Upon the announcement of the White House on March 29, the coronavirus and social distancing guidelines will be further observed in the United States until April 30.
‘The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. So I’ll say it again, the peak, the highest point of death rates, remember, this is likely to hit in two weeks’, US President Donald Trump told reporters, ‘Therefore, the next two weeks and during this period it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines’.
The extension can have an effect on the NBA’s hiatus and when it can come back from it. Its return date could be pushed back further since the country is essentially closed until May.
Basketball experts weigh in on the news, concluding that the league’s best option to resume its games may be in July.
Marc Stein of the New York Times took to Twitter to voice out his concerns for the NBA’s return. He noted that it was not just a case of social distancing that should be taken in mind. He explained that it could take a while for the players as well as league staff to go back into the groove of things.
‘We can’t forget NBA players may need up to a month to get back to passable shape — then the league needs a locale or two that makes it safe, presumably with quarantine measures, for players/coaches/staffs and everyone else involved in putting on closed-door games to stay safe’, Stein tweeted on March 29.
Earlier this week, basketball expert Brian Windhorst suggested that the NBA should go after the approach of the Chinese Basketball Association. After suspending the season in January, the association aims to return in late April or early May. It was reported that they are deciding on clustering teams in one or two cities and playing one another in a round-robin format in empty arenas.
Meanwhile, 76ers point guard Ben Simmons launched an initiative called Philly Pledge. The campaign aims to help with the coronavirus relief in Philadelphia through donations made to two organisations, Philabundance and the PHL COVID-19 Fund.
Teammate Tobias Harris, Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew Knapp, and Eagles players Zach Ertz and Jalen Mills were some of the few NBA stars who took part in the campaign.