The coronavirus has caused the shutdown of sports leagues across the world, including the NBA, which was one of the first to act — at least stateside. A week removed from the decision to shut down following Rudy Gobert’s positive test for the virus, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sat down for a lengthy televised interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Wednesday night.
During the interview, he discussed a number of topics, including what went into the league’s decision to stop play, why NBA teams are being tested before regular civilians, how the league can play a unique role in society during these troubling times, and finally, whether or not they’ll be able to finish this season.
The obvious question now, is whether or not the NBA can finish this season. Following a call with the former surgeon general, NBA owners are hopeful of restarting the season before July, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
“Rachel, I honestly don’t know, just because I don’t have a good enough sense of how long a period this is gonna be. As I said, just the fact that we were using the word ‘hiatus’ just a week ago, and that sort of the implication was a short amount of time.
I think I said last Thursday not less than 30 days, just to give some guidance to our teams and our players, but at this point I really don’t know.
“I don’t, I’m optimistic by nature, and I want to believe we’re gonna be able to salvage at least some portion of the season. Again, I’d say we’ve 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 know I’ve heard from a lot of our players. It’s been less than a week, they’re going stir crazy, they want to play, they want to compete.
Players, as you know, unlike a lot of us in our positions can just go back to what we were doing, but every player is fighting something that’s un-winnable, and that’s the aging process. So a lost year, or lost portion of the season in their career is very different than other people.
We’re gonna try by every means we can to play basketball again, but the safety and health of our players and fans is first, so I don’t want to speculate more than that. That will be the condition of how much we can play — when public health officials give us the OK.”
Courtesy: CBS Sports