Woj: NBA Memo Says Players Can't Travel Outside North America Due to COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 15: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during a press conference at the United Center on February 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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The NBA has reportedly placed travel restrictions on its players amid the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the suspension of the 2019-20 season. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA told teams in a memo that players are not permitted to travel outside North America. The NBA also expressed its preference for players to remain in the cities in which their teams play, but they are not banned from traveling outside their markets within North America.

Wojnarowski added that the NBA will also close down team facilities to all players and personnel for each of the league's 30 teams starting Friday.

Per CNN, there are over 193,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in more than 7,800 deaths. Over 4,300 cases and 79 deaths have been confirmed in the United States, while there have been 447 cases and one death in Canada.

No major North American sports league has been hit harder by coronavirus thus far than the NBA. The decision to suspend the season March 11 came after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

Since then, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood and four Brooklyn Nets players, including Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the virus.

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While it isn't yet known when the NBA season may be able to resume or how the schedule will be handled if and when it does, Wojnarowski reported this week that NBA owners and executives are bracing for a resumption in mid-to-late June as the "best-case scenario."

Mid-June is typically when the NBA Finals conclude, so such a long layoff would require the NBA to make significant changes to its in-season and offseason scheduling.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver appeared on SportsCenter to discuss the situation Wednesday. While he didn't offer a concrete solution, he noted that the NBA was looking into several options, including resuming play when safe without fans in attendance.

If the 2019-20 season does not resume and the NBA Finals aren't held, it will mark the first time in NBA history that a champion has not been crowned.

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