After yesterday’s back-and-forth regarding the NBPA reportedly polling players on a possible return, Commissioner Adam Silver held a meeting with the NBA Board of Governors.
Now, for the first time since March 11th, we have a timetable for when the fate of the season will be decided. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Silver wants to make his decision within the next 2-4 weeks. We got the feeling this could be the case when Silver spoke with players last Friday. During that separate meeting, Silver reportedly said a decision didn’t have to come in May or “immediately” at the start of June. With the beginning of June singled-out, it certainly gave off the vibe that we should see a decision somewhere next month.
With executives and players alike continuing to express their desire to finish out the 2019-20 campaign, it certainly feels like signs are pointing toward a resumption of play as the ultimate conclusion. Not to mention, as Charania points out, the financial ramification of a canceled season would set the league even further back than it is already is. So if the league feels they can safely create a bubble environment in Las Vegas or Walt Disney World, then it sure sounds like they will.
With that said, all those signs pointing in a positive direction are pretty flimsy. It’d only take one off day over the next several weeks to shift things in the opposite direction. After all, the league still has a lot of questions to answer, the biggest of which is how many tests can they justify taking away from the public? Considering the need for daily testing, this is more than an anicllary concern. Moreover, can they operate with adequate enough protocols so that one positive test doesn’t shut everything down again? In other words, players *will* likely test positive, so the league must be prepared to identify and act swiftly, lest it snowball into another shutdown.
On top of all that, the NBA will have to decide in what format they want to return. To our knowledge, a regular-season resumption, play-in tournament, and immediate playoffs are all still on the table, though some abbreviated version is at least plausible.
ESPN’s report on Silver’s conference call shares all the hurdles still in the NBA’s way quite well, so I recommend giving that a read. The moral of the story is, while this feels positive, the only thing we know for certain is that there is still a lot unknown.