Basketball

Report: NBA gaining 'momentum' toward return

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ByReuters
13/05/2020 at 03:23 | Updated 13/05/2020 at 03:25

Following a Board of Governors call with commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, the NBA is "increasingly positive about the league's momentum" toward resuming the 2019-20 season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Per the report, owners and executives were encouraged about the league's steps
toward returning safely amid the coronavirus pandemic and about positive
conversations with the National Basketball Players Association.

The report added that Silver emphasized that in order for a return to occur,
all parties would need to accept that a single positive test for COVID-19
would not derail the season.

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If a positive test would "shut us down, we probably shouldn't go down this
path," Silver said, per Wojnarowski.

The report added that it remains unclear at what point numerous positive tests
would impact the schedule.

Wojnarowski also reported that the format for the return play remains unknown,
in terms of regular-season or playoff structure.

The NBA also reportedly continues to vet the possibility of holding all games
in neutral sites, with Orlando and Las Vegas the leading candidates, in what
Silver referred to as a "campus environment."

Both Wojnarowski and The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the NBA aims
to decide within two to four weeks whether to restart the season.

A potential roadblock to the proposed resumption is that the league doesn't
believe "rapid response testing" will be readily available inside of a month.

Earlier Tuesday, the NBPA informally polled players to gauge where they stand
on restarting the season, Wojnarowski reported.

NBPA regional representatives began asking players to respond to a "yes or no"
question about their desire to return to the court during the coronavirus
pandemic, sources told Wojnarowski.

Some teams were asked the question in group texts, per the report, and names
of the players and their individual responses will be kept confidential.

However, in a statement to The Athletic, the NBPA said it "is not engaging in
and has not authorized any formal poll of its players."

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, executive committee members including
president Chris Paul and other players held a conference call Friday with
Silver to discuss various topics related to resuming play, chiefly health and
finances.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Paul held a private conference call with
superstars across the league on Tuesday, with all wanting to resume the season
at some point.

Per the report, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis
Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell
Westbrook were all on the call, and "all parties were in agreement to take the
court with proper safety measures" once that proves possible.

The NBA suspended the regular season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy
Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

--Field Level Media

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