Coronavirus outbreak could force NBA to permanently change schedule, Adam Silver suggests

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After the NBA suspended the season last week following a Utah Jazz player testing positive for coronavirus, there has been no official indication as to when the season will return.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN on Wednesday the pandemic may have altered the league’s calendar permanently.

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“Possibly,” Silver said when asked whether next season’s start date could be around Christmas. “Those are things we’re always talking about, whether they’re executives at your company, ESPN, or at Warner Media, together with our regional sports networks.

“I will say the conventional media calendar has changed so much certainly since I got into this business. Primetime means something very different than they used to, now that people essentially carry around televisions with them in their pockets. The summer is viewed differently than it was historically from a television standpoint. Regardless of whether we had been going through all this, it’s something the league office together with our teams has been spending a lot of time on.”

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ESPN previously reported the season could restart in mid-to-late June and run into August. Silver didn’t say when exactly the season would resume, but when it does, it will likely be without fans.

He added that he hopes the league could spark a positive change in the U.S.

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“One thing I'll say about the United States ... we’re an incredible country and some of the greatest inventions, some of the best innovations, some of the best minds are in this country,” Silver said. “And I'm sure as people are sitting home but still working they're thinking of these various things like how can we restart the economy and what role can the NBA play?”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.