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Woj: NBA Discussed Comfort with a Few Positive Tests Not Derailing Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 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

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reportedly discussed a number of topics regarding the league's potential return during a call with the Board of Governors on Tuesday.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news, noting attendees left "feeling positive about momentum toward an NBA return to play this season." However, part of the conversation was about how the league and its players will need to accept the reality that some positive tests for COVID-19 would not shut down the league if it does finish the 2019-20 season and playoffs.

Silver said if one test would "shut us down, we probably shouldn't go down this path," described a centralized location for playing games as a "campus environment" and is looking at how other sports leagues both inside and outside the United States are working toward returning to play amid the coronavirus pandemic, per Wojnarowski.

The report also noted the league will study factors such as developments in testing and the trajectory of new cases for the next two-to-four weeks before making a final decision on returning.

This comes after Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported both the league and its players association planned on conducting a call Tuesday that included Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Jayson Tatum and Kyle Lowry, among other players, to discuss potentially finishing the season.

Charania noted the players association "sent a memo to agents stating sense is players and NBA both want to finish the 2019-20 season."

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Paul, who is the president of the players association, organized a private conference call Monday with some of the league's most notable players, such as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard.

Those stars agreed they want to play again if there are safety measures in place, although Haynes cited sources who said "the majority of players" on those teams not in playoff contention prefer a restart that jumps straight into the playoffs.

While teams were permitted to reopen facilities last week, a number of organizations have not done so because of local restrictions in place. 

Wojnarowski reported Monday that the NBA is looking at a "really dire" financial outlook with play suspended, especially since fans may not be in attendance at games into the 2020-21 season. If that becomes the case, the league and players association may have to "reconfigure the elements of the CBA."

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