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Adam Silver Told Teams Not To Expect Fans If The NBA Resumes Its Season

It’s been almost two full months since the NBA went on hiatus amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and though the league hasn’t closed the door on a return this season, there are a number of logistical obstacles to overcome before teams can begin to take the court again.

At this point, it remains unclear whether that would mean finishing out the regular season in some abbreviated fashion or jumping right into the playoffs. Everything is on the table. On Friday, the league took baby steps toward returning to action by allowing practice facilities to open and permitting small groups of players to participate in workouts.

It’s a move that’s naturally been greeted with skepticism by players, coaches, and owners alike, with Mark Cuban saying earlier this week that he’d rather not put his team at risk. Also on Friday, Commissioner Adam Silver spoke with players across the league via conference call, during which he laid out several details about what a return would entail.

The absence of fans was no surprise, given the risk of gathering that many people together in one place. But it appears now that the league is giving itself at least another month to figure out whether any of this is doable. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on Friday that it could take 2-3 weeks for players to return to their respective teams, as many of them have gone home to be with their families, including several, like Luka Doncic, who are currently overseas. She added that there is widespread reluctance among the players to do so until there is certainty about a return to action.

The idea of playing in a single location, such as Disney World or Las Vegas, is one that’s been floating around now for weeks, as both have the facilities and the lodging necessary to house the minimum of 1,500 people it would require to resume play, even with a skeleton crew. For now, there is still very little clarity about if or when the NBA will return.