

Green also said that, once play does begin, he expects that the Lakers will have an advantage because they have so many veteran players. Green is 32 years old and is one of three starters who is 32 or older. Of the 11 players who get regular minutes for the Lakers, six are in their 30s.

Getting into shape will be the first order of business, but once that happens, Green said the Lakers’ experience will kick in.

“Once we start back up, get into the best playing shape we can get to and that’s playing 5-on-5 when we’re allowed to—3-on-3, 4-on-4,” Green said, “knowing our personnel, we kind of understand our theories, our coaches, what they want from us, their philosophies. That’ll help. It is not like we are starting over, we kind of know our staff now. It’s just kind of reiterating it, emphasizing it, making us go through the motions and get a feel for it.”

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