As the NBA moves on from the stunning news of the suspension of its season, it’s looking to what’s next.
The league, of course, hopes that means the resumption of basketball sooner rather than later — but not at the cost of making prudent decisions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioner Adam Silver spoke with TNT on Thursday and confirmed a report from Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, telling “Inside the NBA” that the league won’t resume for “most likely at least 30 days.”
Goodwill reported earlier Thursday that the NBA doesn’t plan to resume play for at least 30 days and won’t start games until at least 14 days past the last positive player test for COVID-19, a time frame that matches quarantine guidelines.
As of now, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and forward Donovan Mitchell have tested positive.
NBA releases letter confirming 30-day hiatus
Hours later, the NBA released a letter to fans confirming the hiatus will last at least 30 days, at which point the NBA will re-evaluate whether or not it’s safe to resume the season.
NBA Finals in July?
Silver remained optimistic that the league could start up again in the coming weeks.
“Even if we’re out for a month. Even if we’re out for six weeks, we can still restart the season,” Silver told TNT. “It might mean that the Finals take place in July — late July. It was way premature to suggest that we had lost the season.”
NBA season may not resume
He didn’t rule out the possibility that the suspended season won’t resume.
“Of course it’s possible. I just don’t know more at this point,” Silver continued while noting that the league was listening to the advice of medical experts.
Silver also touched on a set of guidelines that were reported Thursday afternoon.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the league set guidelines for players to follow in the immediate aftermath of the suspension of the season.
According to Charania, the NBA has shared policies with teams urging players to remain at home. These policies apply through March 16.
Reported player guidelines
Per the report:
All players must remain in market of their team.
Players must remain home as long as possible.
Group workouts and practices are prohibited.
Team doctors or trainers are required to speak with each player daily.
Silver told TNT that the league was still contemplating longer-term guidelines, especially considering that players often play in markets away from their families.
“Understandably some of the players may play in a market but their families may live in another city,” Silver said. “Will they be rejoining their families? What’s the best way to keep them safe? What’s the best way to keep them in shape?”
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