Everything is on the table for the NBA, from canceling the season to playing deeper into the summer.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who suspended his league’s season late Wednesday night because of concerns with coronavirus after the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for it, appeared on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” on Thursday to address where the league stands. He said games will be suspended for “at least 30 days” and did not rule out the NBA not resuming play at all.
“Of course it’s possible,” Silver said. “We just don’t know at this point.”
He noted that the NBA has not canceled its season because it hopes to resume play and potentially run its postseason past its usual June end date. He called the break a chance “for us to step back, take a breath and ensure everyone in the NBA community was safe and healthy.”
“Even if we are out for a month, even if we are out for six weeks, we could still restart the season,” Silver said. “It might mean that the Finals take place in July or late July. It was way premature to suggest that we had lost the season.”
Silver added it was too early to say what the NBA will do next and he has been in contact with team presidents, general managers and the players association about how to proceed without “compromising anyone’s safety” and using their hiatus effectively.
The commissioner said he spoke to Gobert about doing a public service announcement with the league about protocol for avoiding the virus because “we know the public follows what these players do.” Gobert, whose teammate Donovan Mitchell also has the virus, apologized for being “careless” in the locker room touching other players and their belongings, according to ESPN.
“We actually think we can used this platform we have on social media to help people deal with this disease,” Silver said.
After the NBA made the decision on its season Wednesday, the rest of the U.S.-based sports followed suit with the NHL and MLS suspending their seasons, MLB canceling spring training and pushing back Opening Day and the NCAA canceling all of its winter and spring tournaments.