By Peter Gleason
NBA owners and executives have told ESPN that there’s a possibility that play will not resume until mid-to-late June as a best-case scenario because of the coronavirus shutdown.
And there are fears that the 2019-20 season may be completely lost.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation last night that no events or gatherings should include more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.
The league office has given teams no guidance yet on a timeline for a resumption of play, but organizations themselves are preparing for the possibility of a long hiatus based upon the facts surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
The NBA moved from the idea of games without fans in the arenas to suspending the season indefinitely within minutes of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.
“Our world has changed since Wednesday’s [board of governors] call,” one team president told ESPN. “The reality isn’t lost on anyone right now.
NBA owners are awaiting the league’s financial projections on lost revenues, which are expected to be shared with them soon, sources said. J.B. Lockhart, the NBA’s chief financial officer, has been leading the effort to deliver owners what all expect to be challenging financial projections on a short-term future that is thick with uncertainty and volatility.
The NBA likely will provide projections on three primary scenarios: the financial costs of shutting down the season, restarting with no fans in the arena, or playing playoff games with fans. Those losses will be reflected in next season’s salary cap and the players’ share of basketball-related income.