NBA

Dr. Fauci Said NBA’s Plan To Restart Season Is ‘Quite Creative,’ League Might Be ‘Quite Successful’

Jun 13, 2020, 4:30 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the NBA’s plan to restart the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic is “quite creative” and he thinks the league might “quite successful with it.”

Fauci recently joined Stadium’s Michael Kim for an interview where the two discussed the NBA’s plan to restart play in late July.

“I actually have looked at that plan and it is really quite creative. What they are really trying to do, and I think they might very well be quite successful with it, is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble,” Fauci said. “Essentially testing everybody. Make sure that you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure that there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament type play.”

NBA Restart Format

In early June, the league’s Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 of the 30 NBA teams, including the Utah Jazz, at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The National Basketball Players Association is currently ironing out the details of that plan with the league but it expected that eight regular-season games and a traditional postseason will be played in a bubble environment at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

“It’s not the classic basketball season but certainly, for the people who are thirsting for basketball, who love basketball the way I do, it’s something that I think is a sound plan,” Fauci continued.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that he was pleased to see that safety was a top priority for the league in its plans.

“I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all. They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players and the people associated with the players was paramount.”

A Model For Other Professional Sports Leagues?

In addition to Dr. Fauci thinking that the NBA’s plan might be “quite successful,” he also believes that the model might be something for other sports to look at adapting.

“Could extrapolate that to some of the other sports? Possibly,” Fauci said.”I think they should look at that model. See how it works and then you know, take it from there. Maybe some modifications of that for some of the other sports.”

Currently, the NHL and MLS are the only major sporting leagues in the United States with plans to restart their seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NHL will resume for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 24 teams when situations are deemed safe enough to play later this year.

MLS will restart play with a tournament in July.

MLB and its Players Association are still negotiating terms to begin the 2020 season. Both parties have rejected offers from each other.

The NFL is currently scheduled to begin its 2020 schedule on time this fall.

Dr. Fauci on Sports

Since the coronavirus pandemic halted the sporting world in March, Dr. Fauci has spoken multiple times about his love sports and league’s plans to being play again.

In March, Fauci joined NBA star and Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry for a Q&A about the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

In April, he said, “there’s a way” for sports to return quickly despite the coronavirus pandemic during an interview with Snapchat.

“There’s a way of doing that. Nobody comes to the stadium. Put them in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled,” Fauci told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby. “Have them [players] tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out.”

However, in May, Dr. Fauci said that he thought it would be difficult for sports to return in 2020.

“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” Dr. Fauci said. “If you can’t guarantee safety then, unfortunately, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.’”

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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Dr. Fauci Said NBA’s Plan To Restart Season Is ‘Quite Creative,’ League Might Be ‘Quite Successful’