Limited Return to Practice May Offer NBA Hope It Needed
The NBA announced that some teams will be allowed to start conducting "limited individual workouts" in their practice facilities beginning May 8 -- and perhaps that is a sign of hope that the league can salvage the season, according to Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated.
Earlier reports the NBA would open some facilities Friday in states that are easing stay-at-home directives amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the league sent out a release that clarified the date and offered some details.
"The NBA makes clear that the framework for what it terms 'limited, individual workouts' would be extremely limited in scope," McCann wrote. "For one, neither head coaches nor assistant coaches could participate. For another, practices and scrimmages would remain barred.
"Also, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, players would be required to wear face masks while not engaged in physical activity. Furthermore, any nearby team employees -- including health personnel --would need to wear gloves and keep a distance of at least 12 feet.
"In other words, a small subset of teammates could work out in the same facility at the same time but their shared presence wouldn’t constitute a 'team activity' as that term is generally understood."
The NBA suspended the season March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Commissioner Adam Silver has repeatedly indicated the league is hopeful of completing the season and crowning a champion.
According to multiple reports, the league is considering staging games in a centralized location in buildings without fans. It may be willing to resume games in July and finish in September.
Check out McCann's entire excellent piece on this subject at this link.