By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
There appears to be a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for the NBA. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league is targeting Friday, May 8 as the earliest potential date for team facilities to reopen.
As the U.S. continues to battle the COVID-19 outbreak, it appears that pro sports leagues are beginning to formulate their plans to slowly open back up, as evidenced by the NBA's efforts. It became the first major league to suspend operations in mid-March, and now it could be the first to move forward with a plan to get teams back to work.
Here are some guidelines of the potential plan, as laid out by Charania on his Twitter page:
-- Facilities would reopen no earlier than May 8
-- No more than four players at a time allowed in facilities, and all must participate in individual workouts
-- Maximum one team staffer in building
-- Players must wear facemasks at all times, except when engaged in physical activity
-- Physical distancing of at least 12 feet
-- Team staffers who work with players must wear gloves
-- Players must undergo resting electrocardiogram (ECG) and troponin tests, which examine the cardiovascular system
-- Players can't attend a facility for a team other than their own
-- Each team must appoint a senior executive to a new position called "Facility Hygiene Officer"
Pretty stringent guidelines. But any basketball fan at this point would tell you that this plan is better than no basketball at all.
In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker's stay-at-home advisory and shutdown of non-essential businesses is set to expire after May 4. But Mayor Marty Walsh said Boston will not reopen next week, which includes the NBA's target reopening date. It's possible that the Celtics, who operate out of the Auerbach Center in Brighton, will need to comply with whatever restrictions still exist in the state on May 8.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].