Silver: NBA Games In Empty Arenas One Option Under Consideration

Publish date:

At some point, the NBA will resume play again. 

Whether that means completing this season or just waiting until the next depends on a number of factors, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

"What are the conditions we need for the league to restart? I would say I'm looking at three different things," Silver told ESPN's Rachel Nichols in a wide-ranging interview. 

"One is, when can we restart and operate as we've known it with 19,000 fans in buildings?

"Option two is, should we consider restarting without fans, and what would that mean? Because, presumably, if we had a group of players, and staff around them, and you could test them and follow some sort of protocol, doctors and health officials may say it's safe to play."

Silver sad the final possibility is a televised charity game.

"A third option that we are looking at now ... the impact on the national psyche of having no sports programming on television," he said. "And one of the things we've been asking is, are there conditions in which a group of players could compete -- maybe it's for a giant fundraiser or just the collective good of the people -- where you take a subset of players and, is there a protocol where they can be tested and quarantined and isolated in some way, and they could compete against one another?

"People are stuck at home, and I think they need a diversion. They need to be entertained."

But back to the second option. There have been reports that not only might the NBA return without fans, but it could do so by utilizing G-League facilities.

"As I look at the options, maybe we can do this incrementally, and the first step isn't games with thousands of people in the arenas, but maybe it is just games," Silver said. "Something I've always said is 99 percent of people consume our game through some sort of media platform. It's only a tiny percentage of fans who get to see our games in arenas. 

"So those fans who watch on television, or whatever device they have, are fans just like people in the arena. Maybe through new kinds of technology there are ways fans can be virtual and react to plays and make noise in the arena."

Sam Amico covers the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers for Follow him @AmicoHoops.