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Results of NBA GM Survey on Season Restart Leaking

The Athletic and The Ringer both attempt to shed light on a confusing situation.


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.

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.