OKC Thunder and NBA fans were keen to hear an update on the season and while there is no decision forthcoming it did reinforce why Adam Silver is considered the best Commissioner in sports.
This past weekend NBA Commissioner Adam Silver conducted a conference call with the media to answer questions. While he’s made it clear no decisions would be forthcoming until May 1st this call confirmed he is no closer to having a definitive plan in place than he was almost six weeks ago when the OKC Thunder and Utah Jazz game sparked the suspension of the season.
During the call, Silver confirmed the NBA still is hopeful to resume play but unfortunately isn’t in a position to define the hows or whens of that plan. Nor was he prepared to offer up what day would serve as the point of no return.
From the start of the suspension Silver has worked closely with medical professionals and always stated he would heed their advice. The obvious points were re-iterated in terms of the curve needing to flatten on positive tests before any plans could proceed.
Testing is clearly a hot button for several reasons. First, the need for tests to be widely available, enough to address the community needs, particularly of front line workers. And, as T.I. recently noted the availability of rapid response test kits will play a huge role. Having tests that can be processed quickly will have to be part of any return in our estimation since these tests will need to occur frequently, perhaps even daily.
One surprising note Silver made was there were more players who contracted COVID-19 than the public was aware of although he didn’t disclose how many or who they were.
In addition, the Commissioner noted his office is monitoring any developments of a vaccine and/or antiviral drugs. While his main mission will be the health and welfare of players, staff, and everyone involved in bringing games back this discussion won’t even take place until the virus is either at the point of containment or drastically decreased.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the NBA was the first major sports league to suspend play, Given his nature, Silver will undoubtedly be extremely cautious but he also is the one sports commissioner who won’t be afraid to do things completely differently than the typical way a season has run previously.
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To that end, In terms of the semantics for a return to action Silver confirmed they are looking at every suggestion and won’t rule out any idea. He further stated that it could result in next season’s delay or phases within the season occurring at different dates than typical.
A positive as per Tim Bontemps tweet is Silver hasn’t ruled out the season returning with the full slate of games playing out. That would equate to between 15 and 18 regular season games depending on the team and a full postseason.
That’s the thing … it’s equally just as likely a return could occur with limited regular-season games, a jump directly into the postseason or a brand new plan we’ve never seen prior.
Clearly, Adam Silver won’t be forced into bringing back the season just because of lost revenues or to satisfy owners. fans or government officials. He’ll do what’s best for all involved and he won’t make any promises on when those decisions will be made.
Although it might seem obvious this media session seemed like Silver was making sure on May 1st no one is surprised if his message is still one of uncertainty. And while that might not be the news OKC Thunder and NBA fans want to hear – it should be noted Silver’s priorities have everyone’s best interest at heart.
As always, stay healthy and safe.