The NBA’s best hopes are reportedly to start playing again in mid-June after the CDC issued guidelines that would halt sports for eight weeks.
The Orlando Magic and the NBA are preparing now for a hiatus of a few months. And maybe even more.
The CDC’s latest guidelines recommended all live events with more than 50 people be suspended or postponed for the next eight weeks. That would mean no sporting events until mid-May (even if the league tried to go forward with no fans). There are continued recommendations to avoid any unnecessary travel.
And that all means the NBA will remain on hold.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports the league is optimistically hoping to be able to start play again in mid-June. That likely means some time to get teams back in practice before beginning games again.
And that is still only the most optimistic projection. This is still going to be a long haul before teams are able to get back onto the floor. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reports teams have given players permission to leave their team’s cities.
Other reporting says among the NBA’s guidelines for players is to limit contact with each other even at the training facility and for team trainers and medical personnel to stay in touch with players on a daily basis.
It is not clear what or how the league will conduct the rest of its 2020 season when they do return. Wojnarowski reports the league is exploring playing in smaller arenas if they proceed without fans in attendance for some games. They are also checking arena availability through August.
Right now the big concern is on stopping the spread of the coronavirus and keeping players and fans as healthy as they can.
This is uncharted territory for the league as it tries to do its part to flatten the curve and limit exposure and chances of exposure for the virus to spread. The next few weeks, medical experts say, will be critical to slowing the spread of the disease and turning the tide to even get back on the court.
That is why so many cities and states are starting to ban large gatherings of people and close even restaurants to anything but takeout and delivery orders.
Fighting this disease is serious business. Everyone has their part to do to keep everyone healthy. Just because you might not get sick or die if you do, does not mean you are not responsible for keeping others safe.
It is important to follow local officials’ direction and CDC guidelines to keep yourself and others healthy. If you are feeling sick, stay home and make sure you are feeling better. If everyone does this, the crisis will pass, the disease will start to die off and we can begin thinking of getting back to basketball.
Hitting pause on sports and basketball is the right move for this moment. Hopefully, soon the team will be able to get back to playing.
Unfortunately for fans eager to get the escape and see the team they love, it is still going to be a while.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.