Nothing has been decided yet but on a conference call with all NBA players, Adam Silver offered updates on evolving plans for resuming the 2019-20 season.
On Friday, May 8, the NBA and the NBA Player’s Association held a conference call with all active players to update them with the latest details on the league’s plans for restarting operations amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. It didn’t take long for the details of the call to begin coming out from reporters. Here are the biggest takeaways from what’s been reported:
Nothing is going to be decided soon
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that commissioner Adam Silver told the players, “that the NBA doesn’t have to make a decision on re-starting the season in May, nor does it have to decide right away in June.” This seems like very intentional couching of the timeline and gives the league a lot of runway for watching how the pandemic evolves and mapping out solutions that protect the health and safety of everyone, will minimizing financial losses. Wojnarowski also reported that Silver told players that current plans being discussed included a minimum of three weeks of training camp before play resumed. That means games being played before the end of July is extremely unlikely.
If the playoffs are played, they’ll probably be at a single site
It’s hard to judge tone from tweets of aggregated reports but several of Woj’s tweets referenced the idea of the playoffs being played at just one or two sites. Reportedly Orlando (Walt Disney World) or Las Vegas are still the league’s preferred sites. Woj’s reports indicate that the league is hoping that, in addition to providing a more controlled and safe environment, keeping the playoffs at a neutral site would reduce travel time and make playing a full seven-game series in each round more feasible.
Next season is going to be weird too
Although it wasn’t addressed specifically in any reports on this call, resuming this season almost certainly means adjusting the schedule for next season. In addition, Woj reported Silver told players that if a vaccine is not available, next season would likely start without fans in the arenas.
The financial ramifications of this are going to be felt for a long time
It’s an inescapable fact. Revenue has cratered and the functional structure of the league is built around revenue in so many different ways. Silver reportedly told NPBA executive director Michele Roberts that there would be financial ramifications for the players and that the current collective bargaining agreements, “wasn’t built for an extended pandemic.” If you wanted some rough estimates of the ways this could play out, the best capologists on Twitter were all over it.