It has been over two months since the NBA officially went on hiatus amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and for the first time it seems like the league has a real plan moving forward.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been working with players, health officials, and team owners to decide the best course of action for the 2019-20 regular season to continue. While nothing is set in stone just yet, it seems as though certain aspects of resuming play are largely decided.
If and when players return to the court, it will be in a ‘bubble’ of sorts, most likely at Disney World in Florida, or Las Vegas.
Whatever the final decision ends up being, Silver is putting himself and the league on a bit of a timeframe to make a decision, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
NBA and Adam Silver targeting a season decision in 2-to-4 weeks comes after Silver told players Friday it can go into June. Now — for first time since the coronavirus stoppage started on March 11 — a specific timeframe. https://t.co/TArbVNpxCZ
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 13, 2020
Two to four weeks from now means a decision should come sometime between the last week of May and the first week or two of June. Silver said recently in a conference call to players that he was OK waiting past June 1 to make a decision.
Shortly after the hiatus began, owners and league officials reportedly saw mid-to-late June as best case scenario for a return to play. Now, it seems as though that will not happen, as the players have stated they’ll need at least four weeks of training camp and preseason type games before they’re back in game shape.
So even if Silver announces a return to play at the beginning of June, it will probably take until early or mid-July for playoff games to actually begin. Perhaps the league wants to start on the Fourth of July which is on a Saturday, a day the NBA Playoffs have always begun.
Whatever Silver and the NBA decide to do, it feels like there is finally some type of plan in place, and that there’s real hope that the league can return. And the most important part of this hope is the timeline, as fans now have a range of dates to look forward to for when they can expect a decision.