Chris Paul: NBA players need more than two weeks before returning

Oklahoma City Thunder star Chris Paul said players would need more than two weeks to prepare to play NBA games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA has been suspended since March 11 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed at least 184,100 people worldwide.

It remains to be seen whether the 2019-20 season will resume as the United States struggles to contain the outbreak (more than 848,700 confirmed cases and more than 47,600 deaths total).

While the NBA remains committed to resuming the campaign, commissioner Adam Silver said there is still no timetable for a possible restart. Paul, who is president of the players association, made it clear that players do not want to rush back into action.

“I’m just letting you know — and I don’t think the league would do it anyway — but if they were like, ‘Hey, you got two weeks, and then we’re going,’ that’s not going to happen,” Paul told reporters on a conference call Wednesday.

“Whatever the amount of time is, just know that players will have the input, the say-so, because we’re the ones playing,” Paul 34, added. “That comes first. We don’t ever want to put guys in a situation where their injury risk is higher than ever before.”

For our families and those around us. We all need to hear from each other right now, so call and check on your friends and close associates. Showing compassion and concern is something we can all do. Huge thanks to all of the medical professionals and businesses working to serve others. We can get through this and come out stronger, but we have to work together. #FlattenTheCurve #NBATogether

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Said Paul: “I get what we’re dealing with right now, a lot of hypotheticals, but I don’t know.

“This is the thing with having 450 players in the league and being in a situation like this, where some guys have access to weight rooms, some guys don’t.

“Some guys have access to facilities where they can train or do this or can run. That’s why, whatever happens — and I say this, and I mean this — we always go back to the players.”

“We just want to play,” Paul continued. “We’re trying to figure out what that looks like. Right now, I’m just focused on playing, playing in some form or fashion.

“This is a situation where no one knows. The virus is actually in complete control. I seriously tried to answer things the best I could, but there are things where it’s not like I’ve got the answers and I’m just not telling you.”

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