NBA players and team owners are not confident right now that the 2019-20 season can resume, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Friday night.
Windhorst said on "SportsCenter" that he got that impression after speaking with both sides. They have been negotiating an agreement that addresses the effects of the season being suspended last month because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"It is clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down. Now, they don't have to do that yet, and the way they're negotiating, they're leaving themselves an option either way. But they are not having talks about how to restart the league. They are having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down. And I think there's a significant amount of pessimism right now," Windhorst said.
Windhorst said the inability of the Chinese Basketball Association to restart its season is a big reason why the NBA being downcast. One main problem in China is that it still difficult to reliably test players for the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Windhorst said that there is a similar concern in the NBA. "We just don't have the testing," he said, either in terms of speed, reliability or volume. The league doesn't know whether such testing will be available in a month or two.
The NBA halted play March 12, a day after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 prior to a game in Oklahoma City. Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell, Nets star Kevin Durant, Celtics guard Marcus Smart and a half-dozen other players are known to have tested positive after Gobert.