Adam Silver 'Pretty Confident' in NBA's Restart Plan Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2020

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 15:  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces NBA All-Star Game MVP Trophy will honor Kobe Bryant during NBA All-Star Saturday Night Presented by State Farm as part of 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2020 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver remains optimistic about the plan the league has in place to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.

Early this month, the NBA laid out its strategy to limit players' exposure to COVID-19. Silver addressed the situation as part of the Time 100 Talks (via ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk):

"I'm pretty confident, largely because we are playing on a campus that is confined in that the only way to gain access to that campus is to be part of our protocol where there is regular testing. And if someone were to leave our campus, they would need to test and quarantine in order to return to play. So at least in terms of the model, we are protected from the rate of cases in the broader community."

Many players have expressed reservations about resuming the season in Florida, which has had a surge in positive COVID-19 cases. The state has 152,434 confirmed cases.

Silver said he believes the NBA's plan will provide an added layer of protection:

"I am absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus because there aren't many situations that I am aware of where there is mass testing of asymptomatic employees. In some ways, this is maybe a model for how other industries can ultimately open. But I am only going to say we will be responsible and watch what is happening, but the biggest indicator will be if we begin to see a spread in our community."

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With the NBA gearing up for its restart, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported June 23 that "teams are bracing for significant numbers of positive tests. One Western Conference playoff team had four positives in past few weeks."

Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan announced Monday he had tested positive and wouldn't join his teammates for the restart. Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie told The Athletic's Shams Charania he had the coronavirus as well and wasn't sure whether he could play.

Wojnarowski reported Tuesday the Denver Nuggets shuttered their practice facility Saturday "after a round of positive tests for the coronavirus." The father of Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, Branislav Jokic, said the veteran center was "not showing symptoms" after testing positive in Serbia.

The NBA will return July 30 with a pair of games. Teams will arrive at ESPN Wide World of Sports for training camps starting July 7.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: Travel dates for 22 NBA teams to Orlando: - July 7: Nets, Nuggets, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Wizards - July 8: Celtics, Mavericks, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, Thunder, Kings - July 9: Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Bucks, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Raptors

ESPN's Tim Bontemps shared details of the league's coronavirus protocols. Beginning June 23, players have been tested every other day.

Anyone with two positive tests in Florida will be placed in isolation. They'll be allowed to return to their team after testing negative twice in more than 24 hours.

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