The league took one step closer to a potential return of the 2019-20 NBA season with some teams re-opening their practice facilities for voluntary workouts at the outset of the weekend.
While some local governments are easing restrictions on stay-at-home orders, it remains to be seen if anything will come to fruition for the NBA. Despite the recent turn of events, there has been little indication of a concrete plan to crown a champion this season.
There is still plenty of speculation regarding the prospect of having teams finish out the year in a bubble city at Disney World or in Las Vegas. It seems they now have an idea of the manpower it would take to operate practices and games.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the NBA is remaining mindful of gaining permission from health experts on physical distance guidelines in order to plan games:
According to sources, teams believe they would need local officials to allow gatherings of up to 50 people to practice again and gatherings of up to 200 to play games again, likely at home practice facilities or Disney World in Orlando, Florida. … But until the national capacity for testing improves, sources said the NBA will be disciplined in maintaining social distancing as facilities open.
Commissioner Adam Silver has been hesitant to declare whether or not the NBA fully intends on finishing the season. With all the restrictions that have been put in place in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is easy to see why.
Gathering such a large number of people comes with its fair share of risks since it makes it much more difficult to monitor and track the exposure to the outbreak. Not even all the precautions taken with living in a bubble city can guarantee that it will not make its way in.
Fortunately, the number does put in perspective the amount of resources it would take in order to make it happen. At the same time, Silver has been adamant about not trying to make the NBA a priority when it comes to accumulating rapid test kits that would otherwise be made available for public use.
As a result, it seems they are working on a solution that would best coincide the nation’s demand for testing kits. This should also grant them some extra time to figure out the best way to get players prepared properly for a return to the court.