The NBA aims to return to Disney campus in late July


Retrieved 24 May 2020, 00:38 IST

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The NBA is in preliminary talks with the Walt Disney Company about resuming the 2019-20 season at an isolated site near Orlando, Florida in late July.

The games will be held at the Wide World of Sports Complex, a Disney-owned campus that is spread over 255 acres and has ample space to practice and stay.

On Saturday, NBA spokesman Mike Bass announced in a statement the “investigative” talks, saying the players’ union was also part of the conversation.

“Our priority is the health and safety of all involved,” Bass told us. “We are working on a comprehensive set of guidelines with public health experts and government officials to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and safety measures are in place.”

Disney is the primary owner of ESPN, one of the league’s main broadcasting partners.

The NBA has been in an indefinite period since March 11, when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz Center became the first major figure in American sports to test positive for the Covid-19.

After several months of vacation, most players – all of whom went abroad at the time of the cut – will have to be separated for 14 days before their teammates rejoin the training camp on the way to resume play.

Players may be called back as early as June 1 to facilitate their team’s training, but the NBA may prefer that they report directly to a central location to reduce travel.

Players returning home may face challenges with local travel restrictions.

The NBA has yet to decide on a format to return to play, such as the NHL’s proposed 24-team playoff bracket.

It is learned that the NBA teams want to reach a total of 0 regular season games to execute contracts with the local broadcast affiliates – about five more for the club in total.

Others have claimed that ending the regular season games and following the entire 1-team postseason could cause too much traffic, possibly starting in December 2020-21.

The league has explored the idea of ​​play-in tournaments like the NHL that would bring the playoffs down to 16 teams without finishing the entire regular season slate.

The NBA Board of Governors is scheduled to call a conference next Friday to discuss further about returning to play.