There’s growing pessimism around the league that the 2019/20 season can be resumed, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on SportsCenter (video link).
While the NBA is willing to go deep into the summer to complete the season, recent developments have led the league to discuss the implications of cancellation.
“It’s been a bad week,” Windhorst said. “I think there was optimism about progress a week ago. Some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happened.”
China’s decision to halt the Chinese Basketball Association’s plan to resume play this month has been a major factor.
“They (the CBA) really believed if they just tested the players’ temperature all this time that it would work,” Windhorst said. “The Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country and they’re just slamming the brakes on sports.”
Unless widespread, quick tests for the novel coronavirus become available in the near future, league officials can’t see a way to resume play and ensure safety for all involved.
“It is clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down,” Windhorst said. “They don’t have to do that yet. The way they’re negotiating, they’re leaving 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. I think there’s a significant amount of pessimism.”