What Brad Stevens' understanding of NBA's approach to hiatus says

Nick Friar
March 27, 2020 - 2:57 pm

Like everyone else in the world — never mind other professional sports leagues — the NBA has had to make a lot of decisions on the fly. The league set the tone for cancellations in sports after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and, like the NHL, the NBA is trying to figure out how to finish off 2019-20.

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Even if the NBA decides to just have the playoffs and nix the rest of the regular season, players will need a warmup period time to properly prepare. And as much as a modified training camp would help, there’s no way to adequately mimic game reps.

At the time of Brad Stevens’ conference call on Friday, there hadn’t been any new developments regarding the length of the league’s hiatus. But there’s been limited traction to the discussions surrounding what the plan will be if the NBA does try to move forward with 2019-20.

“Some of that stuff is being brainstormed and bantered about at a 10,000-foot view, and then I'm sure they'll dial into details of that when some possible scenarios become more clear,” Stevens said.

Yet therein lies the crux of the issue: no one has a clue when “possible scenarios” could become even remotely clear. Everything about the novel coronavirus outbreak is riddled with uncertainty.

“You turn on the TV and there (are) different viewpoints of how long this thing is going to take,” Stevens said. “But anybody that is speaking scientifically or from that point of view says it's going to take a while. And so, you see the schools are closed here till May 4, you see all the stay at home advisories all around the country. I think there's a lot to determine — I don't think you can determine any of that until you have a timeline. And it's just almost impossible to get a timeline right now.”

The NBA can hold out hope that there will be a 2020 champion — and the league is taking the proper steps to ensure this happens — but it sounds like they in the dark as much as everyone else at this stage.

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