Talks about a potential return to finish out the 2019-20 NBA season have gained more steam of late as commissioner Adam Silver and league staff discussed different possibilities with a contingent of players.
Recent reports suggest that there is positivity about ultimately finishing out this season, but there are still plenty of hurdles before that can come to fruition.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still prevalent throughout the country, the health and safety of the players and staff are of the utmost importance, but as Silver has said, there is no solution to returning that doesn’t pose some sort of risk.
The league undoubtedly wants to return, especially with all of the money it has lost to this point, but they also won’t force anything on the players. Silver recently spoke about that factor on a conference call, reportedly saying that regardless of what the league wants, they won’t make any decisions without approval from players as well, via Marc Stein of the New York Times:
“We’re not going to make any decisions that aren’t joint,” Silver told them.
This is extremely important as the league and players navigate the number of issues that will arise with any sort of return to the season. Many players have been open about wanting to return as soon as possible, but there are surely many who have apprehensions, and rightfully so.
Silver and the NBA attempting to move forward regardless of any objections the players have would be awful for their relations moving forward. Regardless of when the league eventually returns there will be some risks as the global pandemic remains and many will have their fears.
As much as the league wants to return, it is important that the players are on board with it and Silver is being clear that nothing will be done without that being the case. Everyone being on one accord is better for the league as a whole.
Whether it is Las Vegas or Orlando that houses the “bubble” and whatever rules the league makes as far as testing and keeping everyone safe, they will work jointly with the players on everything which will make for a much smoother process overall, and a better product when the league, hopefully, returns.