NBA team facilities to open ‘no earlier’ than May 8

The NBA announced Monday it will soon unveil rule changes that will allow teams to open their practice facilities for players to take part in treatment and limited workouts, so long as the city in which the facility is located permits it.

Numerous restrictions will be still be in place for this limited opening of facilities, the league said in a statement. There also is no set date for when facilities can open, though “the league advised teams that it is targeting no earlier than Friday, May 8, as the commencement date for the new rules, and that it may push this timing back if developments warrant,” per the release.

Earlier reports said the league hoped to open practice facilities this Friday in states that were loosening stay-at-home restrictions, but that plan received pushback from the Atlanta Hawks.

Wells Fargo Center, Empty Arena
Mar 11, Philadelphia – Empty stands after game between the 76ers and Detroit Pistons at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said the team will closely monitoring the situation in Georgia before deciding when to reopen.

“We are going to wait and see what happens in the state over (a) couple weeks,” Schlenk told ESPN on Monday. “If there’s a positive response, we’ll slowly open up. If it’s a negative response, we’ll make sure our staff and players remain healthy.”

The NBA suspended play March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Whether or not the 2019-20 season will resume remains unknown. A week later, the league instructed teams to close their training and practice facilities.

The NBA also said in the release that for any team prohibited from making its facility available to players because of government restrictions, “the league will work with the team to identify alternatives.”

Any player participation that does occur would be voluntary by the player, and the following restrictions must be adhered to by all teams:

  • No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time.
  • No head or assistant coaches could participate.
  • Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages.
  • Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)