NBA Commish: "Restart Plan Moving Forward, Nothing Risk Free"

Written by:
Ean Lamb
Published on:

With 16 of 302 NBA players testing positive for the coronavirus and Florida cases rising to nearly 9000 in a day, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reitterated his intention to move forward with a plan that will see the league complete its 2020 season in a closed campus environment in Orlando.

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"We know that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future," Silver said on a conference call Friday afternoon with several league officials. "And we are left with no choice but to learn to live with this virus.

"No options are risk-free right now."

National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, NBPA president Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala were on the conference call with Silver Friday. 

So what if the virus enters the bubble environment?

"My ultimate conclusion is that we can't outrun the virus, and that this is what we're gonna be living with for the foreseeable future -- which is why we designed the campus the way we did," Silver said. "And so it's a closed network; and while it's not impermeable, we are in essence protected from cases around us. At least, that's the model.

"So for those reasons, we're still very comfortable being in Orlando."

The league and the union officially agreed to proceed with the restart plan earlier Friday.

He did warn that the season could come to an end if the virus cannot be contained.

“If we were to have significant spread of coronavirus through our community, that ultimately might lead us to stopping,” Silver said. “But we’re working closely with the Players’ Association, with Disney, and with public health officials in Florida as to what that line should be. And it hasn’t been precisely designed. I think we want to get down on the ground and start to see how our testing’s working and how the protocols are working and then we’ll make decisions as we go.”

Florida is not the only state experiencing high spikes.  A number of states in the South and Southwest have seen significant surges in recent days.

“The level of concern has increased, not just because of the increased levels (of coronavirus cases) in Florida, but throughout the country,” he said. “No options are risk free right now...Yet we can’t sit on the sidelines indefinitely, and we must adapt. ... We believe it will be safer on our campus than off it. But this is not business as usual.”

- Ean Lamb,

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