National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver said the league will not make any decisions about resumption of play until at least early May as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
Participating in a Twitter interview with Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson, Silver said the league is less knowledgeable about its options than when the public health crisis began last month.
“Essentially what I’ve told my folks over the last week is we should just accept that for at least the month of April we won’t be in a position to make any decision,” Silver said. “I don’t think that necessarily means on May 1st we will be…But I think it honestly is just too early given what’s happening right now to be even able to predict or project where we’ll be in a few weeks.”
Though Silver did not endorse any particular plan, he did acknowledge the league is looking “at many different scenarios for restarting the 2019-20 season.” One such option reportedly is staging the entire postseason in Las Vegas as part of a single-site solution that theoretically would allow for tighter controls and quarantines.
But the commissioner said the severity of the pandemic has made any sort of conventional thought about the schedule impossible to contemplate, though he remains in “listening mode” with a wide variety of ideas and potential jurisdictions for games.
“In a perfect world, yes, we would try to finish the regular season in some form and them move to the playoffs,” Silver said. “I think initially for the first two weeks [of the pandemic] we were looking at more specific scenarios in terms of if we start this date, what that would mean for the regular season, when would the playoffs begin, when they would conclude. What I’ve learned over the last few weeks is that we have just too little information to make those sort of projections.”
Silver said the April 4 conference call between US President Donald Trump and most of the major US sports league commissioners “wasn’t just a pep talk.”
“I think it was a reminder of what the meaning is of sports to Americans, to our culture in particular,” Silver said of the 45-minute session.
Trump and the commissioners agreed that the resumption of the sports leagues will be a key element in the overall revival of society at large from the pandemic, and particularly the US economy.
“Sports, collectively, in essence led the way of shutting down,” Silver said. “It’s something I said when we were all on the call with the President this weekend, and I know all the leagues share this view, that we would love to be part of the movement to restart the economy,” Silver said. “Of course, that can’t come in any way that would compromise safety.”