It has been three weeks since the NBA went on an indefinite hiatus on March 11 in order to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
In that time, they’ve discussed a number of ways to bring back the 2019-20 NBA season in order to help crown a champion for the 2020 NBA playoffs. Either way, it seems that playing the entirety of the remainder of the season is no longer in the cards.
Options to bring back the league have ranged from returning directly into the playoffs, playing at team practice facilities with no fans, and all the way to having all 30 teams stay in one or two hotels in Las Vegas to limit interaction with the outside world. It seems that nothing is off the table as the league hopes to make the quickest and safest return to action.
Now, the NBA’s hope is to play some regular season games to help teams get into a rhythm before entering a slightly shortened playoffs which could include a first round series of only five games, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“Las Vegas has been a destination that has been discussed, built around the idea of literally perhaps using a casino, playing games in potentially a ballroom with courts. There’s lots of different scenarios …”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 31, 2020
The idea that keeps getting thrown around is the Las Vegas plan where all NBA teams are put up in a singular hotel on the strip and staying there in isolation until it’s time to play games at either a nearby facility or one that is attached to the hotel.
While this seems a bit extreme, if everyone that is in the hotel is healthy and not allowed to leave, it would be nearly impossible for infection to spread between the players and teams. This way, they can ensure safety while bringing back basketball for fans to enjoy.
Whatever the league ends up doing, they will need to get creative if they want games returning in the near future. Most recently, team owners felt strongly that the NBAmay not return until June, meaning the remainder of the season would be shortened significantly.