Wizards forward Davis Bertans – who’ll enter unrestricted free agency this offseason coming off a career year – decided to sit out the NBA’s resumption at Disney World.
Magic wing Evan Fournier
Fournier sounds like he DOES about care the risks of playing in Orlando. Which would explain him griping about Bertans.
Players like Fournier will go to Disney World, live under less-than-ideal conditions, risk exposure to coronavirus and risk injury. By doing so, they’ll protect their own salaries. They’ll also help the NBA maximize its revenue – which will ensure all players lose the smallest-possible share of this season salaries and keep next year’s salary cap from falling too far.
As a free agent this offseason, Bertans will particularly benefit from a higher cap.
Yet, he can stay home and still reap the rewards. It isn’t fair.
Nor is there a good way to make to this fair. Players on the eight done teams will get all the same rewards without playing. Unlike Bertans, they won’t even have to sacrifice a larger portion of this year’s salary. On the other hand, they didn’t ask for their seasons to get cut short.
Coronavirus has led to numerous impossible decisions. That stinks. We shouldn’t demonize Fournier for raising a legitimate point.
His biggest problem was making his best point in a reply tweet surrounded by tweets conveying an old-school mentality. Bertans is a free rider, yes. But he’s benefitting from everyone who plays, not just his teammates. Some things are more important than your basketball team.
If Bertans’ teammates feel let down, they’re entitled to feel that way. Team sports require buy-in and sacrifice. Players also deserve room to set their own priorities. It gets complicated.
But Wizards players can speak for themselves.
Fournier makes a more compelling case on the very-significant difference between players all sitting out and a few individual players sitting out.
Bertans makes a reasonable request, too: Tag, don’t subtweet.