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Carmelo Anthony: ‘Mixed feelings’ on NBA restart, but cautiously ‘optimistic’

Carmelo Anthony, while eager to return to the court, admits he’s unsure about the NBA’s plan to resume play in Orlando, Fla. Still, the Portland Trail Blazers star nevertheless remains cautiously “optimistic” about how the league is handling such an unprecedented situation.

During a conversation this week on “What’s In Your Glass?” with Los Angeles Lakers star Kyle Kuzma, Anthony stated that he’s “optimistic about it, open-minded” when it comes to the NBA’s plan to utilize the oft-discussed and controversial “bubble” format at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Anthony’s expressed opinion is not without some degree of trepidation, however, especially due to continued concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

“As far as basketball goes, I’m ready for it and excited to get back to work,” Anthony said. “But to be honest with you, I’m still battling on traveling to Orlando amid everything going on. Just being isolated away from the rest of the world is why I have mixed feelings about the NBA returning.”

Last Friday, National Basketball Players Association representatives approved the NBA’s 22-team format to complete the 2019-20 season. While myriad details still need to be worked out, both the league and the players’ union appear to be on the same page with a shared goal to resume play on July 31.

The NBA’s plan is to allow approximately 1,600 individuals in the Orlando bubble at any given time. Of particular concern to players is how restrictions will be in place to allow only a maximum of three family members to join them in Orlando once the playoffs begin.

Anthony’s reservations about how things will play out is certainly understandable, and it stands to reason his thoughts are representative of how many of his fellow NBA players feel about such a unique situation.

That being said, as Anthony attests, most players also cannot wait to get back to playing games and the semblance of normalcy it will bring.