Report: Adam Silver Detailed NBA Return Timeline, Possible Locations to Players

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 8, 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Saitama, near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The wait for a decision on when the NBA season can resume could extend into June, Commissioner Adam Silver reportedly told NBA players on a conference call Friday. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Silver said the league will work to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed and players can expect games to take place with no fans in attendance when the league does resume play: 

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

If/when it is able for NBA to return, Adam Silver told players it’s safer in 1-to-2 locations — such as Disney World Orlando/Las Vegas — than flying around to cities and facilities, sources said. https://t.co/n33I0YKu19

Additionally, Silver acknowledged it's safer for NBA players and employees to hold games in one or two central locations rather than flying from city to city.

Silver also said he hopes playoff series would still be seven games in each round, adding that it would be easier if the league played at one site to reduce travel, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Asked on NBPA call about how long a training camp could be should this season resume, Silver suggested "three weeks" as the minimum length that's been discussed within the league, sources said.

According to Charania, Silver also said any player who tests positive for COVID-19 would ideally be isolated in quarantine, but the league would like to see daily testing at that point without stopping play.

Among the most noteworthy items on the call, Silver told players to prepare for the possibility of having no fans in attendance until a vaccine is available, per Wojnarowski, who also reported Silver said the league is looking at new broadcast options to help offset the 40 percent of overall revenue the NBA would lose without gate receipts. 

Wojnarowski further reported Silver was upfront in noting the current collective bargaining agreement was not built to withstand an extended pandemic and the financial impact will become a huge challenge for the NBA.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Among players on the call, there seemed to be an appreciation that Silver was trying to answer questions as candidly as he could -- especially given the uncertanties facing league and country with virus. https://t.co/a47PTrWvET

According to Charania, Silver clarified how the league will handle any player who tests positive for COVID-19 after the season resumes, which has remained one of the most crucial obstacles.

Silver is hoping by the time games resume that the league will be able to test daily and quarantine any players who are confirmed positive for the virus—games would continue to be played under this plan. 

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Yahoo Sources: Adam Silver acknowledged there would be a “series of bad options” to decide on pertaining to teams on bubble of making playoffs. He couldn’t guarantee those teams would have a chance to earn a playoff berth if hiatus extends too far out.

Per Wojnarowski, all 30 owners have expressed their desire to Silver to resume play this season, with Las Vegas and Orlando serving as the most popular options to host Eastern and Western Conference play.

In the meantime, players are set to regain limited access to team facilities for voluntary workouts, with multiple teams opening practice facilities Friday and more set to open in the coming days and weeks after the NBA provided guidelines for reopening beginning May 8.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Chris Paul, who serves as president of the players union, expressed concern over teams pressuring athletes to return to practice before they feel comfortable.

Silver's response was to remind players the workouts are optional and to reach out to the league should anyone feel coerced into using team facilities.