98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
With COVID-19 outbreak and containment gripping the nation, the 2019-20 National Basketball Association season will remain suspended for the foreseeable future, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver noted that he doesn't see the league returning to the court for at least another month.
"Of course the issue becomes now, what we determined [Thursday], is that this hiatus will be most likely at least 30 days," Silver said in an interview on TNT. "And we don't know enough to be more specific than that. But we wanted to give direction to our players and teams and fans that this is going to be roughly at least a month."
Silver did note that even when the league returns -- if they do indeed return as he expects, anyway -- the league remains unsure if games will be played with fans in attendance. That's just a minor detail of a plan that's come without any sort of concrete details or definitive directives given the fact that this suspension is still under 48 hours old.
"What makes sense here without compromising anyone's safety," Silver admitted. "It's frankly too early to tell."
Like everybody else around the globe, the NBA is trying to map out the best course of action for a pandemic that hit 'em out of nowhere, with Utah's Rudy Gobert being the first player to come down with the coronavirus, which spread to teammate to Donovan Mitchell and caused an impromptu postponement of Wednesday's meeting between the Jazz and Thunder.
"The truth is up until a few days ago or even up until [Wednesday], the experts were unclear as to whether as a public health matter, NBA arenas should be emptied," Silver admitted. "I think there was a clear consensus that for people over 70 [years old] or people who have any underlying ailment or compromised immunity system that they should not be coming. But again, it was an open issue."