NBA Players Overwhelmingly Want to Resume Season, Hockey Enters Phase II

Written by:
Don Shapiro
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ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported last week that NBA teams were expecting the league to issue guidelines for a resumption of play by June 1. The NBA's Board of Governors has a meeting this Friday which is expected to provide further clarity on plans to return.

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NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said the "overwhelming" sentiment has been that "they really want to play" and resume the 2019-20 season, most likely in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.

"It's time. It's time," Roberts told ESPN. "It's been two and a half months of, 'What if?' My players need some level of certainty. I think everybody does."

Roberts said she plans to speak with players on all 30 teams over the next week and gauge their reaction to the NBA's plans for re-opening.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said he hopes the 2019-20 season can restart from the coronavirus pandemic on June 11, with the date to be officially confirmed in the next few days.

"It will be the weekend of June 12 for sure, or even Thursday, June 11," Tebas told Movistar. "It isn't decided yet, we have to hold the relevant meetings with the federation and the National Sports Council to discuss some outstanding issues. We have to see what happens with the phases so that full training with all players can take place as soon as possible. We have to be cautious. We'll look at that first, and we're working with broadcasters, too."

The NHL and NHL Players Association announced on Monday that the league is targeting moving onto Phase 2 of its return to play plan in early June. The league also revealed the safety protocols for when Phase 2 begins.

Those safety protocols include:

A maximum of six players are allowed to participate in on-ice workouts at a time

No coaches or team personnel are allowed on the ice

Players must wear face masks when entering and leaving the team facility

Social distancing will be enforced when players aren't on the ice

Player participation in Phase 2 is voluntary and teams aren't allowed to require players to return to their team's home city

"It has not yet been determined when precisely Phase 2 will start or how long it may last," the NHL said in the memo. "We are continuing to monitor developments in each of the Club's markets, and may adjust the overall timing if appropriate, following discussion with all relevant parties."

Even when the dates are agreed upon, the issue of players potentially being separated from their families for several weeks at a time is another hurdle that the NHL and NHLPA will have to clear.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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