What seemed inevitable for the American professional sports leagues moved into the NBA when Utah Rudy Gobert’s jazz center tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The league immediately suspended operations and struggled to formulate a return schedule.
Of course, they are not alone, as the Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL and the MLS, among others, have all been required to follow their respective seasons and leagues. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been equally honest and optimistic for the past two months.
Last weekend, teams in states with relaxed home orders were allowed to reopen their training facilities. However, the NBA has put in place strict guidelines for the individual workouts that can take place.
Meanwhile, during a conference call with NBA Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, NBPA president Chris Paul and the players, Silver warned of the tough decisions that are to come as the league is working to resume play, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday the focus is on restarting the season but “there will be a series of bad options” to decide how it will be done, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The NBA would have scheduled separate two-week stages for quarantined players and a subsequent training camp before resuming the regular season. Of course, plausible matches could start immediately with the playoffs.
Never mentioned, the NBA plans to use Disney World or Las Vegas as a team hub, hoping to form a bubble to mitigate some of the health risks. But as with MLB, the league prioritizes immediate testing in order to resume play.
Beyond figuring out how and when games can resume, the NBA faces a decision with teams just outside the playoff picture. Jumping straight into the playoffs would eliminate their chances of sneaking up.
This may irritate these players, owners and fans, but could be a good decision as the NBA seeks to reduce the risks involved.