NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with the National Basketball Players Association and NBA players this afternoon, addressing league-wide concerns over COVID-19. According to multiple members of the media, Silver and the players covered wide-ranging ground during the call. Here are the highlights.
When and where games might resume
Sources: On call with players today, Adam Silver told NBPA membership: 1) "It would be safer to be in a single location, or two locations, to start." 2) That the NBA doesn't have to make a decision on re-starting in season in May, nor does it have to decide right away in June.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
Yahoo Sources: On conference call with players, Adam Silver shared that Las Vegas and Orlando are options that could serve as locations for Western and Eastern conference play if season resumed. Says he’s received calls from many city officials to host season.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 8, 2020
Asked on NBPA call about how long a training camp could be should this season resume, Silver suggested "three weeks" as the minimum length that's been discussed within the league, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 9, 2020
Silver told players that he believes each of his 30 owners wants to play again this season -- despite suggestion made to him on call of short-term financial advantages for some teams not to resume season. He called his owners, "Competitors."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
On fans attending games
With fans in buildings constituting 40 percent of league revenue, the NBA is working on creative ways on TV to deliver the games to audiences, Silver told players. Silver started to prepare players for possibility of no fans in arenas next year without a vaccine, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
On league finances
Michele Roberts asked Silver on the call about financial impact moving foward for the league and players, and Silver flatly said that the collective bargaining agreement "wasn't built for an extended pandemic." Silver called it all: "The greatest challenge" of our lifetime.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
Broader Adam Silver message on call to players: This is going to be hard -- and hard for a long time. We need to work together. Hard choices are coming. No one will agree on everything. There are some difficult days of collective bargaining coming with grim financial realities.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 9, 2020
It’s worth noting that this could become a HUGE issue. Salary cap is based on basketball revenue earned in the season prior. The current hiatus has torn a giant chunk out of the revenue stream. If the league and the union don’t change their collective bargaining agreement, the league could well post a 2020-21 salary cap that every team has already exceeded with their current contracts. Free agent money would be non-existent, confined to cap exceptions. The luxury tax is based off of the revenue number as well, meaning teams whose ledgers looked safe and sensible last summer could end up as surprise taxpayers this year.
On travel during the hiatus
Sources: Silver explained to players why the league wouldn't allow teams to use private team jets to bring players worried about commericial travel back to market for voluntary workouts. He cited trying to manage the competitive advantage among teams as one of his reasons.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
If the season were to resume and players wanted a safer way to get back into market, Silver did leave open the possibility that idea would be addressed again, sources said. https://t.co/y7fdd2kIP0— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
On COVID-19 testing
Sources: On the ever-elusive question -- What if a player tests positive upon return -- Adam Silver told players the NBA would hope for daily testing at that point and no stoppage of play, having the player(s) isolated in quarantine.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2020
Sources: Adam Silver made something clear on conference call, telling players Rudy Gobert wasn’t the first NBA player to get tested; he was the first to test positive. NBA was ahead of curve in assuring safety before virus shut country down. https://t.co/gBIGvezmoo— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 9, 2020
A salient question on the topic...
If a player is inside a bubble, tests positive for COVID-19 and goes into quarantine, don't they still have a problem, because someone else must have transmitted it to him inside that bubble? And who else did that person transmit it to? https://t.co/CgEwWwgZdV— Timmay (@pdxTimmay) May 9, 2020