The NBA held a conference call Friday afternoon with members of the Player’s Association as they went over discussions surrounding if/how they intend to finish up the 2019-20 season. While no specific dates were set as to when things might resume, ideas are becoming more and more concrete.
Several national NBA reporters provided updates as the news came in. Here are some of the main talking points.
- If the season does resume, expect that there will be no fans in the arenas.
- Since 40% of the league’s revenue comes from fans, there will be a need for more creativity when broadcasting.
- The decision on if they should resume the season could go deep into June.
- Going forward, until a vaccine is discovered, there will be a risk for players.
- Bubble sites for the playoffs (including Las Vegas and Orlando, although other cities have reached out) appear inevitable.
- Seven-game playoff series for all rounds is still the goal.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there will be “a series of bad options” when they ultimately figure out how to restart the league. A bubble location for the playoffs is going to happen, whether it’s in Vegas, Orlando, or even Toronto, as also reported by Haynes. The Western Conference playoffs would be held in Vegas while the Eastern Conference would commence down in Walt Disney World.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the hope is for daily testing and in the event that a player does test positive for the coronavirus, league play would not be stopped again.
Sources: On the ever-elusive question — What if a player tests positive upon return — Adam Silver told players the NBA would hope for daily testing at that point and no stoppage of play, having the player(s) isolated in quarantine.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2020
Also on Friday, roughly half of the NBA’s 30 practice facilities across North America were allowed to reopen. Only the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers actually let players come in and practice, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. The Denver Nuggets reopened their facility but is not letting players back in until Monday. Most franchises are also waiting to open until sometime next week to let payers back in, Stein reports.
Larry Nance Jr., who plays for the Cavaliers, had to have his temperature tested before he went in to get some shots up on Friday. The league recently announced that they are not going to test for asymptomatic players, but that they will temperate check every player who enters a facility. Nance Jr. also has Crohn’s disease and could be more vulnerable to the disease than other NBA players.
Michele Roberts asked Silver on the call about financial impact moving foward for the league and players, and Silver flatly said that the collective bargaining agreement "wasn't built for an extended pandemic." Silver called it all: "The greatest challenge" of our lifetime.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
Asked on NBPA call about how long a training camp could be should this season resume, Silver suggested "three weeks" as the minimum length that's been discussed within the league, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 9, 2020
President of the Player’s Association, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, reportedly raised concerns about teams pressuring players to get back into training facilities. Silver responded by saying that all practices will be optional.