The NBA may be without its greatest announcer when the season restarts at the end of this month. In an interview with the New York Post, Marv Albert revealed he would probably not head to Orlando for the restart due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he was looking forward to taking part in the action, but due to the surging COVID-19 cases in Florida, Albert is not sure he wants to take that risk.
"I had second thoughts," Albert said to The Post. Turner Sports confirmed Albert will not be on-site to call games. However, it's possible he could do some work remotely. Albert, 79, is TNT's No. 1 NBA announcer with Kevin Harlan being No. 2. Jeff Zucker, the chairman of WrarnerMedia News who oversees Turner Sports, called Albert and advised him to not travel to Orlando.
"He said to me, 'Maybe this is something you should skip in my age bracket,'" Albert said before adding a joke. "I'd like to point out to you that 79 is the new 78." It might be a smart move for Albert to stay at home for the restart. The reason for that is the league may not be able to get things going in Orlando due to the increased cases of the virus.
"Never full steam ahead no matter what," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said TIME 100 Talks, via ESPN. "One thing we are learning about this virus is much [is] unpredictable, and we and our players together with their union look at the data on a daily basis. If there were something to change that was outside of the scope of what we are playing for, certainly we would revisit our plans." Sliver also said if they get a large number of cases themselves, the season could be over before it gets started again.
"We are testing daily," Silver added. "We haven't put a precise number on it, but if we were to see a large number of cases and see spread in our community, that would of course be a cause to stop as well." The NBA suspended the season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert test positive for the coronavirus on March 11. 22 teams are set to head to Orlando for the restart where they will play eight regular-season games before participating in the playoffs.