They're definitely going forward. There were a few that were hesitant for a number of reasons cited; because of health concerns and because it takes away from the protests and movement. Kyrie Irving was the most vocal and led the group. I recall him saying something before all the protests happened about not wanting to participate and the season should be canceled to save the players from health issues, then the protesting started and now he's hanging his hat on that he doesn't want the NBA returning to take away from the movement. That then spun even further out of control tonight. According to Shams, there was a Nets player group text and Kyrie mentioned starting their own league or something. A player leaked that to Shams who reported it, then Kyrie left the group text altogether and that too was leaked to Shams. It's not a coincidence that Kyrie is constantly an issue with his teammates. In Cleveland, he reportedly didn't talk to Lebron or his teammates for weeks leading into the playoffs and their Finals run. Then in Boston, he was a problem from day 1. He told season ticket holders at a presser he'd re-sign that coming summer, "if you'll have me." Then about 20 games in, in an interview post-game, he mentioned he was up in the air with his FA status and it went down hill from there. He constantly alienated his teammates, calling them out in press conferences, calling himself the leader of the team but not knowing how to lead a group of such "young guys," etc. Just another chapter in Kyrie's melodramatic, overrated career.
As for the return...I think those dates are still the dates that were agreed upon or at least they're trying to target. Woj and Shams announced tonight the full layout the NBA announced today. Teams will be staying at 3 different hotels in Orlando, their day to day, hour to hour timelines are scripted out, they have literally everything worked out. Even down to the NBA having an anonymous tip line in case there were violators of the 110 page health code for the NBA's return. Some interesting notes:
-If a players tests positive for COVID-19, they'll be quarantined on site at a location set for quarantined players and they'll only be able to return to play after two consecutive negative tests
-The NBA is giving players the option to wear a ring that tracks players health. It alerts NBA medical staff if a players heart rate, respiration rate, etc gets to a level that meets an, "illness probability," but the ring is optional to wear.
-Teams are going to be allowed to carry 17 players which could include certain FA's that meet parameters or 2-way players. There will be two benches. The front bench is major coaching tree and players who are not required to wear masks, the second row consists of less essential coaching staff and players not dressed who will be mandated to wear masks-Teams are provided player only lounges that consist of TV's, games, barbers, manicurists, 24 hour concierge, ping pong, etc.
-Teams will play 3 scrimmages beginning July 22nd. Those scrimmages are against teams who they share a hotel with. The regular season games will begin July 31st.
-Players have the option to opt out of the return, they will only be minimally penalized financially, so they won't receive their full contract but will receive a reduction of 1/92.5 of their salary for each game missed.