While the exact timing for when the league could resume play remains uncertain, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expects its suspension over the coronavirus pandemic to last at least 30 days.
On Wednesday night, the NBA announced that it was suspending play while revealing that a player on the Utah Jazz–identified in other press reports as Rudy Gobert–preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. Further reports Thursday indicated that teammate Donovan Mitchell had also tested positive for COVID-19, with both players confirming their diagnoses in public statements on Thursday.
With the stop in play in effect, the NBA continues to monitor COVID-19 and consult with public health and government officials. Silver spoke about the hiatus on Thursday, stating in the process that the NBA is expecting the suspension to its season to last for a minimum for 30 days. Over that time period, the league will be working to determine when and how to begin play, along with any safety protocols that could have to be implemented. More from ESPN:
NBA owners have been encouraging Silver to reevaluate the league’s suspension of play in 30 days, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Silver, in an interview on TNT, confirmed that the NBA will take that 30-day hiatus and use the time to further discuss whether the league can resume play and how it can do so.
“Of course the issue becomes now, what we determined today, is that this hiatus will be most likely at least 30 days,” Silver said. “And we don’t know enough to be more specific than that. But we wanted to give direction to our players and teams and fans that this is going to be roughly at least a month.
“But then the question becomes is there a protocol frankly with or without fans in which we can resume play,” Silver continued. “I think the goal [is] … what makes sense here without compromising anyone’s safety. It’s frankly too early to tell.”
Later Thursday, in a letter addressed to NBA fans, Silver made it clear that the league has every intention of resuming the season “if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.”
Since the NBA announced the suspension of its season, several leagues around the United States have followed suit with similar actions, including those that play in arenas. The NBA G League has also suspended play, along with the NHL and minor-league hockey’s AHL and ECHL. In addition, the NCAA cancelled men’s and women’s basketball tournaments over coronavirus concerns, as well as all remaining winter and spring championships.
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