After the NBA board of governors’ meeting by videoconference on Friday, Silver said the league is still unable to make decisions.
“Based on reports we have received from various outside officials, current public health officials … we are unable to make decisions,” said Silver during a conference call with reporters. “And we don’t know when we will be. “
Silver pointed to several factors the NBA would need to be able to resume the season, which was suspended on March 11 after Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus.
Silver said the NBA is monitoring to see if the number of new infections is decreasing and is monitoring the availability of large-scale testing and the path to a potential vaccine and antiviral drugs. The NBA also pays close attention to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directs at the federal level and what the different state rules are. On top of that, Silver said frontline healthcare workers must be “taken care of before you start talking about NBA players or sports.”
“There is a lot of data that must all be merged to help make these decisions,” said Silver. “This is part of the uncertainty. We are not even at the point where we can say that if only A, B and C have been respected, then there is a clear path.
“I think there is still too much uncertainty at this point to say precisely how we are moving forward. I would add that the underlying principle remains the health and well-being of NBA players and all those involved. We start with that as paramount. “
Silver said all options remain on the table to resume the season, including potentially delaying the start of next season. He also said the NBA has listened to all the scenarios to find out how it can get back into the game, including having isolated teams and playing without fans.
“We are looking at all of these things right now,” said Silver. “I would say that in terms of bubble-like concepts, a lot of them were offered to us and we just listened. We are not yet seriously engaged in this type of environment because I cannot answer you precisely need to see to feel that this environment offered the necessary health and safety to our players and all those involved.
“I know this is frustrating – it is for me and everyone involved that I am unable to answer the question. … There is still enormous uncertainty around the virus. Now many things are changing quickly and we may be in a very different position in a few weeks. But that’s why I initially announced in early April that I confidently believed that we could not make any decisions during the month of April. should clarify that I did not mean to suggest that on May 1 I would be in position. “
Silver also said that the number of NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19 is “greater than the initial report of seven”. The league will not disclose the number of additional confirmed cases for reasons of confidentiality, but Silver said all players abide by current home stay protocols.
The owners of the NBA remain committed to finding a way to resume the season safely, as Silver said that “the teams’ finances and our revenues have fallen to zero.”
The meeting of the board of governors included Dr. David Ho, a viral epidemic expert who was at the forefront of treatment for the HIV / AIDS epidemic, and Disney executive chairman Bob Iger as guest speakers to speak the impact of the coronavirus from their point of view.
Ho, who has overseen the care of Magic Johnson since the former Los Angeles Lakers star announced that he is HIV-positive, told league governors that there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19.
“To steal a line from Bob [Iger] … he said from his point of view that it was about the data and not the date, “said Silver.