It’s been over a month since the NBA suspended all operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The NBA has been working hard in recent weeks to find a way to return to basketball once it’s deemed safe to do so.
And while a number of options are being discussed for a return, there are plenty of logistical issues before it can happen. The most frequently discussed idea is playing the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season from Las Vegas, Nevada where players would be isolated from the outside world in order to prevent the risk of infecting others.
This plan has gained traction, but teams around the league believe that players will need at least a month of training before games can begin.
Because of this, the NBA is discussing a 25-day window for a return that would include a solo workout period as well as a two week training camp, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
"What they're looking at is a 25-day return to basketball window."
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2020
This 25-day return window will give players a chance to get settled in their new environment, work out with likely more equipment than they have at home, and give them two weeks to play real basketball. Once the league can get clearance, this could be the way to go.
However, this 25-day window prior to the return of games will need to start very early as the NBA is hoping to crown a champion by Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 7). With about two months of games that need to be played and a 25-day return window, this training camp may need to start as early as June.
If commissioner Adam Silver and league office can get clearance from health officials to start up a training camp by the middle of June, then the season may just be salvageable. If they can’t, they may have no choice but to cancel in order to avoid drastically changing future seasons.
Players and fans alike are waiting anxiously for the news that basketball will be coming back. However, Silver is putting health and safety first, and will only bring back the season if he knows it’s safe.