Barkley: NBA teams should forfeit
series if player gets virus
Send a link to a friend
[May 26, 2020]
Charles Barkley laid out a
possible ugly scenario for the NBA postseason if it is played this
summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hall of Famer believes teams should be eliminated from the
playoffs if one of their players tests positive for COVID-19.
"I think the one thing we've to go do is, how are we going to handle
if one of our players gets infected," Barkley said Monday on ESPN's
"The Paul Finebaum Show." "That to me is the tricky part. You can't
stop the playoffs. I think a team is just going to have to forfeit a
series if any of their players, not even their best player, gets the
"You're going to have to sequester the entire team, and they are
going to have to forfeit a round of the playoffs. They are going to
be gone for the playoffs.
"It would be devastating for us in the NBA if the Milwaukee Bucks
got taken out, even if it's a guy who just is sitting on the bench,
you would have to take the whole Milwaukee Bucks team, and the great
player Giannis (Antetokounmpo), they would lose in the first round
of the playoffs.
"This stuff is just uncharted waters. We're going to have to learn
as we go."
Barkley added that both the nature of the game and the prospective
living quarters for the players could put them at risk of infection.
"Big basketball players pushing on each other in the lane, fighting
for rebounds and post position, there's no way they can
social-distance," Barkley said. "They say they're going to put 'em
in a hotel for two or three months. Are the maids going to be in the
hotel for two or three months? The maids are going to go home every
"What about the people in room service? They're going to go home
every day. So it's just a lot of unanswered questions.
On the positive side, Barkley does believe the suspended NBA season
will come to a conclusion, citing knowledge obtained from his bosses
at Turner Sports.
"(The NBA is) gonna make a decision in the next week," Barkley told
Finebaum, according to thescore.com. "I'm 100 percent sure we're
going to play. I know my friends in Major League Baseball are going
to play. I know that the hockey league is going to play. I think the
pro football and the college football, they have to sit back and see
how it goes for us. ...
[to top of second column]
Charles Barkley, representing the 1992 United States Olympic "Dream
Team" in the Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2010, speaks during
the enshrinement news conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts August 13, 2010.
"I do know this, talking to my bosses at Turner: We're going to play
basketball. It's gonna be in Florida and (Las) Vegas, or just
Finebaum asked Barkley about the upcoming college football season,
with the fate of play uncertain as different states deal with
different realities within the pandemic.
"One thing I hope they don't do is separate the teams and play the
haves and the have-nots. I think that would be awful for the game,"
Barkley said. "They are going to have a month or two of (hockey,
baseball and basketball) to see how it goes before they have to make
a really big decision -- either play, delay or not play.
"College football and pro football, obviously they are the two King
Kongs of the sports world, but they've got the longest leeway before
they have to make a decision."
The Monday interview came a day after Barkley made headlines for his
work Sunday as a commentator on the charity golf match featuring
Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. Barkley
mocked Brady's poor play until Brady fired back after sinking a chip
shot from the fairway.
"I was just really glad the guys had some fun," Barkley told
Finebaum. "You know, when you do events like that, if the guys are
not having fun, it's really boring. ... It was awesome, and it gave
us something to do on a Sunday afternoon."
--Field Level Media
[© 2020 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2020 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.