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The NBA Has a Plan to Return. Now Comes the Hard Part.

Eighty-five days after Rudy Gobert’s positive test for COVID-19 prompted the NBA’s suspension, the league is on the verge of resuming its 2019-20 season. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Wednesday that, during a meeting of the league’s board of governors on Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver plans to “propose a 22-team return [to play]” at a single site—Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida—“based on feedback, collaborative discussions and input from constituents around the league. ” As has been the case for several days, it’s widely assumed that “an overwhelming majority” of the NBA’s 30 owners will approve Silver’s plan to resume—if not provide “unanimous support”—clearing a path for the return of the league that in many ways introduced the prospective dangers of the coronavirus pandemic to the general U. S. public nearly three months ago. An approved proposal will also have to pass muster with the National Basketball Players Association; union chief Michele Roberts has already made it clear that her membership, broadly, “really wants to play.

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