Since March, the NBA was put on pause due to the Coronavirus and now they’re figuring out a strategy on how to safely bring it back.
According to a source, the NBA’s Board of Governors voted Thursday (June 3) to put a plan in place that will allow 22 teams to continue the regular 2019/2020 season. The report says that this will start happening July 31 until October at a single-site campus at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.
LA Times reports, “The 22 teams — the 16 currently in playoff spots plus Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Washington — will play eight games to determine the final seeding order. If the ninth-place team in each conference is within four games of the eighth-place team, the two teams will have a play-in tournament for the final spot. The ninth-place team would need to beat the eighth-place team twice to advance.
The structure of how the games will go will be completely different. Players will receive regular temperature checks and get tested for COVID-19. There are concerns over the virus still spreading within the team since testing right now doesn’t immediately give results. Any player who tests positive will have to quarantine and they expect players to test positive for the novel virus.
The plan isn’t set in stone as of right now, the NBA needs the players’ union to approve the plan before it can be official. If games don’t return in July, the will have to put another plan in place. More delays will impact the 2020 draft, free agency, and the start of the new NBA season, which could be pushed back until December, according to the report.
If games don’t resume until late July, the season probably would not end until after Labor Day. That would delay other major NBA events, including the 2020 draft, free agency, and the start of the 2020-21 season, which could be pushed to December.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the NBA has his full support and is welcoming professional sports to be played in Florida.
“If you have a team in an area where they just won’t let them operate, we’ll find a place for you here in the state of Florida. We think it’s important, and we know it can be done safely.”
NEW: Pro sports teams from any city are welcome to play in Florida, Gov. DeSantis says.
“We know that it can be done safely,” the governor says. pic.twitter.com/oQBZsgKV0j
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 13, 2020