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NBA says virus hiatus will likely last at least a month

3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, March 12 2020 Mar 12, 2020 March 12, 2020 8:46 PM March 12, 2020 in News
Source: Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday night that the league’s hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic will likely last at least a month, or roughly what would have been the remainder of an uninterrupted regular season.

“What we determined today is that this hiatus will be, most likely, at least 30 days,” Silver said on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” while making his first public comments since the league suspended play Wednesday night after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. A second Jazz player, Donovan Mitchell, said Thursday that he has also tested positive.

Silver did not say if the league intends for the regular season to resume or if the NBA, should it return to action, would immediately go into postseason play. It’s also unclear if play will be able to resume with fans in the stands, something the league’s owners were willing to go without prior to Gobert’s diagnosis and the escalation of the situation. The 30-day minimum hiatus would mean no games until at least April 10.

Silver said the league and the players association will have to continue determining “what makes sense here without compromising anyone’s safety and I think it’s frankly too early to tell,” Silver said.

The regular season was to go until April 15, with the playoffs scheduled to start on April 18 and the NBA Finals to begin June 4. The NBA’s 30-day plan was decided on the same day that Major League Soccer announced a 30-day shutdown in response to the virus, that Major League Baseball said opening day would be delayed at least two weeks and the NHL began what it called a “pause” in its season.

“This literally changes hour-by-hour in terms of what we know,” Silver said.

Silver was also asked if the season may be over. “Of course it’s possible,” Silver said. “I just don’t know more at this point.”

Meanwhile, NBA great and longtime commentator Charles Barkley was not on the “Inside The NBA” broadcast Tuesday night and revealed that he is self-quarantining for 48 hours because he has not felt well since a recent trip to New York.

Barkley said he has been tested for COVID-19 and has not yet received the results. “This thing is so scary,” Barkley said.

For now, NBA players have been told to remain in their home market through at least Monday — some teams such as the Toronto Raptors that are self-quarantining would, in theory, need to remain place for longer — and speak to a team physician or team athletic trainer once daily. Group workouts and practices are not being permitted yet.

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