NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The NBA Board of Governors on Thursday approved a plan to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 teams returning to play and a tentative start date of Friday, July 31.
According to a statement from the NBA, the league is working to finalize details of the restart plan with the National Basketball Players Association.
Both the NBA and the NBPA are coordinating with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials to establish a program to prevent and mitigate the risk related to COVID-19, including a regular testing protocol and safety practices.
The NBA is also negotiating a deal with the with The Walt Disney Company to use Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, to serve as a single site to host all remaining games and practices, and provide housing for the remainder of the season.
The resumption of the season will begin with eight “seeding games” for each returning team and include the possibility of a play-in tournament for the eighth and final playoff seed in each conference depending on combined records across regular-season games and seeding games.
Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs would proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round. The NBA Finals would end no later than Oct. 12.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”
The NBA also announced that the NBA’s minor league season, which had previously been postponed due to coronavirus, has been fully canceled for 2020.