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NBA begins to lay framework for player workouts to resume

With parts of the country easing restrictions, the NBA announced that there will be no changes before May 8 — but they also laid the foundation for resumed activities.

Golden State Warriors Practice Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

It’s been about a month and a half since the coronavirus caused the NBA to suspend the season. And we’re still a long ways away from basketball returning.

But with certain parts of the country easing restrictions and re-opening some businesses, the NBA is beginning to lay a framework for a return to some basketball activities. Mainly, the league is starting to explore responsible ways to allow players to return to practice facilities, so that if and when the season resumes, players are in shape and ready to go without needing a month-long training camp.

On Monday, the league sent out a memo outlining some of the precautions they are planning on taking. They also threw a little water on to the talks, by making it clear that there was no targeted date for a resumption of workouts, and that nothing would happen before May 8.

Here’s the entirety of the statement:

NEW YORK, April 27, 2020 — The NBA informed its teams today that, as numerous state and local governments have announced modifications of stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on non-essential business activity beginning this week, the league is planning to modify its guidance regarding the use of team practice facilities and player training. The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states.

The league advised teams that it is targeting no earlier than Friday, May 8, as the commencement date for the new rules, and that it may push this timing back if developments warrant.

The potential rules change would allow teams to make their practice facilities available for use by the team’s players for workouts or treatment on a voluntary, individual basis if the team’s facility is in a city that is no longer subject to a government restriction. For any team that, due to a government restriction, is prohibited from making its facility available for use by the team’s players, the league will work with the team to identify alternatives.

The following restrictions would apply:

*No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time.

*No head or assistant coaches could participate.

*Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages.

*Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms.

Call me a pessimist, but it kind of feels like, if you need this many restrictions, maybe you just shouldn’t be doing the activity to begin with.

Then again, it will make for some tremendous content:

Oh dear. The jokes. Here they come.

As for the Golden State Warriors, it’s unlikely that we’ll see them back in the lab anytime soon, since California has been one of the strictest most responsible states, and won’t be easing non-essential restrictions for quite some time.

But when they do ...