NBA Considers Las Vegas for "Behind Closed Doors" Return
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“Las Vegas has been a destination that has been discussed, built around the idea of literally perhaps using a casino, playing games in potentially a ballroom with courts. There’s lots of different scenarios …”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 31, 2020
With the NBA seasons return still in question, the league has considered the possibility of bringing teams together, in one quarantined space, in order to complete the regular season schedule.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said:
Las Vegas has been a destination that has been discussed, built around the idea of literally perhaps using a casino, playing games in potentially a ballroom with courts.
Ky Bowman looked like an NBA player when he was up with the Warriors and has continued to look like one while assigned to Santa Cruz. Check out this block from the springy point guard in the G League showcase today. pic.twitter.com/s5neFhb2ql
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 20, 2019
We’ve seen the concept of a ballroom turning into a showcase area for basketball in the past. The 2019 NBA G League Showcase was hosted at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. A convention area that housed two courts and spread 28 regular-season games over four days.
There is also the Thomas and Mack Centre, which can be found on the UNLV campus, which has hosted the NBA Summer League since 2004. We’ve even seen the MGM Grand Garden Arena host the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball tournament from 2013-2016. From 2017 to present the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball tournament was hosted at T-Mobile Arena.
The NBA are sure to keep their cards close to their chest. There are already rumblings of how the season may return. Despite the Chinese Basketball Association’s indefinite hiatus, they are reportedly planning on hosting matches between its 20 teams in empty arenas by May.
How long has the 2019-2020 NBA season been suspended?
The 2019-2020 NBA season was suspended on 11 March 2020 beginning with the match between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The league office is still looking at a way to return to play.
When will the NBA return to play?
The NBA hopes to see a return to play in mid-to-late June. Due to the CDC’s recommendation of having no large-gatherings, the NBA is limited to playing without an audience.
Has the NBA ever played without a live audience?
The NBA had plans for the Golden State Warriors to play behind closed doors, but the decision was made moot after the suspension of the NBA season.
We’ve seen basketball games held without audiences before. Most recently in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers between the Philippines and Qatar. Due to the Philippine Men’s Basketball team’s brawl with Australia, they were obliged to play their next home match in qualification behind closed doors.
The match occurred on 17 September 2018 where Gilas Pilipinas overcame an early deficit to defeat Qatar 92-81.