The NBA continues to look for ways to safely resume the 2019-20 season, but according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the league will not go forward with any potential solution where players would have to separated from their families for the remaining games.
Quarantining players away from their families to finish the season was recommended by health experts, and is a solution that was looked at by other major sports leagues, notably MLB. However, the NBA is hopeful that gradual improvements in testing and the growing health of the country will allow players to bring their families along to wherever the NBA decides to play.
The league is reportedly looking at playing in an isolated location where they can house players along with their families, with the two most recent suggestions including Las Vegas and Disney World. MGM Resorts International reportedly sent the league a proposal that would accommodate players and their families at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, with 4,700 rooms between three connected hotels.
The NBA may be erring on the side of caution and looking for testing to improve after the public was unhappy with their response to the coronavirus in early March. A memo issued by the league Thursday night advised teams not to organize COVID-19 tests for asymptomatic players and staff, according to ESPN.
In the memo, the league states that “for the time being, it is not appropriate in the current public health environment to regularly test all players and staff for the coronavirus.”
During the initial outbreak, some teams were heavily criticized when they were able to schedule testing of all their players and staff at a time when tests were difficult to procure.
In making testing decisions, teams were instructed to consult “with an infectious disease specialist, and in consideration of the patient’s individual circumstances and guidance on testing related to COVID-19 from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and from the local health authority in the team’s market.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday night that the NBA believes it will need close to 15,000 tests in order for the league to be able to resume play.