Thursday, March 19, 2020

Report: NBA informed teams to close practice facilities

The NBA sent out a memo earlier today that starting on Friday, all 30 teams must close their practice and training facilities to players and staff until further notice.

According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, who reported that Thursday's memo was an update on what the league sent out earlier this week, which gave an outline on how teams should handle players and staff coming in and out of their facilities. Plus, how players and coaches should be isolated from one another while the season is on hiatus to limit potential spreading of the coronavirus among all team members.

This latest update will give players no choice but to workout in their homes, while the league figures out the next steps during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Players have been recommended to remain in their team's home market and to leave their homes only if they absolutely have to, while the NBA ban to remain in North America still remains in effect.

With the rule change, players are not to workout in groups or at any fitness center or college. Teams are also encouraged to check in with their players electronically on a daily basis.

Commissioner Adam Silver, who suspended all games on March 11, remains optimistic that the remainder of the NBA season will not be canceled.
"I'm optimistic by nature, and I want to believe that we're going to be able to salvage at least some portions of this season," Silver said on ESPN's The Jump Wednesday. "I would say we have done new and creative things in the past. We experimented with this year's All-Star Game with a unique ending. We've talked about play-in tournaments for going into the playoffs. There may be other things we can do with the format.
"I have heard from a lot of our players. It's only been, it's actually been less than a week. They're going stir crazy, they want to play, they want to compete. Players, as you know, I mean, unlike a lot of us in our positions we can just go back to what we were doing, but every player is fighting something that's unwinnable, and that's the aging process. So a lost year or lost portion of a season in their careers is very different from other people, so we're gonna try by every means we can to play basketball again, but I say that the safety and health of our players is first, and our fans, which is why I don't want to speculate more on that.
"That will be the condition upon which we can play: When public health officials give us the OK."
The NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS have suspended all play for at least 30 days, at which all leagues will reassess and take the next step in keeping their players and fans safe from the coronavirus.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press

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