BOSTON -- For those looking for the NBA season to resume in the near future, you might want to pump the brakes on that optimism.
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NBA commissioner Adam Silver made it clear that the league very much remains in the dark as to when - if at all - games will resume after play was suspended indefinitely on March 11 following Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“Based on the reports we got from various outside officials, current health officials…we are not in any position to make any decisions and it’s unclear when we will be,” Silver told reporters on a conference call following the NBA’s annual Board of Governors meeting, which was also conducted via conference call. “We just need more data.”
Some of the “data” Silver referred to includes:
- Decreasing the number of new infections
- Availability of testing on a large scale
- Clearer path towards a vaccine and/or anti-viral treatments
And while Silver repeatedly emphasized the importance of the health of the players and all those around the game remains paramount to any potential return, there’s no escaping the economic impact that the shutdown due to the COVID-19 virus has had on the NBA’s bottom line.
Toward that end, the NBA and its Players Association have agreed to a plan to withhold 25 percent of each player's paycheck starting May 15.
The held-back money would be returned to the players should all the remaining regular-season games be played if and when the season resumes. The owners keep a percentage of the money based on the cancellation of games.
“Our revenue, in essence, has dropped to zero,” Sliver said.