In a meeting with the National Basketball Players Association on the coronavirus crisis Wednesday, the NBA and union discussed ways to continue the season without the cancellation or loss of games — while conceding the sport was trending toward a period of time without fans in attendance at arenas, sources told ESPN.
The NBA/NBPA discussions were a prelude to a larger conference call set with the league’s Board of Governors later on Wednesday, sources said.
The NBA is exploring solutions to allow them to continue playing and televising games during the coronavirus crisis, even with it increasingly likely that the league will do so in empty arenas, sources said. The NBA is bracing for the losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars across the sport, sources said.
As reported on Wednesday, league sources told ESPN that one scenario introduced into the league’s conversation about enacting temporary measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak involves moving some games to NBA cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks.
If the virus clusters and forces a team out of its city and arena for a period of time, there has been discussion about moving games to the away opponent’s arena if that city hasn’t suffered an outbreak — or even moving games to neutral cities and sites, league sources told ESPN.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors announced earlier Wednesday that they will play Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets with no fans inside the Chase Center in response to coronavirus concerns.
The team’s decision followed an order from the San Francisco Health Office prohibiting events where 1,000 or more people assemble. The Warriors tweeted that other events at the Chase Center through March 21 — consisting of three concerts and a G League game — would be canceled or postponed.