Adam Silver pens op-ed explaining why 2020-21 season is starting amidst COVID-19 pandemic
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver published an op-ed in USA Today on Monday addressing why the 2020-21 regular season will begin this week, as COVID-19 continues to surge throughout the United States.
While Silver praised everybody who participated in the successful bubble in Orlando, he explained why a campus-like environment was unfeasible for the upcoming season.
“The forthcoming season requires a new approach. We’ll no doubt face challenges, but like people everywhere, we want to work if we can do so safely and responsibly,” he wrote.
“The NBA is no different than many other organizations trying to find their way through the pandemic by balancing several factors, including the potential for significant economic hardship. We are part of a U.S. sports industry that is responsible for 1.3 million jobs. Tens of thousands of people rely on our league and related businesses for their livelihoods.”
Silver noted that the NBA provides an invaluable service in providing a respite for folks who may be struggling during these trying times. The commissioner also sought to reassure the public that the league’s health and safety protocols will allow the season to take place without a bubble.
“We recognize there are some people who believe we should wait to return until the pandemic is crushed, but we believe that on balance, the right approach is to start our season now…”
“In the same way we prepared for our bubble, we’ve designed thorough health and safety protocols in consultation with public health and medical experts, the National Basketball Players Association and our teams that will allow us to return to our arenas … Many of the core principles that we relied on in Florida — daily testing, physical distancing, mask wearing and frequent hand-washing — continue to guide our efforts and the health and safety of everyone remains our top priority.”
The 2020-21 NBA season will officially tip-off on Tuesday with a double-header on TNT. The Golden State Warriors will face the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center (7 p.m. ET), followed by a matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET) — two months after the Lakers won the 2019-20 title.
The league’s other 26 teams will begin their season on Wednesday.