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Adam Silver admits NBA season could be halted due to COVID-19

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during the NBA All-Star Game
Feb 14, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver looks on during the NBA All Star-Celebrity Game at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA continues to forge ahead with its plan to resume the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando on July 30. The backdrop here is a COVID-19 pandemic that’s growing in multiple big states, Florida included.

In talking about the situation with TIME recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the season could be impacted. He also wouldn’t 100% commit to it actually getting off the ground.

Adam Silver admits NBA season could be halted due to COVID-19

“Never full steam ahead no matter what,” Silver told TIME (h/t ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk). “One thing we are learning about this virus as much is [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.”

A widespread outbreak of COVID-19 at Walt Disney World would pretty much be the worst-case scenario for the NBA as it looks to restart a season that was suspended all the way back on March 11.

While confident that the bubble city in Orlando is safer for NBA players, he did admit that an outbreak would force the season to be halted.

“We are testing daily,” Silver continued. “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.”

Out of north of 300 players tested last week, 16 were shown to be positive for COVID-19. Since then, the likes of DeAndre Jordan have announced that they have the virus.

2019-20 NBA season

As noted above, the season is expected to resume on July 30. A total of 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams will take part in the restart. Each team will play eight regular-season games before the playoffs start.

As of right now, multiple players have exercised their ability to opt out of the season. It’s not necessarily a major trend, but it is something to keep an eye on with the season slated to resume in exactly a month.