Earlier this month, the NBA shared a special coronavirus memo which included instructions and suggestions regarding the virus. As the virus has continued to spread throughout the world, the NBA are considering cancelling their games or conducting them without any audiences. However, no games have been cancelled as of now.
ESPN Sources: NBA is discussing scenarios that include moving some games to cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks --- including opponent arenas or neutral sites. https://t.co/i3wxmSMNyw— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 11, 2020
According to ESPN's report, the league could hold NBA games in different cities where the virus has not yet reached. The game could be moved to a different arena or even neutral cities where no coronavirus case has been reported. The NBA has also considered conducting the games without any audiences. League activities could also be suspended. However, the decision is dependant on the limited public screening in the USA, which gives them a limited understanding of how widespread the virus could be.
Reports also revealed that individual NBA teams have been unwilling to play NBA games without their fans. The teams, league and public health experts have been communicating throughout the week and are waiting to make the right call. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has also recommended indoor teams to play without their fans for some time. The Cavaliers, who are on a six-game road trip, have time to evaluate the situation and then make a decision.
As the reported coronavirus cases in the USA have crossed 900, the NBA have taken multiple steps towards safety and prevention of the virus. Media has been eliminated from the locker rooms temporarily, while players have been recommended to reduce their fan interactions. Players have been recommended to go for a fistbump instead of a handshake. Players from the Chinese Basketball Association are currently halted from signing any contracts.
LeBron James has a new stance on his sentiments of possibly playing games without fans in the arena pic.twitter.com/RbmNKiOTp6— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 10, 2020
LeBron James on possibility of NBA playing games behind closed doors because of coronavirus. LeBron: “I ain’t playing” if there are no fans pic.twitter.com/kpHg6bsFYO— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 7, 2020
The NBA has passed along a memo to all 30 NBA teams regarding the coronavirus, outlining ideas to prevent and tackle the spread of the virus. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe first reported about the NBA coronavirus memo. The NBA coronavirus memo includes various suggestions for the players, mostly revolving around fan interactions. Along with opting for fistbumps, players are also advised to avoid signing autographs and jerseys.