NBA Players Association unanimously approves return to play format

Peter Socotch
NBC Sports Northwest

The NBA's return to play jumped over another hurdle Friday with the NBA Players Association voting today on the terms approved by the NBA Board of Governors Thursday. 

According to Charania, the NBAPA was united in their vote

The NBA Board of Governors' vote of a 22-team resumption of play passed with a 29-1 vote. The Portland Trail Blazers were the only dissenters. CJ McCollum, who is the Trail Blazers team representative, applauded the front office and Jody Allen for listening to the players and their feedback ahead of the vote. 

"The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season," the NBAPA announced in a statement. "Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play."

League sources tell NBCSNW that the schedule may not be released until later this month or perhaps in early July. 

The NBA is slated to resume play on July 31.

The NBA and the NBPA are working with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials to establish a rigorous program to prevent and mitigate the risk related to COVID-19, including a regular testing protocol and stringent safety practices. The season restart is also contingent on an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to use Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, as a single site for a campus for all games, practices and housing for the remainder of the season. 

In addition to regular testing, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Wednesday that there will be various other medical protocols in place, including no guests permitted until the postseason, players not being allowed to shower in the arena and bench players sitting in spread-out rows. Still, the league and those who travel to Orlando would clearly be taking on health and safety risks by deciding to continue the season. 

The games will be played without fans. They will be televised with specific broadcast information yet to be announced.

Each team would play eight additional regular-season games, and the six teams involved that are not currently in a playoff position would be the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards. If the ninth seed is within four games of the eight seed at the end of the regular season, there would be a play-in tournament to determine the final playoff spot. 

If teams are set to play one of the eight teams not included in the 22-team plan, they would move on to their next scheduled game.

The Trail Blazers currently in 9th place in the Western Conference standings, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

This story is developing. 

NBA Players Association unanimously approves return to play format originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

What to Read Next