In comments on TNT Thursday night, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league’s suspension —or, as he called it, “hiatus”— will last “at least 30 days” Emphasis on the “at least.”
And when Ernie Johnson asked if it was possible that the 2019-20 season could be cancelled, Silver answered, “Of course it’s possible. I mean, I just don’t know more at this point.”
“What we determined today is that this hiatus will be, most likely, at least 30 days,” Silver said on “Inside The NBA” in his first public comments since the league suspended play on Wednesday.
“This literally changes hour-by-hour in terms of what we know,” Silver said.
Here’s the video of his comments...
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joins TNT to discuss the league’s decision to suspend game play. pic.twitter.com/p7TtruOKOG— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 13, 2020
Silver’s comments came with one of the program’s hosts at home. Charles Barkley revealed that he is self-quarantining for 48 hours because he has not felt well since a recent trip to New York.
Barkley said he has been tested for COVID-19 coronavirus and has not yet received the results. “This thing is so scary,” Barkley said.
Silver when asked about his decision to suspend vs. cancel the season: “Suspend was just the word I chose to use. We’ve talked with our TV partners about contingencies. Even if we’re out for a month or six weeks, we can still re-start the season. Maybe Finals take place in July.”
“It just feels premature to call the season lost. It’s not just day-by-day. This literally changes hour-by-hour,” Silver said. “This hiatus gives us time to deliberate and figure out how to move forward.”
Meanwhile, Shams Charania reported that the league has given the 30 teams instructions on how to deal with the crisis...
The NBA has informed all 30 teams on policies effective immediately and through March 16, including:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
- All players must remain in market of team
- Players remain home as long as possible
- NO group workouts, practices
- Team physicians/trainers speak to each player once a day
NBA has informed franchises that "each team is encouraged" to conduct educational meeting by Monday for players/staff with physicians to discuss coronavirus situation -- either in person (appropriate spacing) or remotely.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 13, 2020
Several teams had such meetings before suspended season.
Silver also sent a letter to NBA fans in which he for the first time discussed tickets already purchased for suspended games.
Silver said in discussions with team owners, the league’s economics, already strained by the loss of revenue from China.
“Not one team raised (the issue of) money,” he said. “The entire discussion was about the safety and health of the players, the community around the NBA and our fans.”
There are of course a number of variables that will affect the league’s decision including medical and legal issues. Moreover, teams like the Nets and Knicks and possibly others will have make sure their plans mesh with those of local authorities. On Thursday alone, New York City and State declared a state of emergency and limited attendance at events to 500 “for the foreseeable future.”
There are 259 games left unplayed on this season’s schedule. If the regular season is not resumed, that would be the second-largest number of games missed in NBA history after the 2011-12 season which was shortened by a total of 240 games because of a lockout.
Meanwhile, Joe Tsai tweeted out that there is a plan to help those arena employees who have lost their living because of the shutdown.
The Mavericks and Pistons have already committed to helping arena staff.
The Nets returned to New York Wednesday night from San Francisco, where they had gone to practice before Wednesday’s game with the Warriors was indefinitely postponed as part of the suspension.
- NBA says virus hiatus will likely last “at least” a month - Tim Reynolds - AP
- Nets respond to Spencer Dinwiddie’s call for arena staff aid - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Coronavirus puts brakes on Nets season, too - Greg Logan - Newsday
- What to know about the suspended NBA season and when it could resume - John Hollinger - The Athletic NBA
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on remainder of season potentially being cancelled: ‘Of course it’s possible’ - Alex Smith - SNY