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Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban has been the most outspoken figure in the NBA to push for the season to resume but he made it clear on Thursday that he won’t even consider opening the team’s training facility until everyone is able to get tested for coronavirus.
Cuban said in an email to USA Today that, unlike other teams in the league who will begin opening practice facilities on Friday, he won’t consider it until testing for the virus is made widely available.
“No. If we can’t test anyone, I don’t see how it happens,” his email read.
Cuban’s remarks come just a week after the NBA issued a memo informing teams not to test asymptomatic players and staff, ESPN reported, citing league sources.
“... for the time being, it is not appropriate in the current public health environment to regularly test all players and staff for the coronavirus,” the memo read.
According to USA Today, Cuban has previously said that the risk of resuming training without ensuring there are no carriers in the facilities isn't worth it.
“The problem obviously is that because we can’t test people, then we can’t assure anybody’s safety, whether they’re basketball players or anybody else,” he told the newspaper.
“Even though we can try to take all different kinds of precautions, it’s just not worth it, particularly when our guys are staying in shape and they’re going outside and shooting on outdoor hoops and working out in various ways. So I just don’t think the risk is worth the reward.”
The teams reportedly opening their doors Friday include the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The league has restricted the number of people to no more than four players in the facility at one time and no head or assistant coaches, according to NBA.com.
Teams will also have to refrain from group activities such as scrimmages.