Windhorst: NBA 'Angling' to Cancel 2019-20 Season After China's CBA Shutdown

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 4, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

The NBA suspended its season mid-March after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. A timetable to return isn't clear as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, ESPN's Brian Windhorst shared the latest school of thought from the league's inner circle, noting there is increased pessimism the NBA can resume the 2019-20 campaign:

"The talks between the players union and the league this week, I've talked to both sides of this issue, and it is clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down.

"Now they don't have to do that yet, and the way they're negotiating they're leaving themselves an option either way, but they're not having talks about how to restart the league, they're having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there is a significant amount of pessimism right now."

On March 31, Windhorst referenced the Chinese Basketball Association's plan to return to play in April, an effort that was thwarted after the Chinese government imposed restrictions on team sports.

"China's attempt to restart sports are being watched closely by leagues across the world. Huge issue is asymptomatic carriers," he wrote.

On Friday, Jason Beaubien of NPR noted China is in the suppression stage and has "gotten transmission down to nearly zero but some undetected cases are still probably floating around."

The United States had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Jan. 21, per CNN.

According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has 213,600 confirmed cases of the virus and 4,793 deaths as a result. April 2 brought the most new cases yet with 26,300.