NBA players heard an update on Friday from Commissioner Adam Silver on coronavirus-related issues. Silver reportedly provided many direct conversations, but not much good news.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said he obtained the audio of the call between Silver and the leadership of the players' association. In the following article, three items stand out:
– Silver believes the league does not need to decide whether to resume play until June.
– If the game resumes, it will probably take place in a "bubble" environment in a central location after at least three weeks of training camp. Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas continue to have the most support for being bubble sites. The league aims to hold a full postseason, although it is unclear whether regular season games will be played before that.
– The league is preparing for long-term financial difficulties.
Players already agreed to give up 25% of their wages for this season in the event, the rest will be canceled. More revenue losses would require more rounds of difficult negotiations. Atlético's Shams Charania reported that Silver told players 40% of the league's revenue comes from fans, who may not return to the arenas until a vaccine is developed. Several reports have said that bubble games will not be open to the public.
In a small sign of progress this week, teams were allowed to open their facilities in states where restrictions on staying at home have eased. Players who want to enter can only exercise on their own. Union leadership told Silver that the teams pressured players to attend, for Charania, but Silver agreed with players that the activities are voluntary.