It’s completely uncertain right now if the NBA will ever resume the 2019-20 season, but one member of the Los Angeles Lakers thinks it won’t happen.
Jared Dudley told Chris Broussard and Rob Parker on “The Odd Couple” that he’s not optimistic about the schedule resuming.
“I would say before today, before they shut down the facilities, I was optimistic that if the facilities are still running, and we can still work out, even though it’s not pickup, even though it’s not practice, you’re staying relatively fit where if a month or two from now if they say, ‘Hey, the season is up and running, you have two weeks,’ you’re already in somewhat tip-top shape,” said Dudley.
“Now, once I heard the news of no more practice facilities, if that goes for a month, month and a half, two months, I find it almost impossible to then have a season because now you’re telling a professional athlete for 60 to 80 days you’ve done no training. …
“I would say 70 percent of athletes don’t have a personal gym inside their own house. Maybe the star players, maybe they have an elliptical or maybe one of those, but they don’t have no basketball gym.
“You’re asking an athlete now to get ready for two or three weeks for 40 games, potentially, for playoffs and 20 games of regular season. That’s when injuries happen. So I’m not optimistic right now at all for a season.”
One small dose of hope may come from China, where it appears the novel coronavirus is under control, at least for now. Businesses are starting to reopen there, and the Chinese Basketball Association, which suspended play in early February, is scheduled to resume in early April.
When the NBA first suspended play last Wednesday, it looked like it was going to allow players to continue to use their team’s practice facilities, with some restrictions.
But on Thursday afternoon, a memo was sent out ordering teams to close their facilities to all players and staff.
Commissioner Adam Silver has said that he’s hoping to resume play by sometime in June, if not earlier, and that the league is open to staging the NBA Finals as late as August.
Silver also said that games would be played in empty arenas if needed.
But he did stress, at least tacitly, that canceling the season altogether is a possibility, albeit as a last resort.