Will we see the likes of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo and other NBA stars on the court again this season? Definitely maybe.
As local and state governments begin to lift restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is looking to resume its 2019-20 season and has set “no earlier than May 8” as a target date for teams to start practicing again.
The league has been idle since March 11, when it became the first major U.S. sports league to shut down as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened.
The NBA is planning to modify its guidance regarding the use of team practice facilities and player training. But it has set some strict rules for any restart and noted that the May 8 ramp-up date might be pushed back “if developments warrant.”
Here are the restrictions that must be in place for the league to tip off again:
- No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time.
- No head or assistant coaches could participate.
- Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages.
- Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms.
Meanwhile, at least two other U.S. sports leagues are exploring a regional solution to their shutdown seasons.
Major League Baseball, whose planning 2020 Opening Day came and went last month — said a few weeks ago that it is mulling an option to gather all 30 teams to play their games at multiple spring training sites in Arizona and Florida. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week that among the scenarios his league is considering to finish the season is having up to four NHL arenas host three games each per day without fans. He called the draft proposal “a trial balloon.”
The NHL suspended it 2019-20 season on March 12, a day after the NBA shut down.
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