'Less and less chance': Aussie star's grave fears for NBA

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
Pictured here, Utah Jazz star Joe Ingles thinks the rest of the NBA season will be scrapped.
Joe Ingles isn't overly optimistic about the NBA season. Pic: Getty

Joe Ingles is beginning to think the NBA season will be lost.

The Australian's Utah Jazz were the catalyst for NBA games to be indefinitely put on hold on March 11 when All-Star centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.

‘SPEECHLESS’: Fans erupt over Shane Warne's photo with Jordan

‘YOU’RE SITTING’: 76ers' stunning threat to Ben Simmons

Ingles initially thought it would be a "two or three week" pause and the campaign would start back up.

"That was very early on and I probably didn't know as much as we all do now with the whole thing that is going on," Ingles told reporters on Friday.

"My personal opinion is every week that we go along, it feels like it's a less and less chance that we're going to return."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last week all options remained open with the season possibly resuming later in the year or could be cancelled.

The league is awaiting data from health authorities to make a decision, with player and team personnel safety the priority.

Ingles is not in favour of completing the season by bringing NBA teams together in one city and sequestering players, coaches and support staff to limit the spread of the virus.

Games could be played without fans in the stands.

That scenario would keep Ingles away from his wife Renae, a former netball star, and their three-year-old twins, Milla and Jacob.

"It would be extremely hard," Ingles said.

"That would be basically the longest I've been away from the kids.

"I don't know how much I'm willing to do that."

Ingles did make the difficult decision in 2016 to leave Renae and his children just after they were born to play for the Boomers at the Rio Olympics.

"As hard as it was, it was easier because they were just like eating and pooping and that was it and now they have personalities," he said.

"They know when I'm leaving, they tell me they miss me, stuff like that and that makes it a lot harder to leave.

"Even just leaving to go to the supermarket they cry and they don't want you to leave."

Ingles said his family in Australia has been impacted by the pandemic.

His mother works in a nursing home and he said his father has lost his job.

Former teammate disputes Michael Jordan’s ‘resentment’ claim

Steve Kerr has responded to claims made by Michael Jordan in ‘The Last Dance’ regarding the Chicago Bulls’ resentment towards Scott Pippen in 1997-98.

Just two episodes into the new documentary that’s captivated the sporting world and there’s already a dispute between two of its subjects.

In this case, Kerr disagrees with Jordan about Pippen’s decision to delay his foot surgery well into the offseason amid a stand-off over Pippen’s infamously team-friendly contract.

As Pippen said it, he was “not going to f*** my summer up.”

The decision caused Pippen to miss the beginning of the 1997-98 season, just one of a number of dysfunctions the Bulls were experiencing that year.

Pippen eventually made his season debut in January, playing 44 games in the regular season and winning a sixth ring in the playoffs.

As you could imagine, Jordan had thoughts on Pippen willfully missing part of the season.

“Scottie was wrong in that scenario," Jordan says in the ESPN doco.

“He could've got his surgery done as soon as the season was over and be ready for the season.

“What Scottie was trying to do was trying to force management to change his contract. And [owner Jerry Reinsdorf] was never going to do that.”

Jordan also spent part of the documentary calling Pippen his “best teammate of all time,” but that’s still a pretty strong stance to take against the player universally credited as your No. 2.

According to Kerr, however, the rest of the Bulls weren’t resentful against Pippen at the time, siding with him over Bulls management and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

Per ESPN: “Asked whether there was resentment from other Bulls players over Pippen's decision, Kerr said, ‘No, not at all.’

“Everyone respected Scottie so much,” Kerr said. “We felt his frustration. He probably should have been the second-highest-paid guy in the NBA or definitely top-five.

“So we all felt for him, nobody resented him for having that surgery. Later, we all understood, ‘let's give him his space, and he's going to be there for the second stretch of the season for us’.”

with Yahoo Sport staff