NBA delays reopening of team practice facilities
The NBA announced Monday that team practice facilities will reopen no earlier than May 8.
Upon reopening, there will be several new safety measures enacted to protect players and staff members from the coronavirus. Team practices and scrimmages will be prohibited and no more than four players will be allowed at the facility at the same time, the NBA announced.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that players must wear masks "except when in physical activity." Staffers must wear gloves and maintain a physical distance of at least 12 feet. Charania also reported that each team is to assign a senior executive to be a "facility hygiene officer."
"The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states," the NBA announced, while also acknowledging the May 8 timeline could be pushed back if warranted.
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The NBA's formal announcement Monday comes two days after a report that certain teams, in cities and states that have relaxed their stay-at-home orders, could reopen facilities on a limited basis beginning Friday. The Thunder would've fallen under that category. Many Oklahoma businesses that were previously classified as nonessential will be allowed to reopen Friday.
But ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that the NBA received "significant pushback" from teams about the idea of reopening facilities in selected cities on Friday.
Even as Georgia, like Oklahoma, begins to reopen, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said that his team had "no plans" to reopen Friday even if granted permission.