At least four teams are asking the NBA to have players travel directly to the league’s proposed “campus” site to resume training rather than having them first come to the clubs’ home cities, ESPN reported Friday.
The NBA reportedly is looking at using one or a few venues to house multiple teams ahead of a resumption of play amid the coronavirus pandemic. Orlando and Las Vegas have been mentioned prominently as candidates to host teams in a bubble-like environment in which all players and staffers would receive regular COVID-19 tests.
At issue is the plan for teams whose areas have been hard hit by the pandemic.
According to ESPN, as part of a Thursday call with NBA general managers, the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors were among the teams who stated their desire to avoid having players come back to their usual team training sites.
In theory, some players might need a quarantine period of up to 14 days before they would begin training at team facilities. They then might be subject to another quarantine stretch when the team heads to the site where it would resume games.
Per the report, the NBA general managers discussed multiple restart options on Thursday. Continuing the regular season with all 30 teams ahead of the playoffs reportedly remains a possibility, as is a revised playoff format with a play-in round expanding the postseason field.
The New York Times’ Mark Stein tweeted Friday that the NBA is also leaning toward limiting teams’ traveling parties to the “campus” environment to a total of 35 players, coaches and staffers. Typical NBA road-trip parties feature more than 50 people.
The NBA suspended its season March 11 when Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Teams have played between 63 and 67 games in the 82-game regular season.