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Hold the ball: NBA's Adam Silver says no decision will be made on season return until at least May

Hold the ball: NBA's Adam Silver says no decision will be made on season return until at least May
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the world's premier basketball league won't even consider a return to 2019-2020 season action until at least May as they sit tight and bide their time during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Silver took part in a video interview with US TV channel TNT, where he explained that he had no firm timeline for the resumption of play in the league following the decision to suspend play on March 11.

"The short answer is no," Silver said.

"Essentially what I've told my folks over the last week is that we should just accept that, at least for the month of April, we won't be in a position to make any decisions. And I don't think that necessarily means on May 1 we will be."

The commissioner explained that his team has mapped out a succession of potential scenarios in a bid to calculate a likely return date, but the fast-moving, ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has made any attempt to tie down a specific time impossible.

"What I've learned over the last few weeks is we just have too little information to be able to make those sorts of projections," Silver said.

A host of options, including completing the full fixture list, a shortened season that immediately heads into the playoffs and outright cancellation of the season, are all under consideration and will be discussed more fully once the league has a better idea of its likely window to return.

The season had around a month to go when it was eventually suspended, but with the 2020-21 season scheduled to tip off in October, that offers only a small window of opportunity if the pandemic eases over the summer months. Indeed, Silver admitted it may require next season's start date to be pushed back.

Silver also revealed a little insight into the conference call involving a host of leaders from US sport's major leagues and US President Donald Trump.

Silver said Trump was keen to stress the value of sport in helping inspire the population.

"It wasn't just a pep talk," Silver said,

"But I think it was a reminder of what the meaning is of sports to Americans, to our culture in particular."

And Silver said that the return of the NBA could help kickstart the US economy by being ready to return at the earliest possible opportunity.

"We'd love to be part of the movement to restart the economy," he said.

"Of course, that can't come in any way that would compromise safety."

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