The NBA has informed its franchises that it is targeting no earlier than May 8 for any use of team’s practice facility and will continue to monitor coronavirus pandemic with its timings, sources told The Athletic on Monday.
The league had received significant pushback from teams about the idea of re-opening practice facilities in selected states and municipalities, team officials told Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.
Part of the pushback isn’t because of competive balance, but instead the safety of players and staff members.
Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has stated that the team has “no plans” to open their practice facility Friday.
Schlenk told Matt Stewart that even if the NBA officially clears teams this week to do so in states where stay-at-home restrictions have been eased.
Schlenk’s comments follow Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s to CNN on Sunday.
“The minute it’s safe we want to get back and get the guys practicing and getting ready for games,” Cuban said. “But we’re not there yet.”
There were some expectation the NBA could move that re-opening date back from Friday — perhaps a week or so — especially with the Hawks holding off on re-opening their facility until they have a better sense of how loosening of restrictions impacts region, Wojnarowski said.
Despite the pushback among many franchises, there are still other teams embracing the idea of re-opening facilities, Wojnarowski added.
Those teams believe that a clean, safe and monitored team environment is needed now to keep players from potentially searching out less safe gymnasium environments to stay in shape.