NBA Exploring More Options To Resume Season
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has continued to explore options in hopes of finishing out the 2019-20 season, and it appears that he is figuring some things out. Sources are reporting that the NBA is looking at possible locations to host the remainder of the NBA season.
Disney World in Orlando, Fla., is considered the early frontrunner to host all of the NBA teams and games, with Las Vegas, Nevada right behind. Silver is hoping to create a campus-like environment where all of the teams would be living while finishing out the season.
The NBA hosts the annual summer league in Las Vegas each year, and they are familiar with the city. Las Vegas has the hotel and arena space to host the entire league, but the state is still largely shut down due to the coronavirus.
Florida has already begun hosting live sporting events, and Governor Jim DeSantis has been very welcoming to new teams and leagues wanting to play games. Disney World is currently shut down, but it could open back up to provide a space for the National Basketball Association.
The Disney World Resort is private, and it would only be open to NBA teams and other gameday personnel. Fans would not be allowed to enter the resort, or to be in attendance at any of the games.
Silver has been sharing these plans with league executives, and they are trying to come up with a solution before presenting a plan to the NBA Players Association. Silver has told teams and players that a decision would not be made until at least June 1 and that date is quickly approaching.
Another option would be to simply cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season and begin making plans for next year. Team owners and several key players have all expressed optimism and belief that the season will be played.
Teams Will Participate in Antibody Study
The league also announced that teams would participate in a coronavirus antibody study that will take place in June. The Minnesota Timberwolves, in connection with the Mayo Clinic, will lead the study, which will determine the percentage of NBA players that have antibodies to fight against the novel coronavirus.
This idea was stolen from Major League Baseball, which recently conducted a similar study. In that study, volunteers from 26 of the 30 Major League Baseball teams agreed to participate, and the results were surprising to health leaders.
The MLB study found that just 0.7% of the players and executives tested were found to have COVID-19 antibodies in their system. Seventy percent of the people that tested positive for the antibodies were asymptomatic. Similar studies have been done in cities around the world, and a much larger percentage of the population was found to have antibodies.
The Mayo Clinic and the Timberwolves shared their plan with NBA executives and the NBA Players Association, and it was agreed that it would be done. All players, coaches, executives, and staff members from all 30 teams will participate in the survey.
The study will be conducted by drawing blood through a vein or by a single finger prick. The single prick is much quicker and provides for a much safer testing experience.
The NBA could then use this information to help determine a path to return to play, or plans could already be in place by then. The NBA has already seen some players test positive for the disease, and the league was quick to shut down play when this information was revealed.
The month of June is supposed to be reserved for the NBA Finals, but there is at least hope that some NBA basketball will be played next month. Over in baseball, the MLB is hoping to be back up and running in July all being well.
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