Tacko Fall dunks the ball in the Maine Red Claws November 2019 home opener in Portland. The parent Boston Celtics have opted not to have the Red Claws compete in the G League this season because of COVID-19 concerns. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The NBA G League on Friday announced its intention to conduct a 2021 season.

The Maine Red Claws will not be participating.

The Red Claws, who are owned by the NBA’s Boston Celtics, revealed that the team will opt out of the season because of COVID-19 concerns.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the landscape of sports, including the NBA and its family of leagues,” the Red Claws said in a statement.

“The Boston Celtics have decided to opt out of this optional scenario, and therefore the Maine Red Claws will not participate in the 2020-21 G League season.”

That decision came after the NBA G League unveiled its plan to host 18 teams, including 17 NBA G League teams and G League Ignite, starting in February at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida.

The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff.

“We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim said. “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”

The Red Claws have helped bring along several NBA-caliber players who have moved up to the game’s highest level. That group includes current Boston roster members Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters and Romeo Langford.

“While we share in our fans’ disappointment that we will not be having a season in Maine this year, we will continue to be active off the court and in our Maine communities,” the team said.

“We are grateful to have the best fans and partners in the NBA G League and are excited to continue building towards the future.”

Maine, which finished third last season in the G League East Division with a 28-14 record, is expected to field a team for the 2021-2022 season.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...