“If we were to face a significant spread of the coronavirus, it could ultimately lead us to stop,” said Silver during a conference call with media. If this scenario is not excluded, the commissioner of the league added that “the limit threshold leading to such a decision has not been determined with precision”.
Earlier Friday, the NBA and the players’ union (NBPA) announced that they had definitively approved the season’s recovery plan, particularly in terms of safety and health protocols. If he wants to be “serene” as for this prospect, Adam Silver acknowledged that the level of worry had risen within the NBA in recent days in view of the spectacular resurgence of positive cases of coronavirus in Florida and in all country.
On Thursday, 8,942 people tested positive in the “Sunshine State”, breaking the record of 5508 on Tuesday, bringing the total to more than 123,000. If the contaminations are concentrated in the south of the state, Orange County where Disney World is located has seen 10% of the tests return positive in the last ten days. This is more than double the rates recorded between June 6 and June 15.
Within the NBA, 16 players tested positive out of 302 during a global screening carried out on Tuesday, or 5.3%. “No option is without risk at the moment. My ultimate conclusion is that we cannot overcome the virus,” said Silver, justifying the choice to resume on an isolated site, which “although it is not entirely waterproof, will protect us from the cases around us. “
“We think it will be safer on our campus than outside,” he said. Daily tests will be carried out there and additional screening will also be provided for Disney World personnel from outside.
The matches being played behind closed doors, Adam Silver also explained that to offer a better television show, the retransmissions will multiply the camera angles and change the soundscape. The league and players have also agreed to take advantage of this media window to take action to fight systemic racism and promote social justice. Many players, around 80, expressed their opposition to replaying, believing that the time was for engagement and protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.