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Report: NBA gaining ‘momentum’ toward return

Following a Board of Governors call with commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, the NBA is “increasingly positive about the league’s momentum” toward resuming the 2019-20 season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Per the report, owners and executives were encouraged about the league’s steps toward returning safely amid the coronavirus pandemic and about positive conversations with the National Basketball Players Association.

The report added that Silver emphasized that in order for a return to occur, all parties would need to accept that a single positive test for COVID-19 would not derail the season.

If a positive test would “shut us down, we probably shouldn’t go down this path,” Silver said, per Wojnarowski.

The report added that it remains unclear at what point numerous positive tests would impact the schedule.

Wojnarowski also reported that the format for the return play remains unknown, in terms of regular-season or playoff structure.

The NBA also reportedly continues to vet the possibility of holding all games in neutral sites, with Orlando and Las Vegas the leading candidates, in what Silver referred to as a “campus environment.”

Both Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the NBA aims to decide within two to four weeks whether to restart the season.

A potential roadblock to the proposed resumption is that the league doesn’t believe “rapid response testing” will be readily available inside of a month.

Earlier Tuesday, the NBPA informally polled players to gauge where they stand on restarting the season, Wojnarowski reported.

NBPA regional representatives began asking players to respond to a “yes or no” question about their desire to return to the court during the coronavirus pandemic, sources told Wojnarowski.

Some teams were asked the question in group texts, per the report, and names of the players and their individual responses will be kept confidential.

However, in a statement to The Athletic, the NBPA said it “is not engaging in and has not authorized any formal poll of its players.”

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, executive committee members including president Chris Paul and other players held a conference call Friday with Silver to discuss various topics related to resuming play, chiefly health and finances.

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Paul held a private conference call with superstars across the league on Tuesday, with all wanting to resume the season at some point.

Per the report, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook were all on the call, and “all parties were in agreement to take the court with proper safety measures” once that proves possible.

The NBA suspended the regular season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

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