The NBA may not be back again this season, a new report claims.
After the league announced back on March 11 that it was suspending its season amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been growing pessimism in league circles that they would be able to return to close out what remained in the 2019-20 season. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Friday that the league has been in talks with the players union and that the league “is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down.”
As Bleacher Report noted, the growing pessimism within the NBA comes after the Chinese Basketball Associated failed in its attempt to re-start its season after it had been suspended in January. The CBA went on hiatus as the novel coronavirus spread rapidly through China, but the league had announced plans to return again in April. That has now hit a snag as the Chinese government has put restrictions on team sports, and other professional sports leagues across the world remain on an indefinite hiatus.
As Windhorst noted, the NBA may not be close to making a decision just yet.
“Now they don’t have to do that yet, and the way they’re negotiating they’re leaving themselves an option either way, but they’re not having talks about how to restart the league, they’re having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there is a significant amount of pessimism right now,” he said.
After the NBA’s announcement that it would be suspending its season, nearly all major American sports made similar decisions within the next day, including the NHL putting its season on hold and the NCAA canceling the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
Bleacher Report noted that a major snag in bringing all sports leagues back is the fact that those infected with the virus can spread it while not showing symptoms, making it nearly impossible to start a sports league where players would be in close contact.
The pessimism within the NBA appears to be present around other sports leagues as well. As The Inquisitr noted, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio suggested that the NFL may need to move its season to a remote location where players could live and play in isolation in order to go ahead with the upcoming season. A number of medical experts have suggested that some measure of social distancing may need to remain in place until a vaccine is developed for the novel coronavirus, which could be between 12 and 18 months.