Coronavirus Notes: Paul, Dolan, Arenas, China

Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, admitted to reporters in a teleconference today that nobody can be certain what’s going to happen with the current season, writes Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman (link via USA Today).

“This is a situation where no one knows,” Paul said. “The virus is actually in complete control. I seriously tried to answer things the best I could, but there are things where, it’s not like I’ve got the answers and I’m just not telling you.”

Today marks six weeks since the last NBA game was played, and the league was supposed to be conducting the first round of its playoffs. If the season does resume, Paul estimates players will have to train for two to four weeks to get ready. He expressed confidence that the league will give them the time they need.

“Whatever the amount of time is, just know that players will have the input because we’re the ones playing,” Paul said. “We don’t ever want to put guys in a  situation where their injury risk is higher.”

There’s more coronavirus-related news to pass along:

  • Knicks owner James Dolan has fully recovered from the virus and has registered to donate plasma antibodies to help with research, according to Larry Brooks of The New York Post. Dolan recently tested negative and is reportedly in good health. He had only mild symptoms and continued to work while quarantined.
  • A professor at MIT tells Michele Steele of ESPN that arenas can eventually be made as safe as public parks. Alex Pentland, head of the human dynamic lab, recommends having fans wear masks and filling only half the available seats, although family members could sit together. He also advises making all aisles one way and having fans in each section enter from a specified gate.
  • Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times talked to several American players about their experiences with the Chinese Basketball Association. Kyle Fogg said when he returned to China, he had his temperature taken several times by workers in hazmat suits. He and Ray McCallum Jr. were both quarantined to hotel rooms with armed guards posted outside to ensure they didn’t leave. “Everybody back home, they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re quarantined,’” McCallum said. “But I see on the news they’re outside. No.” The CBA remains on hold with hopes of starting play again in July.
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