NBA Targeting Date No Earlier Than May 8 to Re-Open Practice Facilities
The NBA sent out information to all 30 of its teams today updating their previous announcement that team facilities would be available for individual work-outs as early as May 1. The updated information states that the league will be altering its previously stated policy to reflect the modifications made by state and local governments in regards to stay-at-home orders. They said the rationale for the changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so - as well as creating an alternative for players who live in states in which visiting team facilities would not be permitted.
The statement added that a small, yet important set of restrictions would apply to the team facility access. These restrictions include setting a maximum of four players per training facility at one time, not allowing any members of the coaching staff to participate, and the prohibition of group activities and usage of non-team facilities such as gyms. I personally second these restrictions, as keeping everyone, including the league's players, safe should be the priority.
Although this is a hope-providing step forward towards an eventual resumption of play, it will not apply to either of New York's basketball teams at first. Of course, that short list includes the Knicks. Governor Cuomo's lockdown on New York does not end until May 15 - meaning that even if facilities were to open ahead of that, the Knicks would not be able to access them even for individual workouts. I wrote about Governor Cuomo's lockdown and its effects on the team in one of last weekend's roundups.
Even if it is a few weeks after other NBA teams, the Knicks will soon have access to their team training facility. This should be welcome news to not just the fans, but the entire roster of players looking quite forward to returning to playing basketball.