Commissioner Adam Silver: NBA prepared to deal with some positive coronavirus tests

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWith the clock ticking on the NBA’s much-anticipated and unprecedented restart later this month at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, Silver fielded questions Tuesday from Adam Lashinsky, the executive editor of Fortune during the Fortune Brainstorm Health virtual conference.The commissioner expressed cautious confidence that the mitigating efforts that will be put in place to protect players in Orlando — the commissioner resisted calling it a “bubble,” because it won’t be a hermetically sealed environment — will work.The NBA has planned a 22-team, eight-game wrap-up to the regular season, to be followed potentially by play-in tournament for the eighth seed and then, the playoffs. It all starts July 30, when the Lakers and Clippers will meet for the fourth time this strange season.“When we set it up down this path, in terms of coming back and in Orlando, Florida was not experiencing case levels that the rate they are now; and Orange County, where Orlando is, was not,” said Silver, alluding to an escalating coronavirus tally that’s led to 213,794 positive results in the state, or nearly 1 out of 100 people. There have been 14,506 positive tests reported in Orange County.“On the other hand, we designed this campus environment so that we could be as protected as possible from the environment around us. So, on paper and dealing with our experts, it should work. But we shall see. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers There will be more positive tests among NBA players. Of that Commissioner Adam Silver is relatively certain.It’s how many and when they occur that will make the difference.“That’s more a representation of what’s happening around the country … virtually none of them were in Florida at the time that testing began,” said Silver, referring to the announcement last week that 25 of 351 players tested for the coronarvirus between June 23 and July 2.“And so, we won’t be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players that test positive. What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive, or we would have any positive tests, we know we would have an issue.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed “I’m confident, based on the positive cases we’re seeing from our players in the general public around the country that it will be safer on campus than off this campus, in part because we’re going to be doing daily testing. And, incidentally, when our players are not playing — which is the vast majority of the time they’re there — they will be observing physical distancing and wearing masks.“So it’s a very protected environment. But again, this virus has humbled many. I’m not going to express any higher level confidence than with the protocols (in place) we hope it works as we designed it.”Silver said he plans to make an appearance on campus, but he insisted that wouldn’t increase the risk factors for anyone involved because he will be tested before coming onto the grounds and will remain “very far away” from players, referees and others who’ll be most vulnerable.He also said advances in the understanding of the coronavirus since March will help the NBA deal with potential positive tests.“We do have the ability to trace, of course, to try to understand where that positive case came from,” Silver said. “We can actually analyze the virus itself and try to track whether, if there’s more than one case, if it’s in essence the same virus, (if) the same genetic variation of the virus that is passed from one player to another, or if two people on the campus have gotten it independently. So those are all things that we’re looking at.“Certainly,” he added, “if we had any sort of significant spread at all within our campus we would be shut down again.”The league is working on determining exactly what would constitute “significant spread,” Silver said.Related Articles Silver also said he couldn’t offer a figure for how much money the league has lost because of the coronavirus this season — which began, remember, with a political high-stakes rift with China stemming from Houston general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.That fallout might have cost the NBA as much as $400 million, Silver has suggested. But the pandemic’s cost? Too soon to tell, he said.“Depending what happens this summer, that’ll have a big impact on what our ultimate revenues are for the season, no matter what, the losses will be significant,” Silver said. “And as you might imagine, creating this campus environment in Orlando bringing 22 teams there, keeping them there potentially  for months, is enormously expensive and not a model that could continue to operate in. It was a recognition that these are extraordinary times and it would be meaningful if we could find a way to play NBA basketball under these circumstances.“So from a net standpoint, we will lose a lot of money this season, I think there’s no question about it.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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