San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan expressed his displeasure with the rules the NBA has put in place for the resumption of the season following the coronavirus-enforced break.
The NBA is set to resume via a 22-team format at Orlando’s Disney World complex on July 30 after the 2019-20 campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in March.
The league included a 113-page health and safety handbook as part of its restart plan later this month in Orlando. It covers a wide array of topics such as social distancing outside of games and practices to prohibiting doubles in ping-pong.
“The ping-pong, this is ridiculous, to be honest,” Spurs guard DeRozan said on Thursday. “Guys can’t do this, but we can do this and battle over each other? That part just don’t make no sense to me.
“I got through 10 lines of the handbook and just put it down because it became so frustrating and overwhelming at times, because you just never thought you’d be in a situation of something like this. So it’s hard to process.”
Another area of concern for DeRozan specifically is the mental well-being of the players.
DeRozan has been a vocal advocate for players’ mental health and the isolated nature of the bubble could be a challenge for players from a mental standpoint.
“It’s tough. You’re taking guys that have been with their families every single day for the last few months and all of a sudden, separating everybody into this one confined space and taking away a lot of the joyful things we do outside of basketball that we won’t be able to do,” the four-time All-Star said. “It’ll be something for every single player when it comes to mental health.”
DeRozan is not the first player to voice his feelings over the NBA’s restart plan.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard jokingly said on Wednesday that some players will break rules in the league’s handbook, despite warnings or restrictions.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said during a videoconference call that living in the bubble will be challenging for players used to having few rules on the road.
San Antonio head to Orlando in 12th place in the Western Conference, four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot.
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