NBA fans will have to practice patience if they want to see the 2019-20 season resume.
The league’s season came to an abrupt halt two weeks ago after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Initial reports suggested a mid-to-late-June restart (without fans) would be the best-case scenario after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention restricted gatherings of 50-plus people for eight weeks starting March 15, leaving the league on hiatus until at least May 10.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, for one, hopes the league possibly could restart as early as mid-May. But a new report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested things may be delayed a bit longer than that.
“The loosest of drop-dead dates on completing the NBA Finals is Labor Day weekend in early September, sources say, which teams say necessitates games starting back up by July 1 — and practice facilities reopening weeks before that,” Woj wrote.
“No one in the NBA wants to be tied to Labor Day weekend, because no one — not the commissioner, not the teams, not the NBPA — wants to limit the possibility of the NBA salvaging something of a season. If the NBA season could start later in July and finish later in September, well, no one is ruling out that idea either.”
There were just four weeks left in the NBA’s season when the season was indefinitely suspended March 11. It’s unclear how the league would approach the remainder of the regular season and the upcoming playoffs, should the season resume at all.
On the bright side, however, the league certainly seems eager to finish things up once the coronavirus outbreak subsides.