The NBA’s board of governors will discuss on a conference call Wednesday how the league should move forward as cases of the coronavirus continue to spread in the U.S. One way to handle the outbreak includes moving games to cities that don’t have reported cases, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski details:
If the virus clusters and forces a team out of its city and arena for a period of time, there has been discussion about moving games to the away opponent’s arena if that city hasn’t suffered an outbreak — or even moving games to neutral cities and sites, league sources told ESPN.
The NBA is discussing a number of possibilities — including eliminating fans from buildings for games or, more drastically, suspending game operations for a period of time — but sources said decisions on those options remain complicated by the fact that there has been a limited amount of public testing for the coronavirus in the United States. There is no full understanding of how widespread and debilitating the virus could become in the country.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Health Diseases, recommended on Wednesday that the NBA not play games in front of large crowds:
The National Basketball Association should have games without fans present because of the novel coronavirus, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday. “We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it,” said Fauci, following a question from Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin Republican. “Is the NBA under-reacting or is the Ivy League overreacting?” asked Grothman, after referring to the fact that the Ivy League on Tuesday canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
Wojnarowski says more calls are scheduled for Thursday involving team presidents and GMs. You can read more on the NBA’s discussions of coronavirus here.
Update: The city of San Francisco is banning gatherings of 1,000+ people, which includes Warriors games. The ban is for two weeks. As a result, the Warriors’ home game on Thursday will be closed to fans:
The Warriors, league sources say, will be directed to play host to the Nets on Thursday night at Chase Center in a game CLOSED to fans— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 11, 2020