The results of an NBA survey asking General Managers how, or whether, they’d like to complete the 2019-20 season in the COVID-19 environment have been leaking slowly through media sources over the last 24 hours. Absent a flowchart and data, it’s difficult to parse exactly what was said, but it seems that most GM’s favor resuming the season either in abbreviated form or with a playoffs-only format.
Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer posted a story last night, characterizing the results as mixed.
Half of the league’s general managers voted to go straight to the playoffs and cancel the rest of the regular season, sources said. Just over half of the league voted to reseed the playoffs 1 to 16 without factoring in conference affiliation.
General managers were surveyed about a “playoffs-plus” format—either a play-in tournament between the bubble teams to determine the final seeds in the playoffs, or a World Cup–style group stage, which would replace the end of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs with a round-robin format. About 75 percent of teams voted in favor of a play-in tournament, sources said, while 25 percent of teams voted in favor of the group stage.
Of note: per O’Connor, teams appear to be voting according to their own interests as much as any greater concern for the league or health.
“[NBA Commissioner Adam Silver] isn’t taking the results seriously,” a team executive told me earlier in the week. “Every team is obviously gonna vote for what’s best for them.”
Also of note: O’Connor cites GM’s as “unanimously” favoring expanding rosters for the postseason.
Shams Charania of The Athletic posted two tweets this morning, attempting to clarify.
Sources: NBA has sent GMs the results from GM survey:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
- 53% of GMs chose advancing directly to playoffs; 27% for resuming abbreviated season with play-in
- 60% voted for 72-game season
- "Playoffs Plus": 83% voted 20 or more teams
- Non-playoff teams split on resuming season
Additional results from NBA's GM survey, per sources:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
- Most GMs want season to end no later than Oct. 1
- GMs want larger roster/more flexibility to manage their roster
- 53 percent voted to maintain traditional playoff seeding; 47 percent for reseeding https://t.co/sVwYF0ZYPT
No firm course forward has come forth, or even been rumored. It just seems certain that the NBA is going to forge ahead somehow and that people will be divided on the issue no matter what the eventual solution is.