The NBA was the country’s first major sports league to suspend operations last month amid the coronavirus. Now, it may be the first league on the official path back into action.
NBA training facilities are said to reopen on Friday, May 1 given they are not under any local government stay-at-home order, the Associated Press reports. Players would be allowed into team buildings for voluntary, individual workouts to limit exposure. Group workouts or practices will not be authorized yet by the league, which is working on several contingency plans for possibly resuming the season.
States like Georgia and Oklahoma have started lifting stay-at-home order restrictions to open up certain businesses like gyms, hair salons, and tattoo parlors. More states are expected to loosen their restrictions in the coming days, though public health experts have made calls against reopening at this time.
However, for teams like the Knicks, Lakers and Warriors in the hard-hit states of New York and California, their governors are not looking to immediately lift restrictions. The NBA is reportedly working on alternative solutions for these cases in an effort to give players the option to train outside their home.
The decision to reopen training facilities does not necessarily mean games will resume in the near future, if at all. Commissioner Adam Silver gave a tentative May timeline to initiate plans for the league, but said the situation continues to be surrounded by so much uncertainty. Silver brought the league to a halt on March 11 after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Six other players across the league also contracted the virus in recent weeks, though Silver recently confirmed that an undisclosed amount of additional players had tested positive and were abiding by proper health guidelines.