When will the NBA return? That’s a question many are asking after the league suspended its season amid the coronavirus pandemic. A fluid situation, we’ll continue to update this page as news and rumors are shared by trusted reporters and the NBA itself.
Coronavirus Caused This
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread into the states of Washington and California, the NBA was initially looking at playing in empty stadiums. The Golden State Warriors were hit with that mandate after the City of San Francisco banned large gatherings of 1,000-plus people.
Then, Wednesday, March 11, the entire situation changed.
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a stunning decision to put the entire NBA season on hold. Since then, teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for COVID-19.
When will the NBA return?
The NBA is shut down for at least 30 days, which means it will not be back until at least April 10, 2020.
According to Yahoo Sports, this was the determination of the NBA owners, who participated in a conference call on Thursday, March 12, following the Association’s decision to suspend the season.
Additionally, the NBA has issued strict coronavirus guidelines for teams to follow as the league remains suspended, per Marc Stein of the New York Times:
“The NBA has notified its teams that all players are advised to stay in their home markets, remain home as much as possible and that teams are not allowed to hold group practices, meetings or workouts through at least March 16.
The NBA, league sources say, has also asked team doctors and athletic trainers to check in at least once a day with players on their health status and use a “one player, one coach, one basket” rule if multiple players are working out at the same time in team practice facilities.”
That’s all we know about the suspended NBA season at this point, but we’ll add to this when more information comes out.
Are the draft positions set, pending the lottery?
At this time, there is no information about how the coronavirus-inspired suspension of the NBA season will have on the NBA draft or its order.
What about the NBA playoffs?
Speaking on the subject, NBA commissioner conceded that the 30-day mark could certainly change and that the NBA Finals could be pushed back all the way to July or even into August.
How much money will the NBA lose because of this?
It’s not yet known exactly how the NBA suspending operations will impact the league’s bottom line. However, there is some solid information out there and The Athletic shared that teams will lose an estimated $1.9 million in revenue per home game lost.
Additionally, Yahoo Sports shared that, “The loss of games through the end of the month could cost the league roughly $275 million, to say nothing of other Basketball-Related Income (BRI) that may be compromised. That number would climb closer to $500 million if the regular season is lost, significantly more if this hiatus bleeds into the playoffs.”
Since then, the number has only swelled more, with the latest estimates being closer to a $700 million loss.
Will the players get paid?
This is a tricky situation, to be sure. The NBA players could, by virtue of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBAPA, be financially hurt if the season is actually cancelled.
If games are cancelled, players will forfeit 1/92.6th of their salary per game missed, according to Spotrac.
Will team employees and vendors get paid?
Some teams have already vowed to pay lower-income, hourly-wage employees during this suspension. When it comes to vendors, there is no clear answer on that aspect of this shutdown at this time.
How is this different from the H1N1 virus from 10 years ago?
There’s not much of a difference between H1N1 (Swine Flu) and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) when comes to its spread. H1N1 is an respiratory transmission from sneezing, coughing, and touching germ-covered surfaces followed by touching your nose or eyes. COVID-19 is spread in the same manner, per the CDC.
Why is the league shut down now vs in 2009 when the H1N1 was a pandemic?
There are a number of reasons, starting with NBA superstar Rudy Gobert being affected in a high-profile manner. It could also stem from lessons learned from previous pandemics like H1N1. According to CDC statistics, the H1N1 virus killed 12,000 Americans over the course of one year from April 2009 to April 2010.