Momentum is reportedly building for the return of the NBA following a call with league executives and Commissioner Adam Silver. The participating board of governors on the call were hopeful about the strides the league is taking to ensure health and safety if the 2019-20 is to resume amid a pandemic, ESPN reports.
A key factor of discussions was reportedly the health protocols the league will follow in order to keep games running. Specifically, a potentially positive COVID-19 diagnosis would not be seen as a reason to fold operations as it did back in March. Silver said on the call that if one positive test were to “shut us down, we probably shouldn’t go down this path.”
Silver, along with executives from other leagues and health officials, have stressed the importance of coronavirus testing for staging games again. The specifics regarding the number of positive cases that would be enough to shut down games are to be determined by the owners, the players union and health officials. Dr. Anthony Fauci shared the NBA’s similar thinking when discussing the upcoming NFL season, claiming that one positive player could be isolated but a group of four players per team, for example, shows enough of an outbreak to shut down operations.
The NFL and MLB intend to launch games from each team’s home stadium, whereas Silver is exploring the concept of a hub location to house all players and personnel and stage games. Orlando’s Walt Disney World complex and Las Vegas are said to be two options in contention at the moment.
Other logistics that need to be ironed out is the format in which the NBA would restart and testing protocols. The league told owners that it plans to look deeper into reports of new cases in states which have lifted their stay-at-home orders, those who become the most sick upon contracting the virus and how other sports leagues worldwide are returning and treating those who test positive.