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NBA Danny Green: I wouldn’t expect to see LeBron James for NBA openers in December

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NBA: The NBA is targeting Dec. 22 as the beginning date for its 2020-21 season, something that has been delayed on account of this COVID-19 pandemic — which forced last season into a bubble in Walt Disney World in Florida.

Though nothing has been finalized, the goal is to maintain a shortened 72-game period that begins around Christmas and finishes before the Olympics starts in Tokyo in July. Many players, however, apparently aren’t pleased with what would wind up being a remarkably brief offseason.

So much so, in fact, that Los Angeles Lakers shield Danny Green believes that a lot of experts will not even show up right away.

Danny Green: I didn’t expect to visit LeBron James there

Lakers closed out their series with the Miami Heat on Oct. 11 to secure their 17th championship. If the new season were to begin on Dec. 22, that leaves only more than two weeks for players to recoup and reset — compared to the usual five-month break.

Because of that, Green doesn’t feel that older gamers — such as LeBron James — may also show up for the initial month or so. If they do, ” he said on The Ringer’s”NBA Show” on Monday they won’t be enjoying much.

“If we start in December, I think most guys [are like], ‘I’m not gonna be there,’” Green said. “If I had to guess, because we have a lot of vets on our team, it’s not like we have a lot of young guys or rookies … to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see [LeBron] there. I wouldn’t expect to see him probably for the first month of the season. He’ll probably be working out with us, probably do some playing, but I just don’t expect guys to want to be there, or show up willingly.

“I think at this moment, and it might be different in two weeks when guys are like, ‘All right, I’m gonna get back in the gym, start working out.’ When we get back in the gym, it’s not right to basketball. It’s, ‘All right, let me start getting into shape, lifting a little bit, start running around a little bit. Then I’ll pick up a ball.’”

While Green and several of his teammates might think that way he understands that he’s probably in the minority. Not every group was invited to the year restart in Florida, meaning some players have not played in a true game since March.

Others didn’t make the playoffs or were removed in the first rounds, so their breaks have been longer than the Lakers and the Heating is becoming. Green also understands how important it is for the team to get games played on Christmas Day — when the NBA traditionally holds a marquee slate of games.

“A lot of other stars haven’t played in a long time,” Green said. “They’ve had a break. Some guys have been out the bubble for a while. Some teams haven’t played in a year. So majority of the league can be like, ‘OK, we’ll play with the restart.’ … It’s tough when you have different voices, and the majority is against us probably.”

 

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