Adam Silver

NBA commissioner Adam Silver cautiously optimistic about Orlando plan

NBA commissioner Adam Silver cautiously optimistic about Orlando plan

The only thing that is certain regarding the potential restart of the 2019-20 season is uncertainty.

In an interview with Time100 Talks’ Sean Gregory, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on the return of the league under the “Orlando bubble” concept and why the league was pushing forward with a restart, instead of canceling the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

“There’s no way of knowing where this pandemic is going,” Silver told Gregory. “And what we’ve concluded is that we simply can’t run from it, and that like so many other industries, we’re looking to find the right balance between health and safety on one hand and economic necessity on the other.”

Safeguards are being put in place in Orlando. Players, staff and Disney workers will all be tested daily. The perimeter of the area will be secured and all physical contact with the outside world will be limited.

Although all of these measures are being put in place, nothing is certain. Despite already losing a four-month window, the league could be halted at any time.

"Never full steam ahead no matter what," Silver said. "One thing we are learning about this virus is much, 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."

When asked if there was a specific tipping point that might trigger a stoppage, Silver was uncertain.

“Honestly, I’m not sure,” Silver said. “We have a panel of scientists, doctors, experts that are working with us. We’re going to see as we go.” Silver said. “Certainly, if we have a lot of cases, we’re going to stop,” he says. “You cannot run from this virus. I am absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus, because there aren’t many other situations I’m aware of where there’s mass testing of asymptomatic employees. So in some ways, this is maybe a model for how other industries ultimately open.”

The Kings have already faced the issue of the highly contagious virus first hand. Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Jabari Parker have all tested positive in the last week and they aren’t the only players to face quarantine.

[RELATED: Kings primer: Breaking down roster heading into NBA restart in Orlando]

16 out of 302 players in the league (including the three Kings) initially tested positive and another two in Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan met the same fate over the weekend. Both the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets have had to close their practice facilities due to potential contamination.

The NBA will tread lightly and hope for the best. They have a thorough plan in place, but even that might not be enough. July 30th is still a month away and as we are learning, so much can change in a matter of 30 days.

Kevin Durant can return for NBA playoffs if healthy, Adam Silver says

Kevin Durant can return for NBA playoffs if healthy, Adam Silver says

The NBA is prepared to come back on July 31.

Is Kevin Durant?

Durant hasn't played in a game since rupturing his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year. That was his last game with the Warriors before signing with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, and his only competitive on-court action has come in scrimmages with his new teammates. Brooklyn general manager Bobby Marks called the status of Durant's return "a $110 million question" last month, but Marks left the door open for his return.

So did NBA commissioner Adam Silver in an interview with Turner Sports' "Inside the NBA" on Thursday, telling panelist Charles Barkley he didn't think it was unfair that players who sustained what were thought to be season-ending injuries to come back when the season restarts.

"We're gonna allow it," Silver said. "And I'd only say, Charles, that this has been the back-and-forth with our teams. There's so much here that's not fair, and we're choosing among multiple bad alternatives given the (coronavirus) pandemic we're dealing with. ... I think, ultimately, to the extent a team has a healthy roster and those players are able to come back, they are eligible to play."

Kevin Durant said last October on ESPN's "First Take" that he didn't expect to play during the 2019-20 season. Durant wasn't set to travel with the Nets when they were scheduled to visit the Warriors at Chase Center on March 12, but the rest of the Nets never played there, either. The NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the pandemic.

The Nets, as well as the 21 other teams who will make the trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, will play eight regular-season games to determine seeding before the playoffs begin. Brooklyn, currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, would have to play in a play-in series if the Nets slip to eighth or ninth in the conference.

Durant wouldn't be at the peak of his powers after not playing in any games, let alone those with seeding and (eventually) playoff elimination on the line. Inserting a two-time Finals MVP into the lineup would represent a slight improvement, however, as would getting point guard Kyrie Irving, who hasn't played since Feb. 1, back on the court.

[RELATED: Kerr issues message to Warriors fans about his lineups]

Rich Kleiman, Durant's agent, couldn't envision the superstar returning when he was asked about the possibility in March. Nearly three months have passed since then, and close to four will have passed when the Nets would begin training camp in Orlando under the NBA's plan.

If Durant's able to come back, he has the NBA's blessing to do so.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Sources: Warriors' facilities closed until city's social-distancing rules end

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USATSI

Sources: Warriors' facilities closed until city's social-distancing rules end

The NBA reportedly will allow teams to open facilities in areas where coronavirus-related social distance restrictions have been eased, but the Golden State Warriors' facilities will remain closed as long as the City of San Francisco keeps its ordinances in place, league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday.

The Warriors -- who haven't played a game since March 10 -- will continue to adhere to the guidelines set by San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Breed was among the first city leaders to enact social-distancing measures, banning all non-essential travel on March 16, despite San Francisco not having any known coronavirus cases at the time. Three days later, Newsom followed suit, enacting social-distance laws statewide.

On Friday, Breed said she'd "very likely" extend the measure in San Francisco past the current May 3 date.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski cited sources in reporting Saturday that the NBA will allow teams to open their facilities in cities and states where social-distancing guidelines have been relaxed. Right now, only Georgia has lifted its stay-at-home guidelines to reopen its economy. According to Wojnarowski, group workouts or organized team acitivities will not be permitted.

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The Warriors were among the first teams to put together plans in the wake of the virus, electing to play a now-canceled March 12 game against the Brooklyn Nets at Chase Center without fans. The virus -- which originated in Wuhan, China late last year -- has affected nearly 3 million people, taking more than 200,000 lives, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

[RELATED: Could Klay return to Warriors if NBA season resumes?]

Since suspending the season, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been cautious about giving a date for the league's return.

"What I’ve told my folks over the last week is we should accept at least for the month of April, we won’t be in a position to make any decisions," Silver told Turner Sports on April 6. "I don't think that necessarily means on May 1, we will be. ... Honestly, it’s just too early, given what is happening right now, to be able to project or predict where we will be in a few weeks."