The NBA has scheduled a conference call with its team owners and governors for Wednesday afternoon, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe (Twitter link). According to ESPN’s duo, the call will focus on the coronavirus outbreak and the next steps for teams and the league as a whole.
A previous report suggested that the NBA wanted its teams to have precautionary measures in place by Tuesday, so it makes sense that the league would follow up on Wednesday. Still, it doesn’t sound as if Wednesday’s call will just be a routine check-in.
As Wojnarowski explains in a follow-up tweet, concerns are increasing among owners and team executives that more drastic measures could be around the corner for the NBA. That includes the possibility of teams playing games with only essential personnel in arenas. A report last week indicated that the league had asked clubs to prepare for that scenario in case the coronavirus outbreak continued to worsen.
A handful of players have expressed reservations about the idea of playing behind closed doors. Goran Dragic suggested it would feel like “a pick-up game or practice,” while Kemba Walker said it would be “terrible,” adding that “they might as well cancel the whole game before that.” LeBron James issued the strongest statement on the subject, telling reporters he wouldn’t play in that scenario.
There’s no indication yet that the NBA is leaning toward going that route — we should find out more about the league’s plans following Wednesday’s conference call.