The NBA — along with every other major sports league — wants to return as quickly as they can in a safe environment.
The entire United States has been heeding the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases. If sports are to make a return in the near future, it will be Fauci who approves it.
The NBA and MLB have both laid out plans to return, playing games without fans in a centralized location to keep players isolated together.
There are some hiccups to this as it would require players to be tested frequently and be away from their families for a long period of time. The MLB had been targeting mid-May while the NBA was hoping for Mid-June.
A step in the right direction came in the form of Fauci openly promoting a return to sports, provided leagues can follow a few very strict guidelines, according to ESPN News Services:
“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby as part of a weeklong interview series. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled. … Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”
This is perhaps some of the best news that sports fans have received since the NBA and all other sports leagues suspended operations indefinitely. If Fauci — an expert in this field — believes a fan-less return is safe, then perhaps leagues will start setting plans into motion.
For the NBA, this means the 16 playoff teams would head to Las Vegas and begin the 25-day return window that the league is discussing prior to the start of the 2020 NBA playoffs.
The sooner the NBA can do this, the less drastic of an effect it would have on the beginning of next season and all future seasons.