NBA Targeting May 8 for Opening Practice Facilities Where Stay-At-Home Orders Have Been Eased

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The NBA is targeting May 8 as the earliest date for opening practice facilities in areas where stay-at-home orders have been eased.

If a team can open its doors, the league will allow only four players in a practice facility at one time for voluntary workouts or treatment. No head or assistant coaches can participate in the workouts and group activities like scrimmages or practices are prohibited. 

"The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so," the NBA said in a statement, per Stein.

The NBA said it will work with teams "to identify alternatives" if they are located in areas where government restrictions keep them from opening their practice facilities. All NBA players remain barred from using non-team facilities like public gyms.

On Saturday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the league was looking to re-open practice facilities in cities with reduced government restrictions as early as May 1. As businesses are beginning to be opened in certain states, including Georgia, NBA players reportedly started to ask teams if they should consider traveling to gyms to work out. The NBA wanted to open the Hawks' facility first since Georgia was one of the first states to loosen its stay-at-home orders. However, the team was reportedly unwilling to open immediately, prompting the league to push the date back to May 8.

The NBA's decision to allow practice facilities to be re-opened in certain areas does not mean the season is close to being resumed. According to Wojnarowski, allowing players to train safely in gyms was a "priority" for the league, even though it is still unsure if or when games can again be played. 

The NBA became the first league to suspend its season and close practice facilities after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11. Commissioner Adam Silver said the league will not consider a potential return to play until at least May 1.