The 2019-20 season – which was postponed to March – is set to resume on July 31, with 22 of 30 NBA teams meeting in Orlando, Florida, to end the season at the Disney World complex.
But even if Silver is certain that “he will be safer on this campus than outside it”, a “significant diffusion” of positive cases between players could involve the cancellation of the season.
“[It’s] never “hastily whatever happens”. One thing we learn about this virus is that many things are unpredictable. “
The NBA recently announced that after testing 302 of its players, 16 were positive. One of these 16, DeAndre Jordan of the Brooklyn Nets, posted on Twitter that after his positive test, he would not go to Florida.
The ratio of positive cases at the moment does not worry Silver, however. “It’s not alarming based on what we see in the general population,” says Silver. “In many ways, it was somewhat predictable. Where I am most relieved … is that among these 16 positive tests, there are no serious cases.”
A coalition of NBA players – led by Brooklyn Nets leader Kyrie Irving – has voiced opposition to the league’s restart plan and has decided to sit down for the rest of the season to continue focusing on the movement Black Lives Matter and the global call for social change following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police in May.
However, Silver believes that players can do more good by using their platforms when restarting, before the eyes of the sports world.
And Silver supports the players and their desire to express themselves.
“These athletes want to be heard on these issues, understandably,” said Silver. “And we also have, at least in the case of the NBA, a league where about 75% of our players are black.
“They’re probably among the most prominent black people around the world. They don’t just park their skin color, or who they are, when they play basketball. They have their life experiences, and they want to use them. “