NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Tuesday that spread of the coronavirus would prompt the NBA to stop the 2019-20 season. Silver said the league is “reasonably confident” about its plan to restart the season in Orlando on the Disney World campus in July, but if the virus spreads, the league will have no choice but to pull the plug.
Silver said, “Never full steam ahead no matter what. One thing we are learning about this virus as much is (it’s) unpredictable, and we and our players together with their union look at the data on a daily basis. If there were something to change that was outside of the scope of what we are playing for, certainly we would revisit our plans. We are testing daily. We haven’t put a precise number on it but if we were to see a large number of cases and see spread in our community, that would of course be a cause to stop as well.”
The NBA is working closely with medical experts and plans to modify guidance and recommendations based on all available information. Dr. Anthony Fauci said in testimony that he has become more concerned with the surge in COVID-19 cases in Florida, Texas, California and Arizona. Silver said. “Certainly if cases are isolated, that’s one thing. A lot of the determination will be our understanding of how our community became infected. That will be part of our judgment in terms of whether we should continue. But certainly if we had a lot of cases, we are going to stop. You cannot run from this virus.”