There’s no telling when it will be safe for the NBA to get back to the business of basketball with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But whenever it is safe, the NBA wants to be ready.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, in response to Adam Silver’s call for league employees to submit ideas for the eventual resumption of play, NBA executives and team medical personnel are discussing a 25-day ramp-up plan that would get players ready to face off in competitive games once again.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2020
The plan reportedly includes two phases. The first lasts 11 days, and involves players embarking on individual workouts while still practicing some type of social distancing. The second phase would have teams coming together for two-week training camps — but only if they get medical clearance for teams to play five-on-five basketball.
A three to four week ramp-up sounds like a long time, especially after what’s likely to be months without the NBA. But that’s precisely why it’s so important for everyone to be physically ready before anyone plays a single second of competitive basketball.
Every NBA player has essentially been left on their own, some with limited resources (or no access to a home gym), while the NBA is suspended. It would be extremely risky to every player’s health to plunge right back into the regular season like nothing had happened. Everyone’s going to need time to get back in playing shape, and to remember how to play with other people again — people besides their kids, that is.
There are obviously a lot of details to still work out. Foremost among them is where any of this would even take place. That remains a mystery right now, perhaps even for NBA executives. The future is entirely murky for the return of live sports, but the NBA is still trying to be prepared for whenever it does happen.
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