Illinois governor: Bulls pledged not to play with fans present until May 1

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The NBA has suspended its season for at least 30 days due the coronavirus pandemic.

What if play resumes in April?

The Bulls won’t host games with fans present.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, via NBC Sports Chicago:

I’ve spoken with the owners of all of our major sports teams, and I’ve asked them to cancel all of their games or play without spectators until May 1st. All of the owners that I spoke with told me that they completely understood and were more than willing to comply with this guidance. I want to thank them for putting the health and safety of the residents of our state above all else. These are not easy decisions to make in business, but every single one of our team owners indicated to me that they care only about doing what is right for the fans and families of our state.

It seems overly optimistic that the NBA would host games with fans in attendance that soon, anyway. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is talking about a longer hiatus.

There are so many variables: How will we do socially isolate as a society and stem the outbreak? How widely available will testing become? How widely has coronavirus already spread within the NBA?

It seems very possible the NBA could clear its players before large gatherings become safe. I wouldn’t be surprised if the season re-starts with every game fan-free.

Some owners might prefer waiting to play until fans can attend games. There’s room for discretion here.

But in Chicago, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf has set his team’s mandate for a while.