National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts expressed optimism the league will return to play, but also admitted more players eventually could test positive for the coronavirus.
Roberts revealed her thoughts to USA Today on Tuesday and said she is trying to keep the players informed of what will happen in the weeks and upcoming month about the pandemic.
Seven NBA players, including Brooklyn superstar Kevin Durant and three other unnamed Nets have tested positive for the virus.
The 64-year old Roberts said she is certain more players will test positive after some notable names already have.
“I was mortified any of our players would test positive. But the more I learned about the likelihood of fatalities among all of us given our ages and pre-existing conditions, I have learned to embrace the probability that many of our players will be positive for the virus,” Roberts said.
“They want to understand exactly what the health risks are. So whatever information we can impart, we do. We are (as) vigilant as we can and try to update them.”
Durant told The Athletic on Tuesday that he was fine and wanted others to be aware of the virus. His fellow teammates are also in isolation and under the care of team physicians, according to the Nets.
Durant joined the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell and the Pistons’ Christian Wood as the publicized NBA coronavirus cases.
Roberts has engaged with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on a daily basis about the events. Like the players, Roberts is not comfortable speculating when events will dictate how safe it is to continue the regular season and the playoffs. The NBA suspended play last week because of the coronavirus.
“As a lawyer used to making decisions based off a ton of information, I have not been as uncomfortable professionally as I am right now,” Roberts said. “It is a very difficult place to be when you find yourself speculating. You can’t do any better than that.”