The NBA is re-opening team practice facilities effective this Friday for players in states and cities that have sufficiently relaxed their coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
The NBA–at least the ‘sources’ that are being quoted as having leaked this information–are quick to point out that this does not mean they’re coming up with a time frame to re-start the season lest someone get butthurt on social media. Unlike European countries such as Germany that are actually taking steps to resume play in professional sports leagues for some reason Americans get themselves into a lather when there’s even the inkling of a possibility that there may be some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Don’t worry–Commish Adam Silver still hasn’t changed his tune that ‘more clarity’ is needed before a decision can be made about resuming the season.
And to make sure that they don’t contravene any local restrictions or upset all of those delicate souls on Twitter in markets where the Coronavirus house arrest is still going strong they’re going to ‘work with franchises to help find alternative arrangement for players.’ There’s a good deal of logic behind the move–most significantly, team executives think that their facilities would be a much safer environment for their players than just about anywhere else. With players already talking about traveling to Atlanta just to work out in fitness centers with basketball courts the OK to re-open team practice facilities has taken on increased urgency.
Of course ESPN gave the obligatory disclaimer that ‘some GMs expressed concern about the safety of the idea’ and were wringing their hands over ‘expert medical opinions’ saying that everyone needs to remain at home cowering under their bed. That’s doubtful–this is another attempt to pre-emptively placate the masses. The idea makes perfect sense. The players are going to go workout somewhere and unlike your local 24 Hour Fitness location this way the league and teams can make sure that facilities are properly sanitized and off limits to just about everyone that isn’t a NBA player.