Joshua Wilson, left, a junior at Winston-Salem State University, speaks with NBA star and current Winston-Salem State University student Chris Paul about where Paul can pick up his student ID on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. Paul led nearly 2,500 people on a march to an early-voting site at a university in North Carolina where he also takes classes. (Andrew Dye/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

Chris Paul, on upcoming NBA season: ‘Nothing is perfect’

Chris Paul, on upcoming NBA season: ‘Nothing is perfect’

Chris Paul fully understands that these are imperfect times. And that means perfect solutions for issues that the NBA and its players are dealing with, he said, aren’t likely to be found.

Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association and guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, spoke Thursday at a Time100 event and said the league and the union are continuing to work through countless details that have to be settled before the new season begins with training camps next month and the start of games on Dec. 22.

The money issues are largely settled, with the league and the union striking a deal on escrow earlier this week and a decision being made to keep the salary cap for 2020-21 — which could have fallen substantially because of a massive hit to the planned revenues for last season — at the 2019-20 levels. But issues on health and safety and how to try to keep people safe without a bubble during a coronavirus pandemic are still being worked out, and Paul acknowledged that he isn’t sure “what this season is going to look like yet.”

“There’s still a lot of questions that have to be answered,” Paul said. “But we’re working on it. Nothing is perfect and everything that you see … we’re sort of learning everything on the fly. The only thing that’s in control right now is that virus. We’re working hard to try to make sure that not only our players are happy but our fans are happy.”

Positive test rates are soaring in many parts of the country, and the Los Angeles Lakers said Wednesday that they will begin play this season with no fans in the seats at Staples Center. The Thunder, Paul’s team, have released a plan for reduced seating in their building, and it remains unclear how many teams will have fans — and how many seats will be sold in any arena.

“None of the things that everyone is dealing with right now is ideal,” Paul said. “Nothing. I think about us and we get an opportunity to play this game, right? But I also think about my kids who are doing online school day in and day out. So, the decisions that we’re making … we’re blessed to be in the situation that we’re in. Like I said, things aren’t ideal, but we’re trying to make them work.”

Paul also was asked about reports of possible trades involving him, but said little that would provide insight on where he may play next season — or if he expects to be traded. He’s owed about $41 million for this coming season and holds a $44 million player option for next season.

“Man, I’m 35 years old and I still get a chance to play basketball every day and say that’s my way of life,” Paul said. “That is crazy in itself so regardless what happens, I’ll be ready.”

TAX NUMBERS

The NBA sent teams a memo Thursday informing them that the audit of Basketball Related Income (BRI) for this past season was completed, and that only four teams — Portland, Miami, Oklahoma City and Minnesota — owe a luxury tax.

The Blazers’ bill was $5,082,084. Miami’s was $2,461,242, Oklahoma City’s was $2,102,278 and Minnesota’s was $497,502 That means each non-taxpaying team receives $195,060, the league said in the memo distributed to teams and obtained by The Associated Press.

The four teams that owe a luxury tax got a discounted bill this year because of the reduction in BRI. That revenue stream was greatly impacted by the league suspending play on March 11 because of the virus and then resuming the season in front of no fans inside the Walt Disney World bubble for 88 regular-season games and the entire post-season.

But technically, none of those four teams will “pay” the tax bill, the league said. All NBA teams are due to receive an escrow payment of about $12 million on Dec. 1; the league said “to simplify cash flow, each taxpaying team’s tax payment will be netted against the team’s escrow distribution.” So, for the Blazers, Heat, Thunder and Timberwolves, the tax owed will simply be deducted from their escrow payment.

SPURS STAFF

The San Antonio Spurs say they were promoting assistant coach Mitch Johnson to the role vacated by Tim Duncan, the Spurs great who spent this past season as an assistant under coach Gregg Popovich.

The Spurs also promoted Darius Songaila to assistant coach. Songalia had been a player development coach for the team last season.

G LEAGUE ADDS

The G League said it signed Amir Johnson, Bobby Brown, Reggie Hearn, Brandon Ashley and Cody Demps to the G League Ignite team, which is working with six prospects preparing for the 2021 NBA Draft.

Those prospects are Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, Princepal Singh and Kai Sotto. The group will train in Southern California under coach Brian Shaw.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

NBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie pose for a photo at the Mirror restaurant. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Alberta Health Services delivers ‘closure order’ to Mirror restaurant

Alberta Health Services says it has delivered a closure order to a… Continue reading

Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in this October file photo. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
New project to pay tribute to Canadians killed in Afghanistan

Flags of Remembrance scheduled for Sept. 11

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
Security and police block the entrance to GraceLife Church as a fence goes up around it near Edmonton on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Alberta government has closed down and fenced off a church that has been charged with refusing to follow COVID-19 health rules. Alberta Health Services, in a statement, says GraceLife church will remain closed until it shows it will comply with public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hundreds gather to support Alberta church shut down for ignoring COVID-19 orders

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta. — Hundreds of people are gathered outside an Alberta… Continue reading

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is developing contingency plans to keep COVID-19 from affecting its ability to defend the country and continue its missions overseas amid concerns potential adversaries could try to take advantage of the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian special forces supported major Iraqi military assault on ISIL last month

OTTAWA — Some Canadian soldiers supported a major military offensive last month… Continue reading

A woman pays her repects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The joint public inquiry in response to the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced a mandate that includes a probe of the RCMP response as well as the role of gender-based violence in the tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Creating permanent memorial to Nova Scotia mass shooting victims a delicate task

PORTAPIQUE, N.S. — Creating a memorial for those killed in Nova Scotia’s… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Erin O’Toole says ‘I didn’t hide who I was’ running for Conservative leader

OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole assured Conservative supporters that he never hid who… Continue reading

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, second from left, celebrates his goal with teammates, from left to right, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson, of Sweden, during second period NHL hockey action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Jacob Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Oilers 5-0 in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY — It took Sean Monahan breaking out of his goal-scoring slump… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia's opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan's government, but they say Monday's throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province's economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented… Continue reading

A grizzly bear walks on a treadmill as Dr. Charles Robbins, right, offers treats as rewards at Washington State University's Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center in this undated handout photo. Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails like those commonly used by people, which can affect land management practices in wild areas, says an expert who has written a paper on their travel patterns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Anthony Carnahan *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Grizzly bears prefer walking on gentle slopes at a leisurely pace like humans: study

VANCOUVER — Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails… Continue reading

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, its COVID-19 shot provides strong protection against the coronavirus that's surging in the U.S. and around the world. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

OTTAWA — When Ottawa Public Health officials are trying to decide whether… Continue reading

Most Read