As Lockdowns Lifted, NBA to Reopen Practice Facilities | Athletic Business

As Lockdowns Lifted, NBA to Reopen Practice Facilities

The NBA announced Saturday that it would allow teams to reopen their practice facilities in states and municipalities where stay-at-home orders are loosened or removed.

According to ESPN, players may return to team facilities for voluntary individual workouts as soon as Friday. However, group workouts and team activities will remain prohibited. Meanwhile, the league has said it will work with teams to find alternatives in localities where stay-at-home restrictions remain in place. 

Despite the league’s decision to reopen practice facilities, a timetable for a possible return to play was not provided. ESPN reports that league owners still need time to develop a clear idea of what a return this season would look like — and whether such a return is even possible. 

NBA general managers have reportedly been clamoring for the league to reopen practice facilities, which teams believe to be among the safest environments possible for their players. However, some GMs reportedly expressed concerns about the safety of the move to reopen facilities in an environment where health experts have continued to advise that businesses remain closed.

Many players have left the markets in which they play during the pandemic shutdown, and it’s possible that the league may allow players living in markets where restrictions are lifted to access other teams’ facilities on a limited basis.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on a recent CNN appearance said that he’s supportive of the idea to reopen facilities “the minute it’s safe” to do so. 

“We want to try to get back and get the guys practicing and getting ready for games — but we are not there yet,” Cuban said.

Meanwhile, the league has reportedly instructed each team to assign a senior executive to the newly created role of Senior Hygiene Officer. 

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