Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
One of the questions hanging over pro sports leagues grappling with the decision to play games amid the coronavirus is: how much of a risk are we willing to take to get back on the field of play?
This is something the NBA -- players and executives -- are thinking about as they sift through scenarios to resume the 2019-20 season.
Adam Silver said on a conference call with players last week that there is no need for a final decision on the season this month, sources confirmed to SNY. The decision-making window was first reported by ESPN.
So you shouldn't expect a decision on the season any time in the next few days.
Regardless of how things play out, the NBA and NBPA will have to decide together on many aspects of a path forward. So the players' opinion on all of this is significant.
The NBPA conducted an informal poll of players to see if they wanted the season to restart.
A majority of players said that they were in favor of resuming the season, per SNY sources. The specific breakdown is unclear (the Associated Press reported roughly 70 percent of players were in favor of a return). Several players have said privately that they are not enthused about resuming play because of the health risk involved.
Though those players, again, are said to be in the minority.
One veteran player said recently that he inherently trusts NBA commissioner Adam Silver to provide as safe an environment as possible if they resume play.
"I'm confident in Adam," the player said.
Just like all other industries, the NBA is facing major financial issues amid the shutdown.
Silver said on a conference call with players last week that fans in arenas account for 40 percent of league revenue, SNY sources confirm. The figure was first reported by The Athletic.
SNY previously reported that the NBPA told agents to prepare for a significant decrease in revenue in 2020-21.
If league revenue dips significantly, it can impact future salary cap levels and player salaries. But there are ways for the league and NBPA to negotiate a path forward to avoid a significant immediate cap decrease.
If the league can push the 2020-21 season back, it gives them the opportunity to have more games next season with fans in the stands. Silver, SNY sources confirm, talked about a December start date to the 2020-21 season during his call with the players. That was first reported by The Athletic.
As far as this season goes, Silver, sources confirm, said last week that he hopes to have seven-game playoff series.
Playing the rest of the regular season seems less likely.
The Nets are currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, so they'd be in the playoffs. The Knicks are out of playoff position. One scenario that had been under discussion was a play-in tournament that would include the Knicks
The season was suspended on March 11 after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. Since then, several players, including Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the virus. Durant recently said on Lil Wayne's Young Money Radio that he wouldn't have known that he'd had the virus if he hadn't been tested.
"That's the crazy part," Durant said. "I think a lot of people are probably walking around like that."