The NBA sent out a memo Sunday night giving its teams further instructions over how to handle the sudden and indefinite suspension of the league season — including allowing players the ability to travel out of market under certain conditions and extending indefinitely the ban on full team practices.
With an increasing number of teams preparing for the possibility of being sidelined until at least mid-June, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday night, the league has to adjust to the reality that the current 30-day suspension of activity is likely to be extended.
As a result, while the NBA recommends that its players stay in market, it will allow them to travel elsewhere — although anyone still expected to be under self-isolation or quarantine because of exposure to the coronavirus must remain so until they have been cleared by a medical professional.
However, because of the current outbreaks in both Asia and Europe, as well as the travel bans put in place by the U.S. government due to the spread of the virus, players are currently not allowed to travel outside of North America. Any player who travels outside of the team’s home market is also required to keep the team updated on where he is.
In addition, the initial ban on organized team practices that had been in place through Monday has now been extended indefinitely. Individual players, however, are allowed to go work out at the team’s practice facility if they choose to. New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball did just that on Saturday in New Orleans.
The league recommends that specific coaches be assigned to work with specific players, in order to try to minimize the number of people coming into contact with each other. In a further effort to keep people apart, players are asked to stay apart during workouts, including having only one player at each basket and one player weightlifting at a time.
It also recommends that every player or staff member who enters a team facility receives a temperature check, in an attempt to find out if anyone is ill before he comes into contact with anyone else.
The NBA announced that its season would be suspended indefinitely Wednesday night after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Later Wednesday, his teammate and fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell also tested positive, and Detroit Pistons center Christian Wood did so Saturday.