Adam Silver Asserted Himself on NBA Bubbles and If a Player Tests Positive

Adam Silver had his much anticipated call with NBA players tonight about the potential return of the season. To get full breakdowns, go check the timelines of Adrian Wojnarowski, Chris Haynes, and Shams Charania. Two particularly interesting snippets to me were what the commissioner said about if a player tests positive, and the need to finish the season in 1-2 locations.

Regarding positive tests, it has been a prevailing question as to what would happen if there was another situation like what happened with Rudy Gobert. He tested positive, and the NBA immediately shut down. Would that cause the resumed season to again come to a crashing halt? No, says Silver.

That’s reassuring to hear that there wouldn’t be a prolonged stop in the action over such a circumstance. As far as I can tell, this is the first time a commissioner has addressed this topic. It isn’t quite aligned with Scott Boras asserting that MLB players are at very low risk for dire coronavirus consequences, but it is relatively on that track in the sense that one positive test wouldn’t yield the death of the season.

Another interesting leak from the conference call involved the topic of finishing the NBA season in a concentrated bubble or bubbles, which players union chief Michele Roberts voiced her constituents’ concerns about in an interview with Ramona Shelburne that published today. A strict quarantine with no one entering and exiting sounded like “incarceration,” Roberts said, while a quarantine bubble that is more permeable with people having freedom to come and go would carry risks about whether it was worth it. (The story did say that players would be more amenable to the idea if a “semi-bubble” in Disney World could accommodate families.)

Nevertheless, Silver was reportedly assertive in his belief that finishing the season in Orlando and/or Las Vegas was the optimal solution:

We still don’t have clarity that the NBA will definitely finish up this season, but Silver should be applauded for his decisiveness on these issues tonight.


Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.