While the NBA and NBPA were able to agree on a plan for a season restart inside a bubble environment at Walt Disney World, there were additional details that needed to be sorted out as well.
One of those was player health, as getting back to live action after four months off raises the risk of injury due to the sudden stress and impact the body would have to endure. Several players voiced their concern about needing proper time to ramp up training and get their bodies right.
The league looked to address that by allowing them to practice and scrimmage before the seeding games began ahead of the playoffs. Aside from this, the NBPA had also been pushing to increase the insurance benefits the league would pay out in the event of a career-ending injury.
They reportedly got their wish, as according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the league agreed to a significant increase.
After a new agreement between the National Basketball Players Association and NBA, players will receive a $2.5 million insurance benefit in the event of a career-ending injury, sources told ESPN. The NBPA had been pushing for a raise in the permanent disability policy that previously paid out approximately $312,000 in these cases.
The insurance covers career-ending injuries sustained on and off the court, including complications caused by Covid-19, sources said.
This is a major development for the players as this ensures that they will be financially taken care of in the event something were to happen to them in the bubble. So far, testing results have been encouraging as the latest round produced zero positive cases, a testament to the bubble’s effectiveness.
While things are encouraging from an injury standpoint, it remains to be seen how the rest of the bubble experiment will go. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic not going away anytime soon, it would be prudent for the league and the players association to continue to stay ahead and prepare accordingly.
Kyle Kuzma commends Chris Paul
While most of the credit for the season’s successful restart, it is also important to note how much of a role players like Chris Paul played a role in making it happen.
As president of the NBPA, Paul has a significant voice advocating on behalf of the players and ensuring their needs and wants are heard by the NBA. Los Angeles Lakers third-year forward Kyle Kuzma praised the Thunder point guard for his ability to handle both the on and off court responsibilities he shoulders.
“C.P. has a lot to do. Obviously trying to get the Thunder to their playoff aspirations, but he’s the president of the NBPA, so he has a lot of things on his hands. I think as a union we commend him for the work that he does,” Kuzma said.
“He’s easy to talk to. I remember just calling him and passing out my ideas. He’s super easy to talk to and he’s a great rep for players.”
Kuzma originally reached out to Paul about his concerns about playing in the bubble when the NBA and NBPA were discussing their agreement on the new insurance benefits.
“Probably around the time we were talking about getting players’ insurance to come here and play,” Kuzma said. “It’s obviously a big risk for players to come here. Having to quarantine and not being able to play basketball, run or jump, and then you’re thrusted into this. It could be cause for injuries. That’s what we talked about.”
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