The NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, He spoke again about the new reality that awaits basketball in the United States and admitted with complete transparency and realism that resuming the league is the best option they have in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, even if they are at great risk.

06/27/2020 at 10:26



Silver said the league’s plan to play again next month on a closed campus of the Walt Disney World Resort « bubble » in Orlando, Florida was, without question, « the best available option » that we can have for the future, which otherwise would be « very difficult for our organization« 

After announcing that the season will resume on July 30, Silver admitted Friday in a conference call with several league officials that « we know that the coronavirus will be with us for the foreseeable future, and we have no choice but to learn to live with its reality and all that is negative. « 

He added that « there are no risk-free options at the moment » In this sense, he reiterated that his organization has worked diligently to try to control as much as possible the possible negative effects that may arise with the new reality that everyone is facing.

The importance of what Silver had to say became apparent when the conference was attended Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Players; the president of the NBPA, the base Chris Paul, and the escort Andre Iguodala, one of the most respected professionals in the league.

On the recent increase in coronavirus cases in the state of Florida and the risk of the virus entering the « bubble » that the NBA designed to continue the championship, with 22 teams, Silver noted thate « My conclusion is that we cannot escape the virus, and that this is what we are going to live with for the foreseeable future, so we designed the campus the way we did. »

He indicated that it is « a closed network; and although it is not waterproof, we are essentially protected from the cases that surround us. At least, that is the model and the objective that we want to achieve. »

On Friday morning the league and the players’ union agreed to resume the championship.

Silver noted that initially Daily coronavirus testing will be done within the « bubble, » but he admitted that the increase in cases in Florida worries him.

Increase in Coronavirus Cases in Orlando

That state was approaching 9,000 total cases, according to Friday’s figures, and in the Orlando area it is also one of the most affected.

« Concern has increased not just about the increase in cases in Florida, but across the country, » Silver recalled.

But he reiterated that he would have made the same decision to play in Florida if the decision had had to be made today or a month ago.

After that in a first round of the mandatory tests there were already 16 players who tested positive for the 302 coronavirus that passed it, the commissioner was asked about the NBA’s plan to face this new reality.

Since the protagonists of the positive players, would require that player to refrain from exercising for at least two weeks, and would be automatically discarded for at least one full postseason round.

But the NBA had no response, since Silver indicated that « we have not worked in all scenarios and therefore I cannot make any assessment. »

He commented that the necessary tests would be done in the player’s environment, « but then we would continue. We would treat that positive test as an injury during the season. And so we would not delay the continuation of the postseason. »

Arrest of the championship in case of contagion

Although he did not assure him, he noted that the championship could be stopped again if there is further spread of the virus within the campus beyond a single player.

« If we had a significant spread, that could lead us to stop, » Silver admitted. « There will be no question about it, but we work hard to keep that from happening. »

He added that after having been working with the Health authorities, he said that « that line has not been precisely designed » to know when to consider stopping the championship.

While Paul and Iguodala, They said what goes through the minds of the players as they prepare to resume activities.

Paul stated that « It’s like Adam said, in the sense that we really don’t know. » What can happen.

He added, « We never imagined playing in such a situation. We didn’t know that even a day after the league closed. »

The NBA commissioner indicated that « we are fortunate to have so many players aware of what is happening. So I think that, given any scenario, in any situation we would talk about the matter and see how to solve it. »

Regarding the players who have protested across the country for social justice and racial inequality, Roberts said « the players will continue their awareness raising struggle. »

Roberts He indicated that the conversation that the players have had with the African American community leaves them with questions such as what and how should we do things? I can’t imagine anything healthier than that. « 

For his part, Paul indicated that « We understand how powerful our voice is, that our message can be heard, can be shouted loud and clear on an incredible platform. »

In that sense, Silver commented that the NBA has made progress in terms of team hiring practices, after the last three hiring of general managers in the league have been for African-Americans.