The NBA is set to open practice facilities in certain states. What does this mean for the San Antonio Spurs and the league at large?
The NBA is taking the first step in preparing its players for a possible return to play by reopening practice facilities in states where stay at home restrictions are loosening. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the development.
Per Woj’s report, players who live in states like Georgia can return to NBA team practice facilities for individual workouts next week. This is a major step forward for players who have been without basketball hoops or other sport-specific equipment. While some players like Bradley Beal do have hoops at their houses, others like Giannis Antetokounmpo have lamented about the lack of access to basketball courts.
While this is a positive development for players training, we’re still a long, long way from the season resuming. The opening of practice facilities will still come with social distancing practices, it’s not like players are going to be gathering to run fives at a team’s practice facilities next week.
Woj noted in his report that some NBA GM’s had called the league with concerns about the safety of the idea that players could be working out in team facilities. A fair concern as many medical and government officials have called the reopening of businesses in states like Georgia premature.
The opening of practice facilities is not particularly relevant for Spurs players who live in the city of San Antonio as the cities stay at home order does go through the end of the month. With some models predicting the peak rate of infection to happen some point in early May we could still be some time away from movement restrictions being lifted in the Alamo City.
As with all precautions during the coronavirus crisis, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Rushing to reopen business is a bad move and is likely to do more harm than good in the long run. Hopefully, NBA players recognize the potential dangers associated with heading to common spaces like practice facilities, no matter how sanitized they may be, and act accordingly.
We all want the NBA to come back and this is a step in the right direction to making that happen but there are bigger things than basketball to consider here. If there are any negative consequences from this NBA teams should do the right thing and close practice facilities again.