Just a day after we learned that the NBA season would be suspended in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, we now know the minimum amount of time before the Los Angeles Lakers and the other 29 teams in the league may return to the floor — 30 days, according to multiple reports:
NBA owners are encouraging of commissioner Adam Silver to re-evaluate the league's suspension in 30 days, sources tell ESPN. League is expected to make a formal announcement on an initial timetable soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
Source to @YahooSports: NBA Owner call just ended. 30 day shutdown then everything will be re-assessed. Some suggested every player will be tested for COVID-19 in the meantime— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) March 12, 2020
The state of California has already begun to take steps towards halting public gatherings of more than 250 people for the rest of this month, but the 30 days before this proposed re-evaluation would extend out past those restrictions. It is unknown which, if any, other restrictions the country, states or even individual cities will put in place over that time, or how the evolution of this situation may change the NBA’s plans.
Mayor DiBlasio said Madison Square Garden will likely be closed for months. Don't see how the NBA can play again this season. Maybe a truncated postseason.— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) March 12, 2020
Beyond making sure that it’s safe to play, there are other logistical concerns the NBA will have to address here. Will it just cancel the games that were missed? 30 days from the day the NBA suspended the season would mean the Lakers would only have three or four games left in their 2019-20 schedule. Would the league instead just tell teams to prep for the playoffs so that those could still start on time, and let the rest of the league calendar remain intact? That would obviously be advantageous for the Lakers, who have the best record in the Western Conference, but how would the teams in the thick of the playoff race for the final spots respond to that? Would the games even be able to be played with fans in the building at that point?
Could the league instead push games back, and extend the season later than it traditionally goes? How would that affect the start of the next season, as well as the NBA Draft and various summer leagues, among other things? All of these are questions that the league will have to answer, that would all affect the Lakers and various other teams in different ways.
There will surely be more updates on this in the coming days, but for now it’s just important to remember that all this is bigger than basketball. The league will get things figured out eventually, and until then, we all just have to figure out how to best take care of ourselves and our families during a difficult time. This has been a really tough season for this community specifically with everything that has faced this team. Let’s all band together and support each other one more time.