By Joe Pantorno
The NBA has been given the green light by commissioner Adam Silver to open its practice facilities beginning today, but caveats and concerns for the health and well-being of players and staff alike are not making this a grand re-opening.
Only three of the NBA’s 30 teams — the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, and Portland Trail Blazers — are expected to arrive at facilities for voluntary, individual workouts.
It’s a less-than-promising turnout as Silver made it known that the return to action only is available for “areas with relaxed social distancing guidelines.”
That obviously does not pertain to New York, which is one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and largely affected areas on the planet.
As of Thursday afternoon, New York state has had 319,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 19,000 deaths — well above any other state in the nation.
Needless to say, the Knicks and Nets will not be two of the teams getting back to work anytime soon with social-distancing guidelines still well in place.
For the teams coming back, they have to follow a strict set of rules to keep their doors open.
No more than four players can be in the facility at the same time while group activities — such as practices or scrimmages — are prohibited. Assistant or head coaches can not participate and non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms are off-limits.
Those in attendance must wear facemasks at all times except during physical activity and non-player personnel must be at least 12 feet away from players.
The NBA has been postponed indefinitely since March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert first tested positive for the virus.
Other notable NBA names such as Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Nets injured superstar Kevin Durant, and Knicks owner James Dolan tested positive for coronavirus but have since recovered.
This story first appeared on amNY.com