Play will take place at the three indoor venues at Wide World of Sports: The Arena, the Field House and Visa Athletic Center. No fans will be allowed in the venues.
The plan, as announced by the NBA and the NBA players association, includes stringent health and safety protocols and the goal of taking collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice. The safety program, which addresses risks related to COVID-19 and focuses on the well-being of players, coaches, officials and staff, was developed in consultation with public health experts, infectious disease specialists and government officials.
As announced on Wednesday, the NBA and the NBPA have agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart will be to find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country. Leaders from the NBA and the NBPA have also discussed strategies to increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities, and form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community. In recognition that long-term change can only come from an informed and sustained commitment, conversations regarding these efforts will continue and additional details will be released at a later date.
“We have worked together with the Players Association to establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a press statement. “We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections.”
“It is very exciting to officially announce the restart of the 2019-2020 season,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “It has taken true collaboration between the League and the Union – special kudos to our Executive Committee and several other team reps – along with the continued support and assistance from medical experts, public health officials and many others. Additionally, our platform in Orlando presents a unique opportunity to extend the ongoing fight against systemic racism and police brutality in this country. We will continue to work with our players and the League to develop specific plans in Orlando as well as long-term initiatives to bring about real change on these issues.”
Under the competitive format for the restart, the 22 participating teams will be the eight teams in each conference with the highest current winning percentages and the six teams that are currently within six games of the eighth seed in either conference.
The restart will begin with each participating team playing eight “seeding games,” as selected from its remaining regular-season matchups. Further details will be announced later.
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