Mark Cuban Doesn't Expect NBA to Cancel Season, Could See Games Played in August

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches players warm up before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Dallas Mavericks governor Mark Cuban said he does not expect the 2019-20 NBA season to be canceled but acknowledged games could stretch deep into summer amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

In an interview on ESPN's Get Up on Thursday, Cuban said he thinks it's possible the league's schedule will be trimmed. He speculated that the league could play the final seven to 10 regular-season games before going into the playoffs, which would stretch into July or August.

"Hopefully this virus runs its course over the next 60 days or so. Then that at that point we can start making decisions about, 'Does the NBA play games?' What our schedule looks like, how we progress from there...when you have something that's so unique, you have to really be agile and pay attention because we've never been here before."

The NBA suspended play "until further notice" Wednesday night after a Utah Jazz player contracted the coronavirus. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported center Rudy Gobert is the player who tested positive.

Cuban said the only reason the NBA has not stretched its season into the summer months previously is because the number of households using televisions was previously shown to drop "significantly." He noted the television landscape has changed "significantly," making July-August games more viable.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic Wednesday, with at least 124,500 cases confirmed worldwide. There have been more than 1,200 cases confirmed in the United States, including 38 deaths. 

"This is not a situation where you fake it 'til you make it or try to sound or act important," Cuban told reporters Wednesday night. "The NBA has hired people with expertise in those areas and they are working with people from the government and other people with expertise. We have to defer to them and that's exactly what we will do."