Per a release from the team, the Cavs issued a statement attributed to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and general manager Koby Altman regarding the end of the Cavs’ NBA season.
On Thursday, the league announced that 22 teams would restart the season — halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic — and the Cavs would not be among then. The statement reads as follows:
“While we are disappointed that the announced return to play proposal excludes the Cleveland Cavaliers, we understand all of the unprecedented factors that contributed to this outcome and we accept the hard decisions Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA’s Board of Governors had to make. We also respect the exhaustive and life-altering measures that were considered as a result of COVID-19, but as a team, we greatly desired to be a part of the season’s resumption.
We were hopeful to be granted the opportunity to continue the 2019-20 season and join our counterparts in Orlando to further the development of our young team in meaningful basketball games, and also feed off the positive momentum we had built prior to the league shutdown on March 11. Collectively, our players want to compete at the highest level and we will unquestionably use this as added motivation as we continue working towards a sustainable culture of winning.
Although the time away from our incredible fanbase in Cleveland and across Northeast Ohio is unfortunate, we look forward to finding ways to continue utilizing our platform and available resources to reach out in our community to help affect change and take sustainable action in the fight against racial injustice. We are looking forward to returning to the court for the 2020-21 NBA season.”
Through conversations with players and their camps, Fear the Sword can state that many Cavs players still do want to play and wish they had been able to get a few games in. Still, they seem to understand why the Cavs aren’t going to play again this year.
And while it would be nice to watch Cavs basketball again, it makes no sense for one of the league’s worst teams to add bodies to the so-called bubble in Orlando and expand the pool of people amid the pandemic. Be better than 19-46 and then you can complain about being left out.
Two dates to watch for the Cavs: Aug. 25 and Oct. 15. The former is the new date for the NBA Draft lottery and the 15th is the draft itself.