NBA Shutting Down for 30 Days?
While league owners have been reportedly encouraging the commissioner to reconsider, Adam Silver says that the NBA will take a 30-day hiatus and use the time to further discuss whether the league can resume play.
"Of course the issue becomes now, what we determined today, is that this hiatus will be most likely at least 30 days," Silver said. "And we don't know enough to be more specific than that. But we wanted to give direction to our players and teams and fans that this is going to be roughly at least a month.
"But then the question becomes is there a protocol frankly with or without fans in which we can resume play," Silver continued. "I think the goal [is] ... what makes sense here without compromising anyone's safety. It's frankly too early to tell."
Silver made those comments during an interview on TNT, although ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that sources informed him that league owners have been encouraging Silver to reevaluate the league’s suspension of play in 30 days. How much will change before those 30 days is unknown, as is whether or not a month will be long enough to evaluate whether or not the NBA should re-open its doors and resume play.
Things changed dramatically for the league in the span of just a few hours on Wednesday night. That’s when the NBA suspended games after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Three games played on Wednesday, but once Gobert was diagnosed, the Jazz game was canceled, as was the Pelicans-Kings matchup that was supposed to tip-off at 10:30 p.m. ET.
By Thursday morning, one of Gobert’s teammates, Donovan Mitchell, had also been diagnosed with the virus. Both Jazz players confirmed the positive tests on their Instagram accounts and Gobert also apologized for pulling a prank on Monday by touching every microphone and recorder that was in front of him for a press conference, not knowing at the time he was inefected.
"I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis ... mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment," wrote Gobert.
"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse."
Before Gobert was diagnosed, the NBA was discussing playing games in empty arenas, a measure to keep a mass of people from spreading the virus at one time. But once Gobert was diagnosed as positive, the league suspended all play indefinitely.