Coronavirus: Yao Ming says Chinese Basketball Association weighing three different options to restart season

While the NBA is no closer to resuming play, the Chinese Basketball Association is hoping to push forward with a plan to continue the season, when its given the green light from public health officials. The CBA was planning on returning in May, however, the Chinese government ordered it to delay the season even further over fear of the COVID-19 virus spreading again. 

Despite no official timetable for when the season can return in China, the league is still laying out options for what a resumption of play could look like. Basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming and current president of the CBA said there are three options the league is considering.

Yao says the league's first option is to play out the remainder of the schedule as planned, which would likely only be achievable if there's no risk of the coronavirus spreading. Another option the CBA is considering is playing a truncated season where some games would be dropped in order to wrap up the season as quickly as possible. The third option is to head straight into the playoffs using the current standings in the league. All of these options would be played without fans in attendance. 

Yao told state network CCTV he hopes as many games as possible could be played, but a tournament to restart the league would be considered if they have to shorten the season.

Similar to what the NBA is considering, CBA players would be isolated in hotels to curb the spread of the virus. While there's still no confirmation on where these games would be played, the league was considering moving all 20 teams to two different locations to play out the remainder of the season. 

Compared to the NBA, the CBA is further along on the timeline to consider starting play again, as over the last month the Chinese economy has reopened slowly. In Wuhan, which was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn't been any reported new cases for the past month, which has allowed high school students to return to in-person classes. In other parts of China, places like Shanghai Disneyland are reopening soon, signifying that China is on the slow path toward normalcy. Still, though, the CBA has not been given an idea of when it can return to action, though there is optimism the season can be completed.

Jasmyn Wimbish has been closely following the NBA since Dirk Nowitzki hit his sweet signature jumper to send the Miami Heat packing in 2011. She's a graduate of the University of Kansas and Northern Arizona... Full Bio

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