NBA 2020-21: As coronavirus-infected players, contact tracing quarantines and ancillary injuries thin rosters of available players, the NBA has no plans to pause the season, a league spokesman told ESPN. There have been several Coronavirus cases in the NBA, particularly in the Boston Celtics.
“We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN in a statement. “There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols.”
Some team executives have personally established concerns in the tumultuous past several days, but commissioner Adam Silver has stayed committed to accelerating through games with a minimum of eight available players per team.
“They tell us it’ll be better later in the season, but I just hope this doesn’t break the league in the next few weeks,” one general manager told ESPN.
The National Basketball Association game scheduled for Sunday between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.
NBA Health and Safety Protocol Guide
All the teams were issued a 134-page “Health and Safety Protocol Guide” for the 2020-2021 season this morning, per sources. Now, the NBA tries this outside of a bubble.
While the NBA will take all the precautions and ensure that health and safety protocols are followed, it does not guarantee to prevent Covid-19.
The coronavirus is still surging around the United States. A few days ago, more than 2,300 people in the nation died from COVID-19, the highest daily total since early May.
In only two weeks, 2 million new cases have been recorded in the U.S.A. More than 260,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.
As NBA organizations begin daily coronavirus testing this weekend and prepare for start of training camps next week, teams were issued a 134-page “Health and Safety Protocol Guide” for the 2020-2021 season this morning, per sources. Now, the NBA tries this outside of a bubble.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 28, 2020
NBA 2020-21: Under what circumstances will the NBA 2020-21 season be suspended?
The league now faces the reality of teams having to travel across the country in order to try to complete the 72-game regular season.
As for the possibility of suspending the season just like the NBA did back in March, the league does not state what would trigger such a decision to need to happen again.
It states that “The occurrence of independent cases or a small or otherwise expected number of COVID-19 cases will not require a decision to suspend or cancel the 2020-21 season.”
The playoffs come after that. For this, the league has forced a limit of 45 people for any team’s travel party which includes up to 17 players.
The protocol states that, “as when in their team’s market, members of the traveling party shall remain obligated to minimize risks to manage their health and enhance that of all individuals involved in the 2020-21 season.”
The tentative schedule calendar for the 2020-21 season:
• Dec. 11-19, 2020: Preseason games
• Dec. 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First Half of regular season
• March 5-10, 2021: All-Star break
• March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second Half of regular season
• May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament
• May 22 – July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA Playoffs