NBA Won't Consider Ending Coronavirus Suspension Until May 1

Michael Shapiro

The NBA's coronavirus suspension is nearly a month old, and a return to play won't even be considered until May 1 at the earliest, according to commissioner Adam Silver.

Silver joined Turner Sports' Ernie Johnson for a Twitter interview on Monday, providing an update on the league's potential plans for resuming games. But while the NBA is working on a string of contingencies for restarting play, no decision is on the immediate horizon. 

"We should accept that at least for the month of April we won't be in any position to make any decisions," Silver told Johnson. 

The NBA is reportedly exploring the possibility of holding playoff games in Las Vegas following the COVID-19 hiatus. But the league faces a number of logistical hurdles in initiating such a plan, and not just those regarding public health. The NBA Players Union could voice opposition to quarantining players for extended periods, which may derail any plans for a centralized playoffs.

Silver spoke with President Trump on Sunday, joining commissioners from the NFL and MLB among other leagues. No firm timelines were set for the return of live sports, though Silver said the NBA will be "ready to go," when it is deemed safe to return. 

"We know our priorities, in terms of health and safety," Silver told Johnson. "But then, in factoring those things in, where will we be in May? Will there be an opportunity, and I think beyond the virtue of crowning a champion, what will the symbolism be of major league sports starting back up in this country?"

The NBA went on indefinite hiatus on March 11 after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The Rockets are currently No. 6 in the Western Conference at 40–24, slated to face the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. 

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