The NBA wants to be at the forefront of restarting the economy as it was seemingly the catalyst for all professional sports teams to take the step in suspending play.
At this point, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is unsure if the 2019-20 NBA season can continue.
The NBA is continuing to look at various scenarios that could play out now that the league has been suspended for the last week due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, capped by a positive test result from Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert.
In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols Wednesday evening, Silver gave the latest updates surrounding the NBA's hiatus and how the league is hoping to still "salvage a portion of this season."
Now that the CDC has recommended no more than 50 people congregate in one place for at least two months, Silver mentioned that there could be a possibility of returning to play that could include games being played for charity without fans in the stands.
But, Silver isn't trying to predict the next six months.
I've certainly learned, sort of, in this job and in this process that when people do pretend that they can predict the future they're generally wrong, and I would say look no further than the fact that certainly two weeks ago and even one week ago people were saying very different things than they're saying today and so, of course, one of the things that we are very focused on at the league office, together with our teams, is what are the conditions we would need to be to restart. – Adam Silver on looking ahead to when the NBA season could return.
Silver continued pointing out that right now there looks like there could be three different scenarios in which the NBA returns.
"I'd say I'm looking at three different things here:
One is -- Of course, when can we restart and operate as we've known -- 19,000 fans in buildings, that's one set of criteria.
Then option two is – Should we consider starting without fans and what would that mean? Because presumably if you had a group of players and staff around them and you could test them and you could follow some protocol, doctors, health officials may say it's safe to play…
And then, the third option that we are looking at now, and I would say all suggestions are welcome, is that… Are there conditions in which a group of players could compete and maybe it's for a giant fundraiser or just for the good of the people?"
Silver went on to talk about how this subset of players, who would be deemed healthy, could somehow be isolated and Silver thinks people who are stuck at home need to be entertained and that could help people's mental health.
Silver also mentioned that shutting down the economy is a public health matter, as well. He wants "the right" balance of staying healthy and figuring out when "to come out of our homes."
When asked if the NBA is leaning towards heading straight to the playoffs or will it continue to play out the regular season. Silver replied with, "I honestly don't know."
That will all be determined by how long this will all play out with the spread of the coronavirus.
But because Silver is "optimistic by nature," he does believe the league will be able to "salvage at least some portion of this season."
Nearing the end of the interview, he mentioned that he knows that the players are "going stir crazy" and "want to compete."
"That will be the condition upon when which we can play – when public health officials give us the okay."
Adam Silver lays out three scenarios in which the NBA returns originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest