The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a recommendation that may impact the restart of the NBA season.
The CDC is recommending that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States for the next eight (8) weeks.
This CDC recommendation comes on the heels of several states banning gatherings of anywhere from 25 to 250 people. This has forced the temporary closure of restaurants, bars, clubs and other social environments. In some cases, restaurants are reverting to takeout only options.
For the NBA, this impact stretches beyond the 30-day shutdown that Adam Silver imposed last week. That shutdown was due to last until mid-April, which was to the end of the NBA’s regular season. Eight weeks would last until mid-May, which is the approximate start of the Conference Finals.
Staging an NBA game with less than 50 people would be extremely hard, if not impossible. Players, coaches, training staff and game officials gets you to 50 fairly easily. That’s before you add in any form of broadcast crew and arena personnel. And, of course, that’s without any fans present as well.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the NBA is prepared for a potential return to play in mid-to-late-June. And that’s with no fans present and only if the league can secure arenas.
CDC recommendation of no events of 50-plus people for next two months comes as a number of NBA owners and executives increasingly believe a best case scenario is a mid-to-late June return to play — with no fans. League's scouting for possible arena dates all the way thru August.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 15, 2020
No matter what, it’s safe to say that the NBA will not return in any form of its usual capacity for several months.