Adam Silver says the NBA would be prepared for the 2019-20 season to “ quit completely ” if there was a coronavirus outbreak on the Florida competition campus.
The campaign will restart on Thursday during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 22 teams at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando playing eight seeding games and then the playoffs.
But with MLB’s return quickly hampered by some positive tests in the Miami Marlins team, which led to procrastination, NBA Commissioner Silver is wary of potential complications in his own sport.
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The league has plans for individual confirmed cases, but would act quickly if the virus passed through a closed campus, as happened at the Marlins’ clubhouse.
“It’s not an exact science because no one has ever done it before,” Silver told Good Morning America on ABC. “We have plans where to pause – similar to what baseball is doing now. If we already had a significant spread we would probably stop immediately and what we would try to do was find out where they came from and whether there was dissemination on campus. In the end, I would say we would stop completely if we saw that it spread all over campus and that more happened than an isolated case. “
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Silver explained this approach and said he listened to the players.
“It is health and safety first. That has always been our guideline to go into this, “said Silver. “We’ve worked closely with the Players Association and all teams on this, and we know – it’s one thing we’ve always noticed – that it’s about relative safety right now. If you look at the high case ratios, not just in Florida but across the country – we also had a significant number of players who tested positive between the time we quit the season and when we restarted – we jokingly said, but maybe it’s not so funny that the safest place in the world might be be on this campus in Disney. If that doesn’t turn out to be the case, we will definitely stop. “
However, Silver is confident in the run-up to the restart, with the NBA taking a different approach to MLB, where players continue to travel across the country to play in home stadiums.
The word “anxious” would describe how I feel. We’ve been working on this for a long time, but there are a high number of cases in Florida, in Orange County, where Orlando is, ”said Silver. “We are seeing what is happening in baseball with the Marlins, so it is something that we will continue to monitor closely. That said, we are confident in this protocol that we have designed. It is not actually a closed ‘bubble’, but anyone who is that campus is tested every day They take extraordinary precautions The only time they don’t wear masks is when they play basketball It’s so far that when someone tests positive we naturally follow them closely We quarantine people when they come for the first time. So we think we’ve put together a plan that should work. “