The Chinese Basketball Association is attempting to return to action following a halt in play that was triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19. After a lengthy break, the CBA’s hopes of facilitating a coronavirus-free environment could provide the NBA with ideas for the immediate future.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst detailed the measures that the CBA is taking in order to resume play. Outside of a mandatory 14-day quarantine for returning players, the CBA is focused on consolidating the entire league to one region of the country in order to finish out the remaining slate of games.
The CBA has discussed playing in Dongguan, a city in the warmer southern region that hasn’t seen the same volume of cases as other areas. Another option has been Qingdao, a coastal city in northeast China that typically receives many travelers from nearby Japan and South Korea and has developed effective quarantine strategies. Teams would live and play in a constantly monitored environment, with players’ temperatures checked several times a day.
If the CBA’s return to the court is successful, the NBA could follow suit. According to Windhorst, players and executives have already discussed the possibility of a centralized structure.
Various ideas have been floated by players and executives. One is to consider using a sprawling casino property in Las Vegas, where everything could be held under one roof. Others have suggested playing in the Bahamas, where a ballroom could be converted into a playing court specifically for broadcast. There has even been talk of taking over a college campus in the Midwest, where reported cases of COVID-19 are lower for the moment.
The NBA suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11. You can read the full story from Windhorst at ESPN.