Bulls

Report: NBA assessing COVID-19 testing options that could accelerate return

Report: NBA assessing COVID-19 testing options that could accelerate return

When ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported "significant pessimism" that the NBA would find a path to resolving its season, he cited rapid and accessible testing as among key mitigating factors.

"A big factor is testing. We just don't have the testing," Windhorst said in a SportsCenter appearance. "At some point, not only does it have to be a test that's quick and can evaluate whether a player is healthy enough to enter a game, you have to know whether you have the tests available, so that you're not taking them away from people who need them."

Now, reports indicate the league has made some headway on that front — or at least, they're hoping to.

From Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

In recent weeks, officials within the NBA and NBPA have been collaborating in assessing the viability of multiple blood-testing devices for the coronavirus that could provide accurate results within a matter of minutes, a process that would hopefully enable the league to track the virus in what is considered a critical first step toward resuming play in the near future.

Multiple league sources close to the situation said the league and players union have been looking at what those familiar with the matter describe as "diabetes-like" blood testing in which someone could, with the prick of a finger, be tested quickly, and results could be gained inside of 15 minutes.

That certainly is a jarring update considering where we were in this story mere days ago. Holmes went on to report (citing league sources) that this experiment is in the "exploratory phase" and there is still no timetable for when such a resource might be made available.

Further, even if such an innovation was made, sports leagues would and should take a backseat to healthcare workers and other essential professionals. And even that hedge doesn't take into account the risk of possible false-negative tests, an issue Holmes fleshed out at length in the aforementioned report.

If all the stars align, though, the consensus appears to be that this could be a game-changer as it relates to the NBA returning to action. 

Still, the message from the league and its many spheres is consistent. Top brass is doing all it can to find an avenue to resume and resolve the 2019-20 season, but will not do so until given clearance by health officials to do so. The hurdles remain immense.

This report marks a potential breakthrough well down the line, but for now, it's a development that leaves us with more questions than answers. A familiar feeling, coming up on a month since the NBA suspended its season.


SUBSCRIBE: Apple/iPhone | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Art 19

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Adam Silver: Michael Jordan ‘clearly the most respected voice’ in NBA meetings

Adam Silver: Michael Jordan ‘clearly the most respected voice’ in NBA meetings

The NBA’s resumption bid in Orlando, Fla. kicking off July 31 will involve 22 teams. All 22 will finish out their respective regular season slates with eight games each, followed by potential play-in series for each conference’s eighth seed, followed by a traditional (or as traditional as is possible) 16-team playoff.

That plan came after months of deliberation between commissioner Adam Silver and a litany of voices across the league. And in those deliberations a number of creative solutions were discussed — from a World Cup-style group stage first round to a 30-team play-in tournament.

The compulsion to face an unprecedented situation with unprecedented ideas is an understandable one. And the resolution of the NBA’s 2019-20 season will be without historical comparison. 

But Silver said in an appearance on Inside the NBA on TNT Thursday night that Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, was one of the swing voices that pushed the league to pursue a traditional postseason format after the 16 playoff teams were established. Jordan’s voice evidently carries a lot of weight in such discussions.

“This was a point made by Michael Jordan — whose team, the Charlotte Hornets are not one of the 22 teams, but he’s clearly the most respected voice in the room when it comes to basketball — he felt it was very important that after we established the 16 teams we not be gimmicky,” Silver said. “Because there were a lot of proposals on the table to do unique tournaments and pool play like you see in international competition. And we took many of those proposals very seriously. 

“Ultimately, I agreed with Michael that there's so much chaos in the world right now, even before the racial unrest we’re experiencing now, let’s come as close to normal as we can. And as close to normal as we can is top eight in the West, top eight in the East playing four rounds of seven games. So that’s what we intend to do and our goal is to crown a champion.

And so, here we are. Even with many questions still to be answered, the NBA is on a fast track to returning.

RELATED: Explaining the NBA's plan to resume the 2019-20 season

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Art19

Bulls Talk Podcast: The NBA season is set to return during a trying time

usatsi_14172565.jpg
USA Today

Bulls Talk Podcast: The NBA season is set to return during a trying time

The NBA season is set to restart and return with 22 teams continuing their seasons for a chance at a playoff spot and a championship. Even though the league has set a schedule the current state of the country is still in flux due to the murder of George Floyd. Host Jason Goff is joined by Rob Schaefer, Tony Gill, Kevin Anderson, and KC Johnson to discuss social justice and police brutality in America, the NBA restarting the season, and what does it mean for the Bulls now that their season is over.

(3:00) - It's been a hard week for America

(16:06) - When sports come back, we must still remember this pain

(35:40) - This situation feels different

(42:06) - Strong concerns over the NBA picking the season back up

(53:38) - How will no fan games impact the players?

(1:05:21) - The Bulls season is officially over, what will happen with Jim Boylen

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.