NBA may allow team facilities to open May 8 in states relaxing restrictions

first_imgAs some states across the country deliberate and prepare to re-open non-essential businesses and services, the NBA — even in the markets where it stands to benefit — is exercising caution.The league announced Monday that it will not allow practice facilities to re-open until at least May 8, even in states where governments are relaxing quarantine restrictions. Even when facilities will be open, the NBA outlined strict regimens to limit exposure to COVID-19: no group workouts, no head or assistant coaches present, and stringent disinfecting and distancing while in the building.In states where quarantine rules will remain in place — such as California, which could extend restrictions past the existing planned end date of May 3 — the NBA said it will “identify alternatives” to allow players to train during the league’s hiatus.“The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states,” the league said in a statement on Monday afternoon. In the event practice facilities would reopen, the NBA said no more than four players would be allowed in the building at any one time, and they would not be allowed to work out or play together.The Associated Press reported other conditions of practice facilities re-opening: Players returning to team markets will have to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days; equipment must be disinfected between all uses; common areas such as steam rooms or cold tubs cannot be used; cell phones and keys must be disinfected when entering the facility. Players will wear masks before and after workouts. Teams will have to appoint an executive to be in charge of meeting all facility hygiene standards.With Georgia becoming the first state to re-open gyms, barbershops, salons and restaurants, the possibility of sports teams in the state resuming some normal procedures seemed to gain steam. But ESPN reported that Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said he would not open the team’s facility on Friday, when the NBA’s earlier self-mandated shutdown of facilities was set to expire out of caution for player and staff safety.Schlenk told ESPN: “We are going to wait and see what happens in the state over the couple of weeks.”Georgia’s return to business has been controversial as the U.S. continues to grapple with COVID-19, with over 1 million reported cases and 56,000 deaths. In California, the hit has been lower per capita than many other highly populated states, but there have been nearly 20,000 reported cases in L.A. County where the Lakers and the Clippers reside. Governor Gavin Newsom and L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti have been publicly skeptical that sports with fans will return in 2020. Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ Related Articles Photos: Lakers defeat Trail Blazers in Game 4 of first-round playoff series On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead center_img Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The possibility that some facilities could open sooner than others has fueled speculation that teams could relocate players to other states temporarily in hopes of practicing under less stringent guidelines — which could cool in light of the two-week quarantine period the league will require after travel.In the meantime, players have improvised with at-home workouts, with equipment sent by teams or ordered individually. Some players, such as LeBron James, have said they have been able to get access to indoor courts owned by individuals, but the NBA has banned players’ use of public courts and gyms even past May 8.The NBA said it could move facility closures to a later date if a resurgence in COVID-19 cases occur.last_img read more