NBA considering pushing back schedule due to coronavirus

Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images /

According to a report, the NBA is considering pushing its schedule back and other potential solutions in response to novel coronavirus.

The NBA — and all major sports organizations around the world — are staring down some important decisions in the wake of novel coronavirus as it continues to spread.

According to The Athletic‘s Sam Amick, the league is considering pushing back its entire schedule, asking teams to provide their arena schedules through July as a potential contingency plan should games need to be postponed.

This report comes the same day that the NCAA announced it will be playing both its Mens and Womens basketball tournaments without fans in attendance, as well as the Golden State Warriors complying with orders from the San Francisco Health Office to ban public gatherings of more than 1,000 people for the next two weeks.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported earlier on Wednesday that the NBA and National Basketball Players Association were discussing ways to continue the season without cancelling games, while also acknowledging that the league was heading toward a temporary period where games could be played without fans.

This comes not long after the league issued new protocol for media availability, restricting locker room access along with the NHL, MLS and MLB. Wednesday’s discussions preclude a conference call with the league’s board of governors.

Another idea that’s been floated by the league is moving some games to NBA cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks, but such an idea would be extremely shortsighted; taking players and staff from cities with coronavirus to cities where it hasn’t been reported yet does little to stop the possible spread, and that’s to say nothing of how slowly the reported numbers are coming in anyway.

ESPN reports the NBA is bracing for losses in the hundreds of millions across the sport, which also raises the issue of how those who work for teams as in-arena staff and may be deemed as non-essential personnel on gamedays will be compensated if they are unable to work games.

Novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The virus spreads similarly to influenza, with sneezing and coughing as the primary vectors of infection. To date, more than 115,000 cases have been confirmed in more than 70 countries worldwide, including the United States. The World Health Organization declared it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on Jan. 30 and countries have implemented curfews, travel bans and mandatory quarantines to help prevent its spread.

Next. Everything you need to know about how coronavirus is affecting sports and entertainment. dark

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.