Report: NBA orders teams to close practice, training facilities indefinitely

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While the NBA remains shut down due to the coronavirus, with seven players having tested positive,  NBA teams have been able to keep their practice and training facilities open to players. That meant players could come in and work out in limited numbers at a time, in what the league called a “one player, one coach, one basket” rule.

Now, even that is closed.

A memo sent to teams Sunday instructed them to close their practice and training facilities, a story broken by Tim Bontemps of ESPN and confirmed by the Associated Press.

The NBA sent out a memo Thursday afternoon stating that, starting Friday, all 30 NBA teams must close their practice and training facilities to players and staff until further notice, sources told ESPN…

Now, though, players are both not allowed to use team facilities nor, as laid out in a memo sent out by the league Sunday night, work out at any non-team practice or training facilities — essentially leaving players no choice but to attempt to work out at home as they, and the league, try to figure out what the next steps will be.

The NBA told the AP it updated the guidelines “in light of the rapidly-developing coronavirus situation, and consistent with evolving advice from health experts regarding how to promote individual and public health while minimizing the spread of the virus.”

Players would usually turn to public gyms — a 24-Hour Fitness with a basketball court, for example — to get their workout in, but those have been closed as well. That leaves players working out at home or in a private facility they have access to, something that will happen with mixed results.

Whenever the NBA does return to action, there will need to be some kind of notice and mini-training camp for players to ramp back up. The Lakers’ Jared Dudley mentioned this on Twitter.

Ramping up is also one of the reasons the NBA wants to have a handful of regular season games upon return, so players do not jump cold into the intensity of a playoff game.

“I’m optimistic by nature, and I want to believe that we’re going to be able to salvage at least some portions of this season,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday in an interview on ESPN. Whether his optimism proves justified is anybody’s guess.