NBA

Coronavirus: Nets' Chandler opts out of NBA season restart in Orlando

By Sports Desk June 28, 2020

Brooklyn Nets veteran Wilson Chandler has opted to sit out the NBA's season restart, prioritising the health of his family amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA has been suspended since March, but the 2019-20 campaign is scheduled to resume at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida next month.

Brooklyn are set to return to action against the Orlando Magic on July 31, however, Nets forward Chandler will not be involved.

"As difficult as it will be to not be with my team-mates, the health and wellbeing of my family has to come first," Chandler told ESPN on Sunday.

"Thank you to the Nets organisation for understanding and supporting me in this decision, and I will be watching and rooting for our team in Orlando."

The Nets were seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 30-34 record prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

Chandler, who joined the Nets at the start of the season, had been averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for Brooklyn in 2019-20.

The season will officially resume on July 30, with the New Orleans Pelicans playing the Utah Jazz and LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers taking on Kawhi Leonard's Los Angeles Clippers.

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    The 2019-20 campaign will recommence on July 30 with a 22-team tournament in Orlando, Florida following the coronavirus-enforced break.

    Last month, Lakers center Howard said the return of basketball would "only be a distraction" from the fight against social and racial injustice in the wake of protests across the world following the death of George Floyd in May.

    Howard's agent admitted he was unsure if the eight-time All-Star would take part in the Orlando tournament, yet the Lakers center now intends to finish the campaign and donate the remainder of his salary to the 'Breathe Again' campaign.

    "Yes, I will be joining my team in Orlando," Howard told CNN.

    "I have a contractual obligation to my team-mates, to my fans, the Lakers, the organisation and everyone, but at the same time, I also have an obligation to my family and to my community.

    "We will be getting a lot of work done here in Atlanta and around the nation as far as making sure people don't forget about us and what's going on in our communities."

    On the importance of donating his salary, Howard added: "During my time in the bubble, I will use that time to talk about Breathe Again, and I'm going to use my salary - all the money, the paychecks that I'll be getting from going down in the bubble - to help push this Breathe Again [initiative], push our movement and just make sure that people don't forget about what's going on in our society."

    The 49-14 Lakers have already confirmed their spot in the NBA post-season and have the best record in the Western Conference.

    Howard, the first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, is yet to win a championship ring.

  • 'Let me borrow $5' - LeBron congratulates Mahomes on record-setting contract extension 'Let me borrow $5' - LeBron congratulates Mahomes on record-setting contract extension

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    The NBA announced the schedule for scrimmage games to take place before the season restarts following the coronavirus-enforced break.

    Basketball came to a halt in the United States and Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but the 2019-20 NBA campaign is set to resume on July 30.

    Orlando's Disney World complex will host 22 teams, with the Los Angeles Lakers headlining the league's comeback against rivals the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30 after the New Orleans Pelicans face the Utah Jazz on the same day.

    Prior to the NBA returning, all 22 teams in Orlando will play three inter-squad scrimmages between July 22 and July 28.

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    Scrimmage schedule:

    Wednesday, July 22

    Orlando Magic v Los Angeles Clippers
    Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets
    New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets
    Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat

    Thursday, July 23

    San Antonio Spurs v Milwaukee Bucks
    Portland Trail Blazers v Indiana Pacers
    Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
    Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz

    Friday, July 24

    Memphis Grizzlies v Philadelphia 76ers
    Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics
    Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors

    Saturday, July 25

    Los Angeles Lakers v Orlando Magic
    Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings
    Miami Heat v Utah Jazz
    Brooklyn Nets v San Antonio Spurs
    Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards
    Denver Nuggets v New Orleans Pelicans

    Sunday, July 26

    Philadelphia 76ers v Oklahoma City Thunder
    Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics
    Indiana Pacers v Dallas Mavericks
    Portland Trail Blazers v Toronto Raptors
    Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies

    Monday, July 27

    Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Lakers
    Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Clippers
    Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets
    Orlando Magic v Denver Nuggets
    New Orleans Pelicans v Milwaukee Bucks

    Tuesdays, July 28 

    Memphis Grizzlies v Miami Heat
    Toronto Raptors v Phoenix Suns
    San Antonio Spurs v Indiana Pacers
    Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers
    Boston Celtics v Houston Rockets
    Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers

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