After opting out of bubble, Bradley ready to play again
MIAMI (AP) - Avery Bradley still has serious concerns about the coronavirus, particularly as one of his children is struggling with respiratory disease.
Those concerns kept him from the NBA's restart bubble. They won't stop him this season.
Bradley has signed his new deal with the Miami Heat - the team he would have faced in the NBA Finals if he'd blown his previous team, the Los Angeles Lakers, at Walt Disney World this summer. And when the Heat Open Camp opened next week before the regular season started on December 22nd, Bradley said he'll be ready.
"I mean, this is the new normal," said Bradley, who wore a mask for his first media session as a member of the Heat on Tuesday - a call on Zoom. “My decision right now is to just concentrate on playing. This is my focus. I feel like everyone has a better idea about this virus. Obviously there are still some unknowns. However, my decision not to go in the bladder was only about the impact on my family. "
Bradley and his wife sat down last June, weighed the pros and cons, and finally decided not to take the risk. The Lakers defeated the Heat for the NBA title in six games; The Lakers also blessed Bradley with exercising his right not to play. The league and the National Basketball Players Association agreed that this was a reasonable option to offer something to the players before entering the bubble.
This season won't happen in a bubble. The teams will play on airplanes, in hotels and again street games. There will be risks, although the league is still working on health and safety protocols designed to mitigate these risks as much as possible.
"Of course it's going to be a unique start to this season and some new things to get used to, but I'm ready for it," said Bradley. "We're just going to try to navigate it as best we can."
Miami becomes Bradley's sixth team. The 6-foot-3 guard, who turns 30 on Thanksgiving, averaged 8.6 points for the Lakers last season and is a goalscorer with 11.8 points per game in his first 10 seasons.
He saw Miami as the place he'd love to play.
"We all know what it is to be a Miami Heat player, the passion and commitment it takes to be part of that culture," said Bradley. “And I always felt that if I ever had the opportunity to play here I would fit in perfectly. ... It is here now and I will make sure to take advantage of it. I'm prepared and looking forward to it because I feel perfect. "
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