Adam Silver Gives NBA Players the Road Map for the Future
THE ANGELS: Adam Silver said on Friday a decision about when the NBA can restart sometime in June with the league looking to play in one or two centers with Orlando and Las Vegas being the main contenders.
Speaking in a conference call open to all NBA players and designed to update them on the league's status among the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the league commissioner was joined on the call by players' union executive director Michele Roberts.
Silver told the players that if there is no vaccine, the league could end up playing without fans in the stands in 2021, the US media said.
He wants daily tests for all players and those who test positive in quarantine. The games would continue with officials making sure others were constantly monitored and tested.
With travel problematic amid social distancing and stay-at-home requirements in a number of American states, the league believes it would be safer to return to action in just one or two sites, with Orlando and Las Vegas being the frontrunners.
There is no point in increasing the risk of flying from city to city if there are not going to be fans. We believe it would be safer to be in one location, or two locations, to begin with, he said in a recording of The Call Obtained by ESPN.
Silver also said one of the single greatest challenges of our lives was having fans in attendance because 40 percent of the NBA 's revenues come from directly from the games through tickets, sponsorship deals and concessions.
He said the 30 owners are committed to resuming play and the league is leaning toward a minimum of three weeks of training camp before the restart.
But ESPN reported earlier Friday that players were skeptical of the idea of basing teams in a giant quarantine zone.
The proposal failed after they asked how the area would be monitored to ensure isolation.
When it was first floated, there was some dismay, Roberts told ESPN before the call. Are we going to post guards around the hotel? That looks like imprisonment to me.
So the players said, 'Well, I don't know if it's worth being away from my family for so long.'
We could do all of that, and then what happens when one or two or 10 players test positive after that 28-day isolation? Shall we close it?
Reports last month said the NBA had studied the feasibility of staging the entirety of the post-season in a locked down part of Las Vegas.
The NBA has been in shutdown since the global pandemic brought sport to a standstill, forcing the suspension or postponement of every professional league in North America.
Silver also said Friday that when the NBA season was halted on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive, Gobert wasn't the first player to be tested. He was just the first to test positive.
Friday's conference took place on the same day that teams are allowed to reopen practice facilities for limited training, which will be held under strict security protocols.