The NBA has offered its teams the provisional schedule for the season restart, interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic since March 11, which includes testing every other day from June 23 and mandatory individual training in early July before start group sessions.
On June 4, the NBA confirmed that the regular season would resume, with 22 teams, on July 31 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando (Florida). The current campaign had been suspended on March 11, after Utah Jazz French center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 just before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Disney workers will have to follow a meticulous protocol, which includes the mandatory use of a mask when they are near any of the participants in the North American league, strict guidelines for social distancing and daily temperature controls.
While negotiations continue with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the NBA has already offered the schedule and has given the green light for two assistant coaches to take charge of the voluntary training of their players; Head coaches can be one of those two coaches in volunteer sessions beginning June 23, even under social distancing rules.
Precisely, June 23 marks the beginning of the tests; From that day on, players from all 22 teams will have to undergo coronavirus testing every other day. In addition, the NBA has assured that it is still working on plans for the eight teams – Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks – that will not be at Disney.
The provisional NBA schedule is:
July 1 – July 7, 8, or 9: Mandatory one-on-one trainings for players from the 22 participating teams, ending the day each team arrives at Disney.
July 7, 8 and 9: arrival at Disney.
July 9-29: Team Trainings at Disney, Initial Health and Safety Assessments.
July 21 or 22: Start date of three training matches between teams, scheduled by the NBA and with NBA referees.
From July 30 to August 14: resumption of parties at Disney. The NBA is still completing the schedule for those eight team games, and the clashes will be based on regular season games through March 11.
August 15 and 16: if necessary, a series of two games to determine the numbers 8 of each conference.
August 17: The playoffs begin. This date would be advanced to August 15 or 16 if the play-in series are not necessary. The playoffs are scheduled as traditional best of seven games.
August 30: A limited number of family and guests will be allowed to arrive at Disney for the first time. They would stay inside the facilities.
From August 31 to September 13: conference semifinals.
From September 15 to 28: end of the conference.
From September 30 to October 13: NBA Finals. The league planned for it to end on October 12, but the date has now been adjusted.