NBA will reopen practice facilities in May in states where coronavirus lockdowns have been eased, reports say – The Sun
THE NBA will reportedly allow basketball players to reopen practice facilities starting on May 1 in areas where lockdown restrictions have been loosened.
ESPN reported on Saturday that the league “is allowing teams to open their practice facilities to players in cities and states where local governments have eased stay-at-home orders.”
A source told The Associated Press that any workouts that would happen would be voluntary and in individual sessions only.
Group practices won't yet be allowed — and teams will not yet be permitted to organize in-person workouts.
Some states, like Georgia and Oklahoma, have started to allow businesses to reopen.
The AP reports that the NBA would find "alternative arrangements" for teams in cities or states that still have strict stay-at-home orders.
The NBA hasn’t played since the season was suspended March 11 after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the deadly illness.
As of Sunday, at least 14 players or members of the NBA have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a tally from USA Today.
Included are: Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell; Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart; Kevin Durant and three other players from the Brooklyn Nets; Christian Wood, of the Detroit Pistons; two players from the Los Angeles Lakers; three members of the Philadelphia 76ers; and one member of the Denver Nuggets' organization.
There are 259 games, roughly 21 percent of the schedule, left to play this season.
NBA officials announced last month the basketball season would be suspended “until further notice.”
“The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the league said in a statement at the time.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said on several times that the league does not expect being able to decide until sometime in May — at the earliest — if the season is able to be picked back up again.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said last month: “It’s a very serious time right now.”
“I think the league moved appropriately and prudently and we’ll all just have to monitor the situation and see where it goes from here.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he was shocked when news of the suspension came out — and said that “this is much bigger than basketball.”
“This is a global pandemic where people’s lives are at stake,” Cuban said.
“I’m a lot more worried about my kids, and my mom is 82 years old, and talking to her, and telling her to stay in the house, than I am about when we play our next game.”
With the NBA suspension, The G League, the NBA’s minor league where teams have somewhere between six and nine games left on their 50-game schedules, was also paused.
The NBA was the first professional sports league to shutter because of the coronavirus.
The move paved the way for other sports teams, including college and high school leagues, to postpone their seasons, too.
The NHL's Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said league officials “haven’t made any decisions yet" about the status of their season, but said it will reconsider next steps after April 30.
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