It’s been four and a half months since basketball fans have watched an NBA game that matters and the excitement level for the restart of the 2019-2020 season is at an all-time high with the first two games just one day away. Silver remains confident ahead of the restart but has also admitted to being a little anxious, especially being in Florida, the state with the second-most confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The first two games of the NBA restart are set for Thursday night
It didn’t take long for Adam Silver to shut down the NBA when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz became the first player to test positive for COVID-19. Within minutes of being notified of the test results, Silver suspended the season indefinitely. That was on March 11.
But the NBA is finally back.
The first two games on the new schedule are set for Thursday night, beginning with Rudy Gobert and those same Utah Jazz taking on Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. That game will be immediately followed by another big Western Conference showdown between LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers battling Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers.
Both games will air on TNT.
Adam Silver is confident and anxious at the same time
It’s been impossible to escape what’s been happening with the Miami Marlins this week and Adam Silver has obviously been keeping a very close eye on what’s happening in Major League Baseball. The difference, of course, is that NBA teams aren’t traveling as MLB teams have been. They’ve been isolated in the bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando for weeks now, which certainly makes things much safer.
Adam Silver appeared on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday and told Robin Roberts that while he remains confident in what the league has done as far as the bubble is concerned, there’s still some anxiety as the NBA resumes the season (h/t Sporting News).
“The word ‘anxious’ would describe how I feel. We’ve been working at this for a long time, but there is a high case rate in Florida, down in Orange County where Orlando is. We’re seeing what’s happening in baseball with the Marlins, so it’s something we’re continuing to track very closely. Having said that, we have confidence in this protocol that we designed.
“It’s not actually a sealed ‘bubble’, but everyone that’s on that campus is tested on a daily basis. They’re taking extraordinary precautions. The only time they’re not wearing masks is when they’re actually playing basketball. It’s to the extent that when somebody tests positive, we’ll obviously track them closely. We quarantine people when they first come down. So, we think we have a plan in place that should work.”Adam Silver
Silver explained just what the plan is for isolated cases of COVID-19 as well as what would happen if a Marlins-type outbreak occurred.
Adam Silver would shut down the NBA in the event of a massive COVID-19 outbreak in the bubble
In the interview with Robin Roberts, Adam Silver explained that he and the rest of the NBA’s top officials had been working closely with the NBA Players’ Association and that everything concerning the restart of the season has been “health and safety first.”
He then went on to say that there are certain plans in place for isolated incidents of COVID-19 but that if an outbreak similar to what the Marlins experienced this week happens, he’s ready to shut the league down.
“We have plans in place where we might pause — similar to what baseball’s doing now. Probably if we had any significant spread at all, we’d immediately stop and what we’d try to do is to track and determine where they’re coming from and whether there had been a spread on campus. I would say, ultimately, we would cease completely if we saw that this was spreading around the campus and something more than an isolated case was happening.
“We jokingly have said, but maybe it’s not so funny, that the safest place in the world may be on this campus at Disney. If that were to turn out to not be the case, we certainly would stop.”Adam Silver
Only time will tell what happens with the rest of this crazy season. Major League Baseball couldn’t even get through a full week of play before encountering a crisis. Let’s hope the NBA doesn’t encounter those same issues.