Any training that takes place would be voluntary and limited to individual sessions only, according to a person familiar with the decision of the league. The person spoke to the Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because the directives of the league have not been made public.
Group practices would not yet be allowed, and teams would not yet be allowed to conduct in-person training sessions.
But as some states and municipalities began to ease restrictions on personal movement, the NBA decided it was time to let players return to their training grounds – if only on a limited basis. Georgia and Oklahoma are among the states that have authorized the reopening of certain businesses, and certain cities in Florida should relax their home-keeping policies in the coming days, even if health officials warn that such measures are being taken. too fast.
WATCH | The pro sports leagues plan to return without fans in the stands:
For teams in cities where home orders still make such a return impossible, the NBA said it would work to find “alternative arrangements,” said the person familiar with the matter.
This decision does not mean that a resumption of games is imminent. However, the decision to leave the teams in the facilities is an important step.
ESPN first reported the details of the NBA decision.
Many players said they haven’t even had access to a basket since the league ordered the teams to shut down their training facilities on March 19. Star Jimmy Butler sent baskets to his Miami Heat teammates earlier this month, but other league players said they didn’t even touch a basketball while stopped .
If they are so inclined, that can now change. There is however no indicator as to when a full-fledged return to team-organized training sessions will resume.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said on several occasions that the league does not anticipate being able to decide until May – at the earliest – whether a restart of the season is possible.
The NBA suspended the season on March 11. She ordered the teams to shut down their facilities eight days later, saying at the time that it was doing so “in light of the rapidly evolving situation of coronaviruses, and in accordance with evolving advice from health experts on how to promote individual and public health while minimizing the spread of the virus. ”
Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the number of people affected or killed by the virus based on official government figures, said the number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide exceeded 200,000 on Saturday. And the World Health Organization said “there is currently no evidence” that people who have recovered from the virus cannot get sick again.