The NBA shutdown is on this week’s presidential agenda.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the formation of a new advisory committee, which includes NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, to hold discussions about how and when the nation should start holding sports events again.
Other key members include MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NHL chief Gary Bettman.
Tuesday’s Rose Garden news conference followed an April 4 conference call with America’s major sports leaders. Other participants: UFC, PGA, NASCAR and MLS executives, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL counterpart Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.
Now, Trump is ready to get the ball rolling.
“We have to get our sports back,” the U.S. President said at the White House.
“I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old,” he said, bringing up games from many years ago that are being broadcast to fill air time during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The NBA was the first major North American pro sports league to suspend operations. It happened on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Since the NBA shutdown began, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have also put their seasons on hold. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were canceled due to the coronavirus.
Trump was scheduled to participate in a Wednesday conference call with the committee to outline a strategy and a timeline for relaunching sports in the United States, according to published reports.
Therefore, the government-organized event could provide a clearer picture of how and when the NBA shutdown will end.
With the NBA season on hold since March 11, getting it started again would be no simple task.
Earlier this week, NBCSports.com reported that the NBA would need 25 days to prepare for the relaunch of its season after the COVID-19 shutdown ends.
However, the NBA shutdown won’t end until medical experts consider it safe to do so.
What’s more, COVID-19 testing has not been widely done in the United States. As a result, this could further delay the end of the NBA shutdown.