The NBA and sports leagues across the country continue to assess the feasibility of returning to play amidst the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. One part of a return for any league will have to be extensive testing, particularly with quick returns.
While there continues to be work toward finding a vaccine, it will still be an extremely long time before one is found and distributed so the NBA would need to take a ton of precautions in a return.
But as more studies are being done, there becomes a better understanding of the virus and how to combat it, which is why the NBA is trying to help in any way they can. According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, the NBA and its players are supporting an antibody study being led by the Mayo Clinic and Minnesota Timberwolves:
Now, Sikka and the Mayo Clinic — an academic medical center headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota — are spearheading a leaguewide study that aims to establish what percentage of NBA players, coaches, executives and staff have developed antibodies to the coronavirus.
The initiative, which is supported by the league office and the players’ association, is expected to have the participation of all 30 teams.
Major League Baseball and its players also were part of something similar. Players and employees from 27 of its 30 teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, participated in a study with researchers from Stanford and USC.
The goal, much like this Mayo Clinic study the NBA is part of, is to get a better understanding of just how prevalent the virus still is throughout the country while continuing work on a vaccine.
The NBA has been adamant about its desires to finish up this season and are working on a number of ideas to help facilitate that for the current season as well as moving forward. The L.A. Lakers recently re-opened their practice facility and several other teams already have or are on the verge of also doing so.
Should the league be able to restart the most important thing is the safety of its players and employees. The worst thing that could happen for any league is to contribute in any spread of the coronavirus.
The NBA participating in this study will help greatly in allowing for it to re-open in the safest way possible.