After nearly two months of inactivity due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, the NBA is ready to reopen its practice facilities in areas with relaxed stay-at-home guidelines, as it has Dallas Mavericks would be one of the teams permitted to open up their practice facilities. Despite this fact though, the Mavericks have no immediate plans to open their facilities, according to owner Mark Cuban. During an appearance on The Athletic's '77 Minutes in Heaven' podcast, Cuban explained that he didn't think the risk was worth the reward when it comes to re-opening their facilities at this point in time.on Friday, May 8. Considering the fact that Texas' stay-at-home order has expired, the
"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," Cuban said. "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."
One of Cuban's concerns -- and one of the larger looming issues -- is the league's inability to test players for COVID-19. Last week, theto tell teams not to set up coronavirus tests for asymptomatic members of the organization. The memo also stated that the NBA is still looking into league-wide testing options. In the meantime, teams were instructed to make decisions regarding testing "in consultation with an infectious disease specialist, and in consideration of the patient's individual circumstances and guidance on testing related to COVID-19 from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and from the local health authority in the team's market."
Cuban's concerns regarding testing -- or a lack thereof -- are shared by other franchises from around the league's landscape, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, even as some teams ease back into activity. Three teams -- the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers -- plan to re-open on May 8. More teams will also look to re-open their facility at various times, depending on local guidelines, throughout the month of May.
While opening practice facilities is a solid step forward for the league, there's still a long way to go before games could potentially be played. First, a logistical plan to return to action (likely without fans) will have to be put into place by health officials in conjunction with the league. Then, the players will still need an adequate buffer of time in order to get back into game shape, as many of them don't have hoops and other necessary equipment at their homes and thus haven't played any sort of basketball since mid-March.