After ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the weekend that the NBA will allow some teams to reopen their practice facilities beginning on May 1, clubs around the league are attempting to determine the viability of doing so.
As we detailed on Saturday, the NBA can’t unilaterally direct teams to open up their facilities, since some franchises play in states that have stricter stay-at-home orders than others due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Even in cities where facilities can be reopened, group workouts and organized team activities will continue to be prohibited.
According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), teams expect to receive further directives from the NBA at some point this week outlining what will and won’t be permitted as facilities begin to reopen.
Here’s more on the subject:
- Toronto mayor John Tory said on Monday morning that he has preliminary discussions with Raptors management about reopening the team’s practice facility in May (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca). Tory doesn’t want the Raptors to be at a disadvantage relative to other teams, but is prioritizing safety and will allow public health officials to make the final call.
- It was unclear as of Sunday whether the Heat will be permitted to reopen their practice facility this Friday, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “As of right now, under current orders, the AmericanAirlines Arena is closed,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s Office of Communications told The Herald in a statement. “But, we have until Friday to gather information on what the NBA plans are and to work with the Miami Heat on what could be possible, safe and acceptable.”
- The Warriors‘ facilities are expected to remain closed as long as the City of San Francisco keeps its current lock-down ordinances in place, league sources tell Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area. Social-distancing guidelines have been instituted in the city through May 3 and will likely be extended beyond that.
- New York City’s lock-down regulations are expected to run through at least May 15, but the NBA figures to be proactive in helping Knicks and Nets players find somewhere to work out next month, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. As Berman notes, Taj Gibson and Frank Ntilikina are believed to be the only Knicks players still staying in the New York area, with the rest of the club’s players spread across North America.
- Chris Mannix of SI.com explores the competitive imbalance that may affect a resumed season if certain teams are permitted to reopen their facilities days or weeks before others.