Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has backtracked from his comments about the 2019-20 NBA season resuming next month, saying he has "no idea" when the next game will take place.
Cuban recently stated in an interview with Dallas television station WFAA that he hoped the season would restart in the middle of May. But he said on Wednesday that it is impossible to know when there will be NBA action again due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"I have no idea [where things stand with the NBA season]," Cuban told ESPN's Mike Greenberg. "I mean, the only thing I know is that we're going to put safety first and we're not going to take any chances. We're not going to do anything that risks the health of our players, our fans, our staff, the whole organization. So right now, I really don't have anything new to say."
"I have no idea [when the NBA will return]. ... I haven't had any conversations where anybody's even discussed an actual date at this point."— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 1, 2020
Mark Cuban on a timeline for the NBA's return. pic.twitter.com/IF341qjueU
When asked about what would need to happen in order for play to resume, Cuban made it clear the NBA will defer to medical experts and ensure everyone involved is "absolutely safe."
"We cannot put anything ahead of the health and safety of our players and staff; that's it," Cuban said. "It's such a moving target, and nobody really has specifics. I mean, I haven't had any conversations where anybody has even discussed an actual date at this point."
Cuban revealed playing games with no fans could be an option.
"It sounds great to me, and I'll tell you why: America needs sports," Cuban said. "We need something to root for; we need something to be excited about. Everybody in North Texas wants a reason to have the Mavs back on, and to get excited and to cheer together — even if there's not any fans, just being able to watch on television and get excited and yell at the TV and high-five people again.
"We just need that. And so I'm all for it. Whatever we can make happen, I'm pro doing it."