Mark Cuban: 'I Have No Idea' When NBA Will Return; Hasn't Heard Date Discussed

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2020

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - DECEMBER 12: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks looks on during a game between Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on December 12, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Hector Vivas/Getty Images

After previously expressing optimism about the NBA's possible return by June 1, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban acknowledged the general uncertainty around when play could resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I have no idea," Cuban said Wednesday on ESPN's Get Up. "The only thing I know is that we're gonna put safety first and we're not gonna take any chances. ... I haven't had any conversations where anybody's even discussed an actual date at this point."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported March 15 that "NBA owners and executives are bracing for the possibility of mid-to-late June as a best-case scenario" to resume the 2019-20 season.

According to Jabari Young of CNBC, some within the league have discussed alternatives to picking up where the season left off March 11. In one scenario, Las Vegas would host a play-in tournament and an abbreviated playoffs to lead up to a best-of-five NBA Finals series.

One hope among fans was that the NBA could follow the steps taken by the Chinese Basketball Association since the pandemic hit China first.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the CBA was looking into possibility holding its games in one or two locations while closely monitoring the health of its players. Windhorst followed up Tuesday to report the Chinese government indefinitely postponed the CBA's return, with officials worried about asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 increasing the spread of the disease.

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Wojnarowski reported the NBA and NBA Players Association have opened discussions on potentially withholding a portion of players' salaries in the event games are canceled.

Under the force majeure provision of the collective bargaining agreement, players forfeit 1.08 percent of their paychecks for every canceled game. Wojnarowski added the NBA "has no plans to announce the cancellation of games in the immediate future."

Cuban's comments still speak to the general uncertainty about when—or if—the league can continue its current season.