Report: NBA Pessimistic 2019-20 Season Will Return Due to COVID-19 Crisis

Michael Shapiro

The NBA is expressing a "significant amount of pessimism," that the 2019-20 season will resume due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. 

The league has reportedly been keeping a close eye on the Chinese Basketball Association, which halted play after a brief attempt at resuming games. The CBA ran into a slate of logistical challenges in trying to prevent players and team personnel from contracting the virus, and the NBA would likely run into similar issues, per Windhorst.

"I think there was optimism about progress a week ago, and some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happen," Windhorst said on ESPN on Friday. "A big factor was what happened in China where they halted the return of their league, and one of the big reasons is because they really believed if they just tested the player's temperature all the time then it would work, and the Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country. And they have just slammed the brakes on sports."

The NBA is reportedly "angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down," per Windhorst. With a slate of financial ramifications arising from the season's suspension (and potential cancelation), the league is currently looking for ways to mitigate the significant revenue loss that has arised in recent weeks.

We are now in our fourth week without live games after the NBA suspended play indefinitely on March 12. Numerous NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks, including Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, as well as two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant.