NBA Commissioner Adam Silver postponed the 2019-20 season on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been talks about resuming action without fans, and now the league could confirm a return soon. The association is currently discussing the possibility of continuing the season in Florida at a central location.
According to ESPN, the NBA is currently in talks with the Walt Disney Company. There is a possibility that the season will continue, albeit in a centralized location. The games and practices will take place at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. This move to Orlando is not official, but the league is examining all possibilities to make a return happen.
"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices, and housing," NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said, per ESPN. "Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place." Bass did not specify whether the season would resume or if the league would move directly to the playoffs.
The sports complex is the host of the Jr. NBA Global Championships featuring youth teams from around the world. Both girls and boys squads face off in Florida in tournaments and provide current NBA stars with glimpses at potential future peers. Now the complex could soon be the home of the NBA Finals.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex sits on 220 acres and features three separate basketball arenas for the potential games. There are also "ample hotel accommodations" for the players. The NBA would be able to limit any potential exposure with the outside world while resuming the season.
The NBA has a board of governors call set for Friday, which will provide further details about this potential restart. Those on the call could finalize the plan while giving the teams a timeline for recalling their players. The current expectation, according to ESPN, is that the teams will bring roster members back around June 1.
The current step-by-step plan, which is not officially confirmed, includes a two-week recall period for teams and their players. There will be time for quarantine in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and then the players will take part in one or two weeks of individual workouts. Finally, the teams will hold a formal training camp lasting two or three weeks.