Governors from New York, California, and Texas all said on Monday that they’re moving toward allowing professional sports to resume – without fans – in their respective states.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated in his daily news conference that the state is a “ready, willing, and able partner” for sports looking to resume (link via ESPN); California’s Gavin Newsom estimated that pro sports would be able to move forward in California – with restrictions in place – starting in early June (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic); and Greg Abbott of Texas said that his state is targeting May 31 for professional sports without spectators (Twitter link via Anna M. Tinsley of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
These updates may not be particularly pertinent when it comes to the resumption of the NBA season. The league appears to be focusing on the idea of playing in one or two neutral locations, with Las Vegas and Walt Disney World in Florida believed to be the top contenders. As such, we may not see NBA games played in New York, California, or Texas anytime soon.
Still, the increasing number of states giving the go-ahead to professional sports is a positive sign for the NBA and other sports leagues. Barring setbacks, those announcements bode well for NBA teams being able to get back into their own buildings for the 2020/21 season.
Here’s more on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s impacting the NBA:
- Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr., who has Crohn’s disease, isn’t as worried as he initially was about the possibility of contracting the coronavirus, but he hopes the league will be sensitive to other players like him who have preexisting conditions that could make them more vulnerable to the virus. “I would hope there would be an understanding (from the NBA) if someone didn’t feel comfortable coming back, that’d you get a pass,” Nance said, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “Just because you may look like the picture of health, some people have issues you can’t see.”
- We probably won’t get a clearer sense of how the coronavirus pandemic will impact the NBA’s salary cap in 2020/21 until we know for sure how much of the season can be completed and what next season’s calendar will look like. However, John Hollinger of The Athletic digs into the subject, explaining how smoothing and increased escrow holdings could help the NBA avoid substantial year-to-year cap fluctuations.
- While they may not be at risk of losing millions of dollars like some of their star teammates, the NBA’s two-way players will be among those most significantly affected by the league’s hiatus, as Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report details. Besides potentially losing the opportunity to earn an NBA minimum salary during the season’s final weeks (after the G League season ends), two-way players are also missing out on a chance to audition for a roster spot in 2020/21.