Sports | March 19, 2020 10:03 am

NBA Considering Quarantining Players for Televised Charity Game

NBA commissioner Adam Silver knows his league's fans need a diversion

NBA Considering Quarantining Players for Charity Game
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during a press conference. (Getty)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

During an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league was weighing several options for how and when his league will resume play. 

The most tantalizing option Silver mentioned, at least from a sports-starved fan’s perspective, was the NBA relaunching with a televised charity game that would be separate from the regular season or playoffs.

In order to hold such a game, Silver said the league was considering a scenario where coronavirus-free players would be held in quarantine so they could take the court without fear of contracting the virus. 

“Maybe it’s for a giant fundraiser or just for the collective good of the people,” Silver said. “You take a subset of players and is there a protocol in which they can be tested and quarantined and isolated in some way. … People are stuck at home. They need a diversion. They need to be entertained.”

There’s still no timetable for any decision about the league starting again in earnest, but Silver said he is hopeful the NBA can “salvage” the 2019-20 season.

There are many things to consider before that can happen.

“One is, when can we restart and operate as we’ve known it with 19,000 fans in buildings?” Silver told Nichols. “Option two is, should we consider restarting without fans, and what would that mean? Because, presumably, if we had a group of players, and staff around them, and you could test them and follow some sort of protocol, doctors and health officials may say it’s safe to play.”

If the league does come back to finish this season, it’s possible the 2020-21 NBA season may not begin until Christmas.

Silver also said eight full NBA teams have been tested for COVID-19, including the Jazz, Nets, Raptors and Thunder. Players from teams including the Pistons, Lakers, Celtics and 76ers have also been tested, so those are likely the other four teams that have been fully tested.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.