Silver: NBA could play exhibition game during hiatus

  • Silver: NBA could play exhibition game during hiatus

Silver: NBA could play exhibition game during hiatus

National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver revealed that notion as one of several items under consideration by the league right now during the shutdown caused by the pandemic.

"Maybe it's for a giant fundraiser or just for the collective good of the people", Silver said. That was a move the league was going to make last week before Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19 and prompted the league to go on a hiatus that looks likely to last several months. "Is there a protocol where the players can be tested, quarantined or isolated in some way and they can compete against each other because people are stuck at home and I think they need a diversion and I think they need to be entertained". The first, and the most preferred option, would be a return to normalcy, games played in arenas full of fans. "So that's one sort of criteria".

"One thing I'll say about the United States. we're an incredible country and some of the greatest inventions, some of the best innovations, some of the best minds are in this country", Silver said. "So that's the second set of circumstances".

He added that he hopes the league could spark a positive change in the U.S. "I've learned in this job and in this process that when people do pretend they can predict the future, they're generally wrong", he said. "I'd say look no further than the fact that certainly two weeks ago, and even a week ago, people were saying very different things than they are today".

Silver estimates that as many as 55,000 people are employed by the National Basketball Association including game-day arena workers.

"I'm optimistic by nature and I want to believe that we're going to be able to salvage at least some portions of this season", Silver said. "We've done new and creative things in the past".

Silver has been open in the past about wanting to implement play-in games and an in-season tournament, so it's not surprising that the league would toy with the idea now given the current freaky circumstances. "The quick decision-making they did after that first diagnosis, looking in hindsight I think it was the right decision and was a tipping point especially in the public eye to kind of pandemic that's going on and the severity that athletes, the sports world, as well as the general population, should be more aware of this". Asked about this, Silver mentioned something that has been suggested by others, including Hawks CEO Steve Koonin: start the season on Christmas Day. "To what extent can we be a first mover to restart our economy".