SALT LAKE CITY — On a conference call Friday afternoon, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told players to plan for games without fans until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the Athletic’s Shams Charania.
With fans in buildings constituting 40 percent of league revenue, the NBA is working on creative ways on TV to deliver the games to audiences, Silver told players. Silver started to prepare players for possibility of no fans in arenas next year without a vaccine, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
In a series of tweets, Wojnarowski and Charania detailed parts of the conversation between Silver and the players.
Silver noted that a decision on resuming the season would not have to be made in May or early June but did make it clear that playing in one or two locations, with Orlando and Las Vegas being the frontrunners, would be the safest course of action.
Though no decision has yet been made regarding whether the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season will be played, and while ideas have been floated about a truncated version of the postseason, Silver told players that he is still hoping to move forward with seven-game rounds throughout the playoffs.
If the NBA does move forward with isolated games in either Orlando or Las Vegas, Silver said he would expect for the NBA to have daily tests available to them by that time so that in the event that a player were to test positive after the return it would be in such an environment that there would be no need to shut things down again.
Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, asked Silver during the call what the financial impact of the shutdown would be, and Silver was straightforward in saying that the current NBA collective bargaining agreement “wasn’t built for an extended pandemic.”
Michele Roberts asked Silver on the call about financial impact moving foward for the league and players, and Silver flatly said that the collective bargaining agreement "wasn't built for an extended pandemic." Silver called it all: "The greatest challenge" of our lifetime.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
It is very likely that the loss of revenue from the remainder of the season and the loss of revenue from future games without fans will impact the league for years.