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NBA insider says he’s been scolded by league office, players union for pessimism towards return

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There is no telling whether the NBA will be able to resume and finish the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but league officials are apparently unhappy with those expressing doubts.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN said he received some backlash from the NBA and the player’s union after reporting around the league that he feels a return is unlikely

Windhorst also previously reported the NBA was “angling” towards shutting down for the remainder of the year (via Sam Amico of Sports Illustrated):

Perhaps that is why veteran ESPN insider Brian Windhorst says he was “scolded” for reporting that a return to play has been met with pessimism.

“I’ve spent every day for the last 10 or 15 days talking to people in the league about what it will take to get to return to play,” Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast. “I have heard so many different opinions on so many different things.

“I don’t know if it makes someone who is aware or my mind is too cluttered. I’ve swung from optimism to pessimism and I’ve been scolded by both the league office and the union for being pessimistic. Scolded!”

The NBA is doing everything in its power to keep fans engaged, even instituting a new HORSE competition which will feature current and past NBA players as well as some WNBA stars.

Still, Windhorst is not necessarily in the wrong to report on the complexities of a return to action.

There is no telling when–or if–the illness will began to slow, nor is it clear what kind of precautions will be needed even in the event a return is possible.

Additionally, there might be some scheduling conflicts with respect to arena availability if the season extends into the fall.

In any case, the NBA seems intent on putting on a positive face and keeping fans encouraged.