Being a contact sport forces basketball to think hard about what the rules will be from now on
The NBA is preparing strategies to resume competition during the pandemic. / Photo: Unsplash
LatinamericanPost| Onofre Zambrano
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Leer en español: ¿Una sola ciudad? Lo que prepara la NBA postcuarentena
The NBA could resume shortly (June), and, in fact, three teams already returned to training on May 9, but before it will be necessary to pass a good amount of coronavirus tests and it is very likely, that the postseason will be played only in one or two cities and with little or no public.
It is the reality of the world, and also of elite sport. According to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski's report on his Twitter account (@wojespn), NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told players he still expected the playoffs to include 7-game series in each round.
Of course, it would only be in one or two cities to celebrate quickly and avoid as many flights as possible. Orlando and Las Vegas lead the options of being the postseason venues in a hypothetical return of the 2020 campaign of the best basketball in the world. In short, goodbye to private flights.
Según @wojespn, Adam Silver habría comunicado a la NBPA (Asociación de jugadores NBA) varias medidas en cuanto a la reanudación de la temporada. Os las resumo en este pequeño hilo pic.twitter.com/yzGeyTqlEe
— More Than A Game (@Pasion_Basket1) May 9, 2020
Finances are down
Silver's ideas for the post-season are a hunch based on his belief that the owners of the 30 teams want to end the season, although for some it is best not to resume the action from a financial point of view. This item primarily refers to fans, who account for 40% of league earnings
Because fans in the arenas make up 40 percent of the League's revenue, the NBA is working closely with television to streamline game broadcasts, keeping in mind that there will very likely be fewer audiences, or perhaps, none. Another idea is that fans who want to attend the show should get vaccinated first.
Sources: Silver told players that he still hoped that the playoffs would include a 7-game series in every round. He told players that those series could move faster without the need for travel, staying in a single site. Orlando and Vegas still tops.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
First step: return to training
Georgia (Atlanta Hawks) and Oklahoma (Thunder) were among the first states with NBA teams to ease quarantine regulations, while reigning champions Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Denver Nuggets were the pioneers in resuming training.
The NBA completed more than two months without activities after pausing its schedule on March 12 when the French forward of the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for coronavirus
The league released a statement saying the following, according to Latimes.com: "The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train, and to create a process to identify safe training options for players located elsewhere".
What are those considerations? One of the most important is that within the facilities there cannot be more than four players in unison at the same time, and even without coaches.
Players must cover themselves with masks when they are not developing their training activities, and likewise, they will not be able to attend public gyms, nor participate in social groups, while the technicians must wear gloves and keep a considerable distance, about 12 feet.
Shaquille O'Neal, terminante: "Hay que cancelar la temporada de la NBA" https://t.co/vYEnBKOmLE
— Clarín (@clarincom) May 11, 2020
A “bubble” tournament
Many already call it a “Bubble” season because team members, including their families, will have to be isolated in a particular location. Contact should only be between members of the teams involved to avoid massive contagions.
However, to limit access to an isolated environment, the NBA must be careful about the possibility of playing in Las Vegas, a city that always has people moving even in the most adverse situations.
According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, Adam Silver, and the rest of the NBA executives have reportedly advanced a preliminary plan that would begin a two-week quarantine for players, coaches, physical trainers, doctors, and family members, before traveling to headquarters or venues in which the continuation of the season will take place. All those involved will undergo the relevant tests, and they will be repeated after 14 days of quarantine.