The tunnel might be pitch-black and feel never-ending, but we might have caught our first glimpse of light.
Reporting with @ZachLowe_NBA: NBA teams are expecting the league office will issue guidelines around June 1 that will allow franchises to start recalling players who’ve left their markets to return as a first step toward a formal ramp-up for the season’s resumption.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 20, 2020
The Milwaukee Bucks (remember them?) are still the best team in the NBA this season, but until this season actually resumes there’s no way to prove that their status as cream-of-the-crop. The coronavirus has had operations halted since March 11, and the league was the first major sport to suspend play as the COVID-19 curve shot upwards worldwide. Commissioner Adam Silver has been both optimistic and cautious in his public statements over the past two months, but the word that the league will be issuing guidelines at the beginning of June is absolutely the most positive sign in some time.
That said, this is merely an announcement that the league will release guidelines to each franchise. This doesn’t mean that the Bucks can resume practice on June 2, or July 2, or anything else...the details will continue to elude us until June 1. Stay tuned on that front, everyone.
However, even yet not knowing the “when,” we also had some reporting that the “where” may be clarified in short order.
The NBA has Orlando/Disney World as a clear frontrunner for return-to-play site for resuming 2019-20 season, sources tell me and @sam_amick. Orlando has gained significant seriousness among other cites such as Las Vegas.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 20, 2020
Yes, Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez have to be excited about that development. The NBA has all along courted Las Vegas and Orlando as the most likely destinations for some form of the season resuming (even if we skip ahead to the playoffs), and Disney World simply offers more in the way of infrastructure and available space. If things go this route, teams will likely be quarantined and expected to remain inside a “bubble” for the duration of their time involved in the season. This will likely also coincide with extensive testing (an excellent piece from The Ringer details how that might look), but is a theoretical pathway to playing (and broadcasting) basketball again.
There is still a long, long way to go, and it still may not even work out the way we want it to. In the meantime, continue to stay safe out there, everyone.