LOS ANGELES, United States, Apr 26 – NBA team practice facilities will reportedly reopen Friday in states and cities where coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home requirements have been loosened, allowing players to conduct individual workouts.
ESPN reported that teams will remain banned from conducting group workouts or other activities, citing unnamed sources.
The May 1 move would allow players to return to team facilities in such states as Georgia, home of the Atlanta Hawks, and Oklahoma, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, for fitness workouts in a safe and controlled environment.
The move, according to the report, does not reflect a new timetable for resumption of the 2019-20 season, which was halted March 12 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the deadly virus.
But it would mark a small first step on the road back to a possible completion of the regular season and playoffs, which typically last two months.
Most areas with NBA teams have more restrictive confinement measures remaining in place, so the league is telling clubs they will work to find alternative workout arrangements for players not in areas where they could report to team facilities.
With many NBA players not hunkered down in their club’s home markets, it could happen that NBA franchises with open facilities allow players from opposing clubs to use gyms on a limited basis for solo workouts.
With Georgia reopening many businesses in the past few days, some players had asked team officials about the possibility of going to Atlanta and working out in gyms there, a move team general managers did not favor.
Some general managers, according to ESPN, expressed concerns about the safety of reopening facilities given that medical officials have been against the idea of reopening businesses.
Georgia’s reopening move, for instance, came without the 14 days of diminishing coronavirus positive tests that were sought in federal guidelines of a multi-step process to reopening businesses across the United States.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said he will not begin to consider a timetable for resumption until May.
The NBA playoffs were to have started on April 18.