They don’t know.
National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver gets the smartest guy in the room sports award this week. Usually sports commissioners have an answer for everything but in an interview with TNT’s Ernie Johnson, Jr. Silver said “essentially what I’ve told my folks over the last week is we should just accept that at least for the month of April, we won’t be in a position to make any decisions.” TNT is one of the NBA’s broadcast partners. Silver has admitted that his basketball people cannot make a decision on getting the players back on to the court because the basketball people cannot get a handle on the coronavirus. Silver needs medical and scientific experts to guide him. The NBA shut down on March 12 and at that time, Silver was hoping that a 30-day pause could provide some direction. Silver continued by saying he knows less about COVID-19 than he did on March 12.
The NBA and the National Hockey League continue to look at plans that might allow the businesses to reopen on some basis at some point in the near future. But the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is in the same position as Silver. Bettman conceded on Tuesday that finishing the 2019-2020 season and having an almost two-month playoff run may not be possible. Calgary has said no NHL games until July. Montreal is not allowing public gatherings until July 2. Because the NHL operates in the United States and Canada, travel restrictions may come into play and then there is the question will players who went home to Europe be able to get back into North America? Bettman, like Silver, is not an expert on the coronavirus and is leaning on experts for advice. He added, “again, it doesn’t even pay to speculate because nobody in any of the sports knows enough now to make those profound decisions.”