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Adam Silver said Saturday the NBA is considering all options — best-case, worst-case and many ideas in between — as it comes to grips with this new normal.Silver unsure about NBA’s next move but says ‘nothing is off the table’ —
Tim Reynolds APMar 21, 2020 at 10:10pm ET.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver finds himself almost constantly looking at financial numbers and projections. And like the rest of a world that is dealing with the seismic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he still isn’t sure how bad things will get.
Silver said Saturday the league is considering all options — best-case, worst-case and countless ideas in between — as it tries to come to grips with this new normal. But definitive answers on any front are in short supply.
“It’s too soon to tell what the economic impact will be,” Silver said. “We’ve been analyzing multiple scenarios on a daily, if not hourly, basis and we’ll continue to review the financial implications. Obviously, it’s not a pretty picture but everyone, regardless of what industry they work in, is in the same boat.”
Saturday marked the 10th full day of the NBA’s shutdown, a stoppage that has cost the league 75 games and counting so far, a total that will reach triple digits on Wednesday and will eventually get to 259 on April 15 — the day the regular season was supposed to end. Play isn’t going to resume by then. The financial losses will be massive and will obviously just keep growing if this season cannot resume or if next season is affected.
“Adam is obviously cautious, cautiously optimistic,” Cleveland forward Kevin Love said earlier in the week. “We don’t know what the future holds but the NBA has been through a lot, we’ve seen a lot and I think we’ll be incredibly resilient. It just might take time.”
Players who are due to get their next paycheck on April 1 will get them. Whether those players will get their April 15 check is in some question; the league can exercise a clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows it to take back 1.08% of each player’s salary for each game missed in certain times — like war, or in this case, a pandemic.
That clause has not been exercised yet since, officially anyway, no game has been canceled.
“We’re exploring all options to resume our season if and when it is safe to do so,” Silver said. “Nothing is off the table.”
Besides, there are other bridges to cross first. The NBA — which was the first major U.S. pro league to say it would play games without fans and the first league to suspend its season once All-Star center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive — has been extremely vocal in trying to get its massive fan base to take social distancing and other preventative measures seriously.
“Our focus right now is doing all that we can to support, engage and educate the general public in response to this pandemic,” Silver said. “We are also making sure that we are prepared to resume the season if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.”
The league has asked teams for building availability dates through the end of August, an indicator that this season — if it resumes — may stretch deep into the summer.
So far, there are 14 people within the NBA community, including at least 10 players, known to have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those positive tests, seven became known publicly on Thursday, and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics revealed that he has the virus.
“Unfortunately, based on everything we know, significantly more positive cases in our league were inevitable,” Silver said. “So, Thursday’s results did not come as a huge surprise and just like everyone else, we’re just trying to take each day as it comes.”
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
Entering Saturday, there were about 19,000 known positive cases in the U.S. and more than 250 deaths blamed on the virus. Globally, there have been nearly 300,000 cases diagnosed so far with nearly 12,000 deaths. The virus first exploded in mainland China, where the NBA has offices and about 200 employees.
What workers in China went through helped the league quickly grasp some sort of understanding of the severity. Silver made the decision to shut down the league before any public health experts advised the NBA to take that step. He even sounded the alarm publicly in mid-February at NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago — saying then it was “a major national, if not global, health crisis” that was taking place.
“We’ve learned a lot from our China office,” Silver said, noting that meetings have been of the virtual variety there for several weeks now.
Silver’s sixth full season as commissioner of the NBA started with the league getting into a major rift with China. His mentor and NBA Commissioner emeritus David Stern died two months later. Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash less than a month after that.
Now he is dealing with the biggest crisis of them all — a pandemic, affecting and threatening virtually every corner of the planet.
“It’s been a challenging season,” Silver said. “For all of us.”
One of the key requirements of being an NBA agent is spending plenty of in-person time with your clients. Of course, that’s an impossibility these days, with measures in place to try to stem the coronavirus pandemic. Self-quarantining and social distancing are the themes of the moment, so everyone needs to adapt, including in the…Siakam’s agent Ramasar talks doing the job in age of coronavirus — Toronto Sun
Todd Ramasar said he’s talking to Pascal Siakam and the rest of his clients more frequently in lieu of being able to visit.
“Because, I think more than anything, and this is not just for athletes, you just talk about the effects on mental health. Kind of being in self-isolation,” Ramasar told Postmedia in a phone interview. “Even with family and loved ones, just having your normal routine taken away overnight, it takes its toll on anybody. So, for a lot of my guys, it’s just making sure they’re good,” he said.
Information is constantly arriving as we all go through his odd period and it’s no different for professional athletes. Ramasar says questions have been evolving as more is learned and as more time passes.
“The initial conversations were mainly business. Also their health and safety. But now that we’re a week into this, it’s more like, ‘Are you good. How can we be helpful?’” he said.
“A lot of them are staying (put), can’t go work out at their facilities. So trying to get workout equipment into their homes and talk to their teams. Just making sure that they’re not getting stir-crazy just sitting in their homes. Since there aren’t very many activities for them to do,” Ramasar said.
“There’s literally nothing. You can’t go to the movies, you can’t go shopping. You can’t go out to eat. Everything is from home base. And for these guys, where their internal clock has been on the road traveling (for 41 road outings or more) or going to a game or, you know, interacting with (team) staff and personnel. That camaraderie. And then, overnight, that’s taken away or that shifts. That’s tough,” Ramasar told Postmedia.
It’s also difficult because nobody knows what’s next, or how long it might take before training and games can resume.
“It’s tough to say, I mean I think it’s gonna be challenging the longer this plays out. Because it’s not a matter of logistics,” Ramasar said when asked to opine on when the league will be back. “I think for the NBA to return the season, say, in mid-June, it’s more of a matter that these guys are going to need at least a month to practice and find the rhythm and the chemistry again that they would have lost over that extended period of time. Because, what you don’t want to do is put these high-level athletes back on the floor without practice. To throw them out there in a high-level environment, which would be the playoffs (and potentially the end of the regular season), I think it’ll put them in harm’s way and increase the likelihood of serious injury. And that’s the challenge.”