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Adam Silver’s warning about what positive coronavirus test could mean for NBA return

Adam Silver, NBA

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a warning to the Board of Governors during a call on Tuesday, noting that if a positive coronavirus test “would shut us down, we probably shouldn’t go down this path,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The league has been gaining momentum the last two days, hoping to resume the 2019-20 season after representatives from the National Basketball Players Association have talked about a potential path to resume play. A superstar cohort including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul and others were on a call discussing a desire to return, assuming the proper safety measures are taken.

Silver is expected to have a verdict on the route in two to four weeks. However, going through with a resumption of 2019-20 would also mean ponying together a lot of man power and resources, hence Silver’s clear warning — if all of this hinges on getting through with no infections, this is probably a losing proposition.

Basketball leagues in Japan and Korea have tried to resume their leagues but to no avail, noting the risk was too great. Japan’s lasted two days before it was canceled for good. Korea’s was approved, only to walk it back a few days later before players suited up.

China has tried to pull off the rest of its season, but action has been suspended since Jan. 19, even after many international players have returned to the mainland since being called back and quarantined for the required two weeks.

The NBA originally came to a halt on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first positive case of the novel coronavirus. If another case surfaced during the resumption of the season and the league came to a halt again, all the effort would have been for naught.

All Silver is doing is ensuring teams and players are keenly aware of what’s at stake.