NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Says Suspension Will Last At Least 30 Days

Melissa Rohlin

A day after the NBA suspended play indefinitely, league commissioner Adam Silver said the pause will likely last at least 30 days. 

"This is going to be roughly at least a month," Silver said on TNT on Thursday. 

Silver said he made a "split-second" decision Wednesday to suspend the season after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. 

"My thinking was even if we're out for a month, even if we're out for six weeks, we could still restart the season," Silver said. "It might mean that the end of the playoffs take place in July, late July. My feeling was it was way premature to suggest that we had lost the season.

Silver was asked if it's possible the season will be canceled.  

"Of course it's possible," Silver said. "I just don't know more at this point."

Silver said he acted quickly so everyone could intelligently assess the threat of the virus. 

"It was really a moment for us to step back, take a breath, ensure that everyone in the NBA community was safe and healthy and doing everything they needed to do to take care of their families," Silver said. 

Silver added that things are still very fluid. 

"It's remarkable to be here talking to you guys tonight about this hiatus when it was only [Wednesday] that first the NCAA made that decision to play without fans, which seemed -- which was unprecedented, which was a historic decision," Silver said. "And we were having the same discussions. To be jumping here one day later, I think it only makes the point that on this issue...this literally changes hour-by-hour in what we know."

Silver said he had an over-the-phone meeting with the league's 30 general managers and team presidents Thursday afternoon about whether players should remain in their team's markets or, if applicable, go home to their families. 

"All those things are still on the table because this happened so quickly," Silver said. 

Silver said he realizes how much responsibility the NBA has in terms of its actions. 

"Others in the public will take their lead from us," Silver said. 

After Gobert tested positive for the virus, all Jazz players and personnel were also tested. Donovan Mitchell was also diagnosed with COVID-19.

"Gobert has acknowledged that he made a huge mistake by fooling around and touching all of the mics the other day when he had no idea that he had the virus," Silver said, referencing Gobert's apology over Twitter on Thursday. "We spoke to him today, in fact, about doing a public service announcement." 

Silver said all of the NBA's current decisions are centered on health and safety, not business. 

"In the two full board meetings I had between [Wednesday] and [Thursday], not one team raised money," Silver said. "The entire discussion was about the safety and health of the players, the community around the NBA and our fans." 

Silver said the league, the teams and the NBA Players Association are all trying to figure out the smartest thing to do in this situation.

"I think it's frankly too early to tell," Silver said. "It depends how quickly this virus spreads. And it also depends on what the theory is going to be on how to treat it." 

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