It’s been mentioned a few times, but until we got details of the actual plan to return, the importance of this eluded most of us. Not everyone participating is a young, athletic NBA player. There are five coaches that are 60 and over: Gregg Popovich (71), Mike D’Antoni (69), Alvin Gentry (65), Terry Stotts (62), and Rick Carlisle (60).
What we know so far, there are two variables that seem to be the main risk factor with COVID-19. Obesity, which could be a problem if it turns out some players pull a Shawn Kemp. But, given all the stories of teams delivering gym equipment to players and photos of some of our main suspects looking slimmer than ever, we don’t expect obesity to show up on our radar.
The other is age. Medical experts put the cutoff line around 60-65 years old. That’s where the risk of severe consequences increases dramatically. Adam Silver stated on TNT’s Inside The NBA Thursday night that it is possible that “certain coaches” may not be able to be on the bench when play resumes “in order to protect them.”
I’d like to see them try to tell Pop or Carlisle they can’t be on the sidelines. Soon after Silver made that Statement, the President of The National Basketball Coaches Association, Rick Carlisle, said he talked to the Commissioner and made sure age wouldn’t be the only factor.
“The health and safety of our coaches is first and foremost. It’s entirely possible that an NBA coach in his 60s or 70s could be healthier than someone in their 30s or 40s. The conversation should never be solely about a person’s age. Adam assured me that we would work through this together to help determine what both safe and fair for all of our coaches is.”Rick Carlisle, ESPN
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess all head coaches will be on the sidelines when games start. There were a few other questions left hanging in the air. Here’s the most exciting information.
New NBA calendar
As talked about before, the primary assumption was the ‘20/’21 season would start on December 25th. That has been moved to December 1st, to enable players to participate in the Tokyo Olympics presumed to happen next summer. Here’s how the NBA planned out all the important dates.
- June 15: International players return to markets
- June 21: All players report
- June 22: Coronavirus testing begins
- June 30: Beginning of training camps
- July 7: Travel to Orlando
- July 31: Beginning of restarted 2019-20 season
- Aug 25: NBA Draft Lottery
- Oct. 12: Game 7 of the NBA Finals (if necessary)
- Oct. 15: NBA Draft
- Oct. 18: Start of free agency
- Nov. 10: Training camps for 2020-21 season begin
- Dec. 1: Opening night for 2020-21 season
With some teams still in the running for the Playoffs, how do we determine the ranking for the lottery? Teams that don’t make the playoffs will make the lottery, but can’t improve their draft standings against teams that won’t play in Orlando. The lottery order will be based on the standings as of March 11, when the season was suspended.
For instance, if the Suns lose all eight games that won’t drop them in the standings and improve their lottery odds.
What if someone tests positive?
The most important question doesn’t have a complete answer. If a player tests positive, the plan is to isolate that person for two weeks and monitor everyone in contact with them. But, if it turns out that several players and/or coaches are positive, they all have to go in isolation. The NBA still doesn’t have a plan for such a scenario.