6:35pm: Group workouts and organized team activities will still be prohibited, Wojnarowski adds in a full story. In areas where longer stay-at-home orders are in place, the league will try to help teams find other arrangements so their players can train.
5:17pm: The NBA will let some teams reopen their practice facilities to players beginning Friday, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The permission will only apply in cities and states where governments have relaxed their stay-at-home orders, Woj adds.
The league ordered all 30 teams to shut down their facilities effective March 20 in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Several teams had announced voluntary closures before that mandate was issued.
Georgia was one of the first states to begin relaxing restrictions, with some businesses reopening yesterday. Several players were asking their teams if they should find a way to get to the state to work out, according to Wojnarowski, but teams want to make sure their athletes are in safe, clean and controlled environments (Twitter link).
Wojnarowski cautions that the NBA’s decision doesn’t mean plans are in place to restart the season, but the league wants players to be able to safely return to their team’s gyms (Twitter link). A source tells ESPN that commissioner Adam Silver and the owners believe they need more time to determine whether the season can be salvaged.
A few writers examine how the decision will affect the teams they cover:
- The Hawks haven’t heard anything official from the league, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link), and there’s no plan in place to begin using the team facility again.
- May 8 is the earliest date the Hornets could reopen, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a stay-at-home order for the state through then, with plans to begin phasing it out.
- Michigan is under a stay-at-home order until at least May 15, so the Pistons have nearly three weeks before they can reopen, adds Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link).