Adam Silver Says NBA Has 'No Plans Right Now' to Pause Season amid COVID-19 Outbreaks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2021

Basketball: NBA commissioner Adam Silver before Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets game at Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee, WI 10/19/2021 CREDIT: David E. Klutho (Photo by David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X163836 TK1)
Set Number: X163836 TK1

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN's Malika Andrews on Tuesday that the league has no plans at the moment to pause the season amid a number of COVID-19 outbreaks on various teams and the omicron variant. 

"No plans right now to pause the season," he said. "We've of course looked at all the options, but frankly we're having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now."

Silver said the majority of the cases the NBA has seen have been the Omicron variant. 

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Adam Silver tells <a href="https://twitter.com/malika_andrews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@malika_andrews</a> that the Omicron variant constitutes 90 percent of the league's cases now. "Beyond dominant," he said.

Silver added that 65 percent of the league's players have received a COVID-19 booster shot and that 97 percent of the players are vaccinated, and that the league hasn't considered mandatory vaccination.

He also said the league was reviewing its health and safety protocols. 

"We are actively looking at shortening the number of days that a vaccinated, but asymptomatic player, has to be out," he said. "... Everything we are doing is in coordination with the players association."

And Silver said there aren't plans to reduce fan capacity in arenas, and that the league would continue to follow local mandates.

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Commissioner Adam Silver joined NBA Today to talk about COVID in the league as Christmas Day approaches. <br><br>Silver said there are currently no plans to pause the season. <a href="https://t.co/LFIPCCejnQ">pic.twitter.com/LFIPCCejnQ</a>

The NBA has seen a number of outbreaks in December, with new cases popping up at a high rate:

Baxter Holmes @Baxter

The NBA has now hit the triple-digit mark for new players entering their health and safety protocols in December. <br><br>By my count, 117 total NBA players have entered the league’s health and safety protocols this season, with 101 new players coming this month. <a href="https://t.co/zi0irSRx0m">https://t.co/zi0irSRx0m</a>

The league and NBPA did agree to new protocols through Jan. 19, however, which will allow teams to sign a replacement player for each member on the roster put in the health and safety protocols and will require that at least one replacement player is signed per two players in the protocols, two players signed per three players in the protocols and three players signed per four players in the protocols, etc.

Two-way players also won't have a cap on the number of NBA appearances they can make this season.