Following the NBA’s suspension of it’s fixtures on 12 March, bosses at the basketball league are now considering several options about how they can proceed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
They have considered shortening the play-offs, playing in summer or hosting games in one city, but now they are said to be thinking about cancelling the season altogether.
One ESPN journalist who covers the sport revealed, the NBA and the players’ union (NBPA) have begun conversations on how they could facilitate a shutdown.
The financial damage is already significant, but TV, sponsors and ticket sales money will be lost if basketball does not return.
If the season were cancelled it is understood that National Basketball Association owners could get some financial relief in the form of returned pay in any compensation deal with players, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the players’ union, has told agents that any compensation deal constructed by the NBPA and league owners will include refunds on all NBA contracts.
One NBA agent who spoke on condition of remaining anonymous believes the league may try to stop 50% of players’ remaining pay until the completion of the league’s 2019-20 accounts, which are expected in early July.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Basketball Association had suspended their league since January due to the coronovirus outbreak which hit the country hard.
American players returned to their teams because the competition was scheduled to restart in April, but it has been postponed again until May.
Although life is going back to normality in China, basketball has yet to return and the NBA are considering that it might be impossible to get some action in the United States in the foreseeable future.