NBA plan to resume season with 22 teams approved by owners: report

NBA plan to resume season with 22 teams approved by owners: report

NBA owners on Thursday approved a tentative plan to resume the season after it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the plan, the season will resume with 22 teams and full playoffs at the Disney-owned ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. Several steps remain before the plan is finalized, including approval by the National Basketball Players Association and hammering out details with Disney and Florida public health officials, USA Today reported.

The league must also finalize a comprehensive health and safety protocol to ensure player safety during the resumed season, according to the newspaper.

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Under a best-case scenario, the season will resume in late July following a few weeks of training, including eight regular-season games, possible play-in games and playoffs involving 16 teams. Nine Eastern Conference teams and 13 Western Conference teams would be included.

The Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards are the teams that would play in the East.

In the West, the lineup would feature Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.

Teams will play the games without an audience at three gyms at the Florida complex with a similar format to Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament, with several games per day at each gym, according to the newspaper.

The NBA was the first major U.S. sports league to suspend its season in March after the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. Every other major sports league followed suit in the following days, and several others have since announced similar plans to resume play in empty stadiums.