The NBA's board of governors is expected to ratify the league's return-to-play proposal Thursday, ESPN reports.
Like most professional sports around the world, the NBA went into a prolonged hiatus in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it looks like it'll become the first major U.S. league to return to action. It's not exactly right around the corner, however; players won't be back on the court until sometime in July when 22 teams will be invited to begin training in Orlando, Florida.
Once the actual games restart at the Walt Disney World Resort, the proposal has teams playing eight more regular season games to determine playoff seeding, followed by a play-in tournament between the No. 8 and No. 9-seeds in the Eastern and Western Conference (if the No. 9 seeds are within four games of the playoffs.) The postseason will then reportedly consist of the usual seven-game series in each round.
In terms of health and safety, the league is planning to have daily coronavirus testing for everyone involved in the Orlando operations. If a player tests positive, he will have to enter quarantine, but his teammates will continue to play.
The news has sparked excitement, but there's some skepticism, as well, both in terms of the format and safety.
it’s wild to me how many people are uncritically celebrating the NBA’s plan to return as if the virus has disappeared or it’s anything more than a money grab. what’s the plan in the event of a breakout? what if one of the 60-year-old coaches gets sick?
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the sports universe, Major League Baseball has hit another snag in its negotiations to begin its long-delayed season. Tim O'Donnell
MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter, sources tell The Athletic. The league said it has started talks with owners about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be back on his feet in time for the next Democratic debate, his campaign says.
Sanders' campaign on Wednesday canceled his upcoming appearances, as well as a TV ad buy in Iowa, when he was hospitalized after experiencing chest discomfort during an event. The Vermont senator was found to have a blocked artery and subsequently underwent a procedure to have two stents inserted.
But on Thursday, the campaign confirmed that Sanders, who is recovering at a hospital in Las Vegas, will not miss the next debate, The New York Times reports. It isn't clear when he will resume his regularly-scheduled campaigning, but the campaign said surrogates will be on the trail this week, per CNN's Greg Krieg.