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Any chance the NBA can finish its suspended season may lie in its capability to hold playoff games in Las Vegas.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported the NBA is looking into having its entire postseason in Vegas, where the Association’s annual Summer League is held in Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center.
A source told Mannix the league was “nowhere close to formalizing anything” but that it is pursuing all options to resume play somewhere.
What is becoming clear is that the NBA’s traditional postseason, featuring four rounds of best-of-seven series with higher seeds receiving home-court advantage, is out of the question, according to the sources Mannix cited.
With that in mind, Mannix wrote that “quarantining in one location is the only solution, and Vegas is the only city the NBA is currently giving any kind of serious consideration,” per a source.
Regardless of if or when the NBA returns in 2020, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made clear on Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s Get Up that the safety of everyone involved with games is paramount.
“I have no idea,” Cuban said when asked about a timetable for a potential NBA return, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
“I mean, the only thing I know is that we’re going to put safety first and we’re not going to take any chances. We’re not going to do anything that risks the health of our players, our fans, our staff, the whole organization. So right now, I really don’t have anything new to say.”
The NBA suspended play after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Sports organizations around the world soon followed.
Per the World Health Organization, at least 900,306 people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide, and at least 45,693 people have died.