Miami-Dade Mayor Says Heat Could Return to Informal Workouts as Soon as May 8

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 1, 2020

Miami Heat's Tyler Herro runs during the team's NBA basketball practice at Keiser University, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The Miami Heat have crossed a major hurdle when it comes to re-opening their practice facilities for some team activities.  

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told Fox Sports 640's Andy Slater (h/t Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel) the team has clearance to return to AmericanAirlines Arena. 

"if [the Heat are] willing to work out their players individually, they can do that," Gimenez said, "because we opened up our parks on Wednesday. You can have up to three people in a halfcourt, each with their own ball. Well, there you go. So the Miami Heat can probably get all their players in their facility."

The NBA previously announced guidelines allowing teams to practice in groups of four players at a time beginning May 8. Miami's "Stay Home" order has still not been lifted, though that would no longer be necessary for some team activities. 

The news comes as Miami was previously considered among the dozen or so NBA teams who would not be able to use their facilities by May 8. 

In a 19-page memo sent to all teams, and obtained by Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, the league told general managers of clubs who are still unable to work out their players in their home cities that they would be contacted individually to work through alternative arrangements. 

The Heat may be able to avoid that troubleshooting process for now. Yet even with Gimenez signing off on Miami's return to the court, there are still strict social distancing guidelines he hopes the team will adhere to.

"They can get it done," Gimenez said. "We can allow that, as long as you maintain the same rules as one ball, nobody touches somebody else's ball. Yeah, you can get that done."

Amick and Vardon also reported some unnamed players have already been breaking those guidelines by working out privately in gyms that have been ordered closed. 

Meanwhile, the league has set no timeline to resume play as NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said that he'll look at "data over dates" when it comes to finishing the 2019-20 season. While talks about holding the rest of the season under quarantine at the Disney World Resort in Florida continue to gain traction, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, nothing has been decided yet. 

As such, the rush to return to practice can withstand a slow ramp up period.