As states across the country start making the initial steps toward reopening their economies and loosening their social distancing protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA and other pro sports leagues still face an uphill battle in their bid to try and resume their current seasons and plan for the future.
The NBA has continued to explore the logistical nightmare of playing its remaining regular-season games and/or postseason under quarantine, estimating on Friday that it would include up to 1,500 people who would have to be sequestered in a single locale to just for the games to happen with a bare minimum of personnel.
The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has been floated as a potential solution, as the Wide World of Sports has the facilities to make it happen and the theme park features enough hotel space to house everyone involved. Still, there’s no clear path on how or when this might happen as spring slowly turns to summer.
Amid all the uncertainty, the league’s board of governors are reportedly preparing to delay the start of next season until potentially December, regardless of whether the current season continues. And that also doesn’t factor into whether fans will be able to return. Via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
If this season is resumed and completed sometime in September — or even October — the delay of the 2020-2021 season is inevitable.
Talks have been centered on a season that would start prior to Christmas and extend into late July/early August. The NBA draft and free agency would follow the end of the season.
On Friday, the league announced that it was postponing the NBA Draft Lottery and Draft Combine, both of which were scheduled for May. There’s been no official word on the Draft itself, which is usually in late June, following what would’ve been the NBA Finals.