By Annie Ross
NBA commish Adam Silver had a blunt message to the players:
Prepare for a potentially grim landscape amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting there are no guarantees when fans could fully return to NBA arenas next season.
Silver said that 40% of the league’s revenue comes from money built around game nights in arenas.
“This could turn out to be the single greatest challenge of all our lives,” Silver told the players in an audio town hall sent last night and revealed by ESPN.
Silver was asked some hard questions about safety issues, return-to-play ideas, how future seasons would be impacted and the financial realities of future salary caps and basketball-related income. Silver said no decision on returning to play this season needed to be made in May, nor immediately into the start of June.
Silver said returning to play this season at one or two potential sites — including Orlando and Las Vegas — made the most sense, and that no decision on the league season needed to be made before June.
“There’s no point in adding risk for flying all of you city to city if there’s not going to be fans,” Silver said. “We think it would be safer to be in a single location, or two locations, to start.”