NBA players coming forward to announce refusal to play as season returns

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Posted on: June 23, 2020 5:32 pm EDT

The NBA’s plan to finish off the season in Orlando is beginning to meet some resistance

The return of the NBA 2019-2020 season might not happen as smoothly as everyone was expecting. Following Kyrie Irving and his coalition leading protests against the return of basketball action, two more players have stepped back from their support to restart the league. Both Portland Trail Blazers veteran Trevor Ariza and Washington Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans removed their names from the list of players headed to Orlando, FL and Disney World yesterday.

Ariza is 34 and has already proven to be indispensable for the Blazers. He joined the team in January and, ever since then, he has had a major impact on the team. He played in 21 games and started in every single one of them. During his time with this team, Ariza has reached career highs in EFG, FT% and 2P%. Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN confirmed the news, “Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza is opting-out of participation in the NBA’s Orlando restart of the season, committing instead to a one-month visitation window with his young son, sources tell ESPN.”

Bertans was traded to the Wizards during the 2019 off-season and has been a key player since then. He achieved a career-year after shooting 42% from three for a 15.4 average. He has been second in his scoring charts only surpassed by Bradley Beal. “Washington Wizards [forward] Davis Bertans has decided to sit out the Orlando restart, sources tell ESPN. Bertans is entering free agency off of his most productive NBA season – with two ACL injuries in his past,” wrote Wojnarowski. His reasons seem to be more related to a career choice. Bertans wants to avoid injuries to stay healthy to maximize his value. His team is currently 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic, and it was the only non-playoff team invited to the return.