Los Angeles (hooly News) – NBA boss Adam Silver, "calm" over the resumption of the championship on July 30, nevertheless conceded that if the coronavirus, in spectacular increase in Florida, were to spread in the bubble of Disney World , the season could be stopped.
"If we were to face a significant spread of the coronavirus, it could ultimately lead us to stop," said Silver during a conference call with media.
If this scenario is not excluded, the commissioner of the league added that "the limit threshold leading to such a decision has not been determined with precision".
Earlier on Friday, the NBA and the players' union (NBPA) announced that they had definitively approved the season's recovery plan, particularly in terms of safety and health protocols.
If he wants to be "serene" as for this prospect, Silver recognized that the level of worry had increased within the NBA in recent days in view of the spectacular resurgence of positive cases with coronavirus in Florida and throughout the country .
On Thursday, 8,942 people tested positive in the "Sunshine State", breaking the record of 5,508 on Tuesday, bringing the total to more than 123,000. If the contaminations are concentrated in the south of the state, Orange County where Disney World is located has seen 10% of the tests return positive in the last ten days. This is more than double the rates recorded between June 6 and June 15.
Within the NBA, 16 players tested positive out of 302 during a global screening carried out on Tuesday, or 5.3%.
– No zero risk –
"No option is without risk at the moment. My ultimate conclusion is that we cannot overcome the virus," said Silver, justifying the choice to resume if an isolated site, which "although it is not entirely waterproof, will protect us from the cases around us. "
"We think it will be safer on our campus than outside," he said. Daily tests will be carried out there and additional screening will also be provided for Disney World personnel from outside.
The championship, interrupted since March 11, following the announcement of the positive coronavirus test of Rudy Gobert (Utah) will resume as a symbol on July 30 with a match of Jazz and its French pivot which will be measured in New Orleans of the Zion Williamson phenomenon, before a big shock the same evening between the Lakers of LeBron James and the Clippers of Kawhi Leonard.
22 teams are concerned, which will first play eight regular season games each, before possible play-offs for 8th place in each conference, the last qualifier for the play-offs. For a final crowning on October 13 at the latest.
As the matches were played behind closed doors, Silver explained that to provide a better television show, the broadcasts will increase the camera angles and change the soundscape.
If basketball will resume its rights, the league and the players have also agreed to take advantage of this media window to take action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.
Many players, around 80, have expressed their opposition in recent weeks to replay, believing that the time was for engagement and protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.