The NBA power brokers are beginning to feel more positive the league’s season will return after shutting down on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Participants on a Board of Governors call Tuesday with NBA commissioner Adam Silver left the virtual meeting increasingly optimistic about the league’s momentum toward a resumption of play this season, according to ESPN.
There were a couple of reasons for this renewed hope: First, owners and executive were encouraged by the NBA’s progress toward minimizing health risk if a return happens and secondly, were buoyed by the desire of the players to eventually restart the season, according to ESPN.
Much of discussion centered on health and safety concerns, as well as getting the teams and players more comfortable with the idea of playing, even if a positive COVID-19 test is found during any potential restart, according to the report.
Silver reportedly told those on the call that if a positive test would “shut us down, we probably shouldn’t go down this path.”
Despite the upbeat talk, the question facing the league is how many positive coronavirus tests would be too many, making any restart plan untenable.
The league also hasn’t come to a consensus on the format of a return and what it would look like. Multiple ideas are being discussed for how the league would resume, one of which includes an expanded playoffs and a play-in tournament for teams that were mathematically still in the playoff hunt (including the 21-45 Knicks), as reported by The Post’s Marc Berman.
Earlier, several star players — including union president Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Jayson Tatum — were set to hold a call with the league Tuesday to discuss strategies to resume the season, according to The Athletic.
Paul and Westbrook were joined by LeBron James and others on a private call Monday, in which the group agreed the season should carry on “with proper safety measures once the league is given the green light to commence,” Yahoo reported.
It is unclear whether that reflects the view of the entire players association, which has more than 400 members, but if the positive vibe out of Tuesday night’s virtual meeting is any indication, there is a chance the majority of players have bought in to the idea of a restart.