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Friday, June 5, 2020

NBA teams playing in empty arenas due to coronavirus could actually happen

Adam Silver

The NBA recently informed teams that it may become necessary to play games in arenas without fans as a means of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and there is a growing concern around the league that the plan will actually be enacted.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe are reporting that the NBA will hold a conference call with team owners and executives on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the coronavirus outbreak. The belief is there is a real chance the league will inform teams they need to begin playing games with only “essential personnel” in their arenas.

It’s impossible to imagine what an NBA game would like like in front of 15,000-plus empty seats, but we may not have to use our imaginations much longer.

Kemba Walker said recently that he understands the seriousness of the coronavirus situation, but the Boston Celtics star would rather see the NBA cancel regular season games than hold them without fans in the stands. Other players likely feel the same way.

The NBA has already encouraged players to avoid traditional handshakes in order to help prevent the spread of illness, and some players have made light of the situation. However, the league is taking it very seriously, and drastic temporary changes could be coming in the near future.

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