NBA season could restart at a casino, Bahamas resort or college gym
Saturday 28th March 2020
If and when the NBA restarts its season, it could all happen in one glitzy spot like Las Vegas, the Bahamas or ... a college campus in the Midwest?
Those are three of the options that have been discussed by players and executives, according to ESPN, as the league tries to formulate a plan for potentially resuming its season once the coronavirus pandemic is under control.
The idea of a centralized location could be considered, according to the report, so teams would have a place to do everything under one roof -- live, work out, eat and eventually play, at least to restart the season. Vegas could offer a big casino property for the NBA's use. In the Bahamas, they could use a resort where a ballroom is transformed into a playing court ready for broadcast. Or the league could take over a college campus in a city where COVID-19 cases are not as ubiquitous, the report suggested. Think: Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse or Kentucky's Rupp Arena.
If the NBA goes ahead with that plan, they may need to do some convincing of one of their biggest stars.
"I ain't going for that s -- ," LeBron James said this week on the "Road Trippin'" podcast, regarding the idea of being quarantined in a hotel with other teams. "I'm not going for that."
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert was the first player to test positive for coronavirus. At least nine other players have tested positive since then.
With the CDC recommending against gatherings of 50-plus people at least into May, and the spread of coronavirus showing little signs of slowing down, the NBA could be forced to play games without fans to have any chance of restarting its season.
But ESPN reported the league will have its eyes on what unfolds with pro basketball in China, which is several weeks further along the coronavirus curve than the United States. The Chinese Basketball Association went on hiatus in late January and a restart already has been delayed into late April or early May. ESPN reported the league has considered putting teams in a controlled environment to start playing again.