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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Says Significant COVID-19 Spread ‘May Lead Us To Stopping’ Play

Commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Adam Silver speaks during a press conference prior to the preseason game between Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors at Saitama Super Arena on October 08, 2019 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that a “significant spread” of COVID-19 during the league’s restart of play “may lead us to stopping” the season.

On Friday, June 26, Silver spoke with reporters shortly after the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced a finalized plan to restart the 2019-20 season beginning on July 30 in Orlando, Florida.

The commissioner’s comments arrived after the state of Florida announced a single-day record with 8,942 cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Florida’s previous record of cases in a day was 5,511 on June 24.

“We designed our campus to isolate ourselves from whatever the level of cases was in the surrounding community,” Silver said.

During the conference call, Silver said one player testing positive for the virus during the league’s restart won’t halt play. However, Silver acknowledged that league and health officials haven’t drawn a line on what would happen if a “significant spread” were to occur.

Earlier on Friday, the NBA and NBPA announced that 16 players tested positive for the coronavirus disease after 302 players were tested on Tuesday, June 23.

NBA Players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19

Since March 11, a number of NBA players, coaches, and other personnel have been reported to have tested positive or announced themselves that they tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

NBA and Coronavirus

The NBA has been at the forefront of the sporting world since the coronavirus pandemic halted the league’s play in March. After Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season. Since then, the league has been working towards a return to play in order to finish the regular season, hold a postseason, and crown a champion.

As the NBA has been ramping up its plans for a restart of the regular season, the league has reportedly been expecting additional positive COVID-19 tests as players returned to the markets of their teams in recent days.

The NBA’s expectations were confirmed as news of the 16 positive tests was revealed on Friday, June 26.

The Players Association (NBPA) reportedly sent players a health and safety manual the league developed in regards to the restart of play.

According to multiple reports, the document is 113 pages detailing health and safety protocols. The word “testing” appears 282 times in the manual.

Details Of NBA’s Proposed Restart

The NBA season will restart with 22 teams finishing the regular season in a bubble environment at Disney World in Orlando, Florida beginning on July 30.

Games will be played at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The NBA has reportedly assigned Disney hotels to those teams based on seeding.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Utah Jazz will stay at the Gran Destino Tower, which is a part of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Part of the bubble environment will include hotel amenities, 24-hour VIP concierge, and other entertainment, Charania tweeted.

NBA players will reportedly be allowed to “attend other games” as well.

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

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