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NBA targets July 31 to resume season, source says – CNBC

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors

Mark Sobha | NBAE | Getty Images

The National Basketball Association has targeted July 31 as its date to resume games, a league source has confirmed to CNBC.

The league held its board of governors’ call on Friday to present proposals for reopening. The NBA announced it was in discussions with its media partner Disney on using the company’s Orlando campus to host its games.

Milwaukee Bucks co-owner and Avenue Capital co-founder Marc Lasry reiterated his prediction the NBA could be back in six to eight weeks.

“I think at the end of the day, we’ll be in Orlando at Disney,” he said. “The question is going to be will we have all 30 teams there or will we have 24; whatever the number will end up being. But hopefully, by the middle of July, we start playing again.”

The NBA is contemplating a variety of concepts to restart, including playing on Disney’s ESPN complex. The league’s statement announcing the discussion said it wants to use the location as a “single site for an NBA campus for games, practices, and housing.”

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley also told local reporters on May 20 if the NBA does return in a “bubble” environment, where players remain locked down on campuses for the remainder of the rest of the season, players will not be forced to remain on playing sites.

When asked about resuming games during a May 21 interview with CNBC, Houston Rockets star James Harden said he would feel comfortable returning when the pandemic has “calmed down all the way to a minimum.”

“I want it to be safe,” said Harden. “I want it to be entertaining for the fans and players to get out there and compete. As soon as we can get this ramped up, I’m ready to go. I feel like the majority of the players feel the same way.”

On May 8, the NBA granted clubs permission to open practice sites in markets that have relaxed stay-at-home orders in preparation for a return on May 8. The league became the first U.S. pro league to suspend its game due to Covid-19 on March 11.

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