NBA to allow training facilities to reopen on Friday
As early as Friday, the NBA is set to give their teams the green light to reopen practice facilities, though they will still be for restricted use. This comes a little less than two months after the COVID-19 pandemic would force the league to suspend the season.
Both head and assistant coaches will be unable to attend workouts, and scrimmages are also not allowed, so the teams who take advantage of the restricted reopening will not see normal business in their practice facilities. However, this is a step forward on the journey back to normalcy for the NBA, who has been dealing with a league shutdown since March, and would do so in dramatic fashion with an immediate stoppage.
According to a memo from the NBA, players will be required to wear face masks while inside their team's facilities, "except during the period when they are engaged in physical activity."
After use, teams will also be forced to disinfect any equipment, which ranges from basketballs to weight-room equipment.
Only a few teams will be taking advantage of Friday's reopening, and this due to stay-at-home orders still going on in some states, while others are in the process of reopening their economies.
So far, four NBA teams are reportedly planning on getting back to work on Friday in their practice facilities, while the remaining 26 will continue to wait it out.
According to the USA Today, the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers will all take advantage of the reopening, and will be opening their facilities to players. Later, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they were also joining that group to reopen their facilities.
The USA Today also reported that "maybe another team or two" could join that group of four to reopen for limited business on Friday, however, other teams are more than three weeks away from having individual workouts -- one of those confirmed teams are the Golden State Warriors.
According to ESPN, on Friday, the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, as well as Michele Roberts, the National Basketball Players Association executive director, will hold a call for all players to discuss the reopening plans.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, players will be allowed to ask any questions on the call in regards to the state of the league.
Other sports leagues across North America, including MLB and NHL, are in the same boat with having their calendar currently on hold, and are reviewing options on how their seasons can resume.
Another league, Major League Soccer, would return to training on Wednesday, but with restrictions and rules in place. NASCAR has also decided to get back to business, resuming their season on May 17 without fans.
The NBA were one of the first leagues that were forced to put a halt to their season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and would do so in dramatic fashion after calling off games at the last minute after a Utah Jazz player, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive for the virus in March.