The NBA took the drastic step of pausing its 2019-20 season on Wednesday night. The league seemed all set to play games for the foreseeable future without fans and non-essential staff members, but after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA decided to end the season altogether for the for the time being.
This set off a major chain reaction across the world of sports, and now, leagues in the United States have decided to end things for now, something that has impacted everything from professional sports to essentially all of collegiate athletics. None of these decisions are easy, but ultimately, they’re about keeping people safe, which is far more important than any game.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver appeared on TNT’s Inside the NBA on Thursday night to discuss what all went into the decision to cancel. While chatting with the crew, Silver discussed the league’s current timetable for resuming games, admitting that the whole situation is fluid.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discusses the timetable for the league’s suspension. pic.twitter.com/tterVvR29r
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 13, 2020
“What we determined today is that this hiatus will be, most likely, at least 30 days,” Silver said. “And we don’t know enough, as you’ve all said, to be more specific than that, but we wanted to give direction to our players and teams and to our fans that this is gonna be roughly, at least, a month.”
Silver then admitted that there is a struggle in knowing the protocol for determining when they can play, whether it is with or without fans. That led to the obviously follow-up by Ernie Johnson on whether we’ve potentially seen the last games played this year, which Silver conceded is on the table.
Adam Silver admits there's a possibility the season will not continue "We just don't know" pic.twitter.com/ldCQbhfxia
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 13, 2020
“Of course it’s possible,” Silver said. “I just don’t know more at this point.”
Silver did point to the potential seasonality of the virus as a factor before going on to mention that there have been conversations abut how everyone will use their time for the foreseeable future, citing that some players live in one place with their families situated elsewhere. He did, however, make it clear that the league is willing to go deep into the summer if need be.
More Silver: "Even if we're out for a month, even if we're out for six weeks, we can still restart the season. It might mean that the Finals take place in July or late July…It was way premature to suggest that we lost the season."
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) March 13, 2020
Like Silver mentioned, there are just so many balls in the air and so much uncertainty about what the future will hold that it’s impossible to know when we’re going to see basketball again. It’s a major inconvenience, but it’s a necessary step for now.