At a time in which much of the nation has set their expectations for live sports aside, the NBA is set to make a major announcement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has essentially shut down all sporting events, worldwide. We are now in the midst of a slow and cautious reopening, but with some extreme caveats.
The German futbol league, the Bundesliga, has been back at it for several weeks, but with no fans in the stands. NASCAR in the USA has taken a similar approach, and with an abbreviated season. The National Hockey League will do the same.
Now, the NBA is gearing up for an announcement of their own.
The NBA’s board of governors intends to approve a league proposal on a 22-team format to restart the season in Orlando, Florida, sources told ESPN.
The conference call and vote is set for 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, sources said.
Commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s advisory/finance committee have shared the broad details of a plan with teams to play at the Walt Disney World Resort, sources said. The plan includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs, sources said.
There are some serious precautions in place.
Life in the NBA bubble will be governed by a set of safety protocols. While players and coaches will be allowed to golf or eat at outdoor restaurants, they will also need to maintain social distancing, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The NBA is planning to have uniform, daily testing for the coronavirus within the Disney campus environment, sources told ESPN.
If a player tests positive for the virus, the league’s intent would be to remove that player from the team to quarantine and treat individually — and continue to test other team members as they play on, sources said.
And while there are certainly more important activities at hand for Americans these days, a reprieve could be just what some of us truly need.
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