Due to the coronavirus outbreak and two players testing positive for the illness, the NBA decided on Wednesday to suspend the 2020 season to keep the teams and fans healthy and safe. And now fans have an idea when the league could return to action. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was on TNT on Thursday and he said the league will be suspended for at least 30 days. During the suspension, league officials will make the decision to resume playing or call off the season.
"Of course the issue becomes now, what we determined today, is that this hiatus will be most likely at least 30 days," Silver said per ESPN. "And we don't know enough to be more specific than that. But we wanted to give direction to our players and teams and fans that this is going to be roughly at least a month. ... But then the question becomes is there a protocol frankly with or without fans in which we can resume play," Silver continued. "I think the goal [is] ... what makes sense here without compromising anyone's safety. It's frankly too early to tell."
Silver also sent a letter to the fans later on Thursday to explain why he made the decision to suspend league play. "We made this decision to safeguard the health and well-being of fans, players, everyone connected to our game and the general public," he said. "This hiatus will last at least 30 days and we intend to resume the season, if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.
"In the meantime, we will continue to coordinate with infectious disease and public health experts along with government officials to determine safe protocols for resuming our games. As we develop the appropriate course for future NBA games and events, we will keep you informed of any changes as soon as they happen. Tickets already purchased for a postponed game will be honored when the game is rescheduled. If games are not played or played in an empty arena, teams will work with fans on a credit for a future game or a refund."
Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert and his teammate Donovan Mitchell became the first two players to contract coronavirus. Their diagnosis led to five teams that played the Jazz the last 10 days being ordered to self-quarantine.