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Adam Silver: A significant number of COVID-19 cases could shut down the NBA season again

The NBA Commissioner expresses concerns about the bubble

Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

The Magic, Nets, Wizards, Suns, Jazz, and Nuggets arrived in Orlando to kick off the process of a leaguewide restart yesterday, and the Spurs will make the flight join them on Thursday. Each organization must undergo Coronavirus testing and isolate for two days upon entry onto the Walt Disney World campus before resuming group activities.

Barring any setbacks, inter-team scrimmages will begin July 22nd, with seeding games commencing on July 30th, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his concerns regarding the reopening. Per ESPN, Silver told publication Fortune Brainstorm Health an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the bubble could result in a second shutdown of the NBA season.

We won’t be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players test positive. What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive or if we were to have any positive tests, we would know we would have an issue. We would know that there’s, in essence, a hole in our bubble or that our quarantine or our campus is not working in some way. So that would be very concerning.

With a surplus of people in close quarters playing a contact sport, one case could snowball into a nightmare scenario if the league isn’t careful. Players could easily and unknowingly transmit the virus to teammates, coaches, and staff, and that could lead to serious health consequences for those participating in the return.

As much as we all miss top tier competitive basketball, shutting down this risky operation before it has a chance to fail is probably the smart thing to do. Of course, calling it quits won’t be so simple. Generational money is on the line, and for fringe players clinging to an NBA career, this might be their last opportunity to secure a million-dollar paycheck.

The NBA likely won’t be to keen on putting an end to their 2019-2020 campaign either. After all, maintaining a multi-billion-dollar revenue stream isn’t possible if they forgo nearly half of their remaining scheduled programming. While nothing about this entire operation is uncomplicated, preserving the health of hundreds of human beings should take precedence.