In addition to assessing the availability of its own teams’ arenas, the NBA has begun to look into availability at G League venues and practice facilities through the end of August, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).
As we relayed on Sunday night, there’s a growing belief that the NBA’s hiatus will extend into at least mid-June, in which case the end of the 2019/20 season and postseason could run well into the summer. As such, the league is exploring all its options as it considers where it might play its games.
Stein explains in a follow-up tweet that venues like G League arenas and practice facilities would only become viable options to host NBA games if they’re closed off to fans. That’s one of many scenarios the league is looking into in an effort to save the playoffs, writes Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
According to Golliver, some other measures being considered by the NBA include eliminating extra rest days between games, reducing the 16-team postseason field, or hosting a playoff tournament in a single site to reduce – or eliminate – travel between several markets. Commissioner Adam Silver is encouraging teams to be open to “experimental ideas” in when it comes to issues like scheduling format, venues, and television, says ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Here are a few more notes and updates related to the NBA’s coronavirus-related hiatus:
- For now, like the NBA season, the NBA G League season has been postponed and not canceled. However, there’s an expectation that a cancellation is coming, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews, who say that teams are operating under the belief that they’ve played their final games of 2019/20. NBAGL players were informed over the weekend that they’ll receive their entire base salaries, per ESPN’s report.
- Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days takes a look at why the G League can’t be treated in the same way as the NBA, and why it’s surprising that the NBAGL season hasn’t yet been canceled.
- The Magic‘s ownership group – the DeVos family – has established a $2MM fund to compensate team and arena hourly workers for games and time missed, the team announced today in a press release. The club’s announcement indicates that multiple players are also providing financial assistance — we noted earlier today that Mohamed Bamba had vowed to help out.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN took a deep dive into the NBA’s decision last week to suspend season, examining how Rudy Gobert‘s positive coronavirus test changed the equation suddenly and drastically for the league.