NBA Considering World Cup-Style Play for Season Return

NBA commissioner Adam Silver informed the board of governors that the league is targeting resuming play on July 31.

The NBA, which was the first major sports league to suspend its season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus, appears likely to hold all games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando.

The NBA’s board of governors met to discuss restart plans, but no final determination has been made regarding the format to be used for the rest of the season. A survey among general managers found most executives wish to jump right into the playoffs, according to multiple reports, potentially allowing 14 of the league’s 30 teams to avoid traveling to the isolated site.

Three other scenarios remain in play, including a World Cup-like Group Stage with 20 teams, a play-in tournament for the final seeds and the conclusion of a 72-game regular season, allowing all teams to participate and collect revenue from regional TV deals, which kicks in after 70 games.