The 2019-20 NBA season will resume in some way this summer, barring any outright catastrophe. After pausing the season due to concerns of the spread of the novel coronavirus, the National Basketball Association has steadily worked towards creating and enacting a plan which would allow a finish to the season in some form.
The current proposals are detailed in this extensive ESPN story, which breaks down into these general parts:
- A single site location, with all signs pointing toward Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Las Vegas is also under consideration.
- Regular, fast, reliable testing is an absolute requirement.
- Length of both the regular season and playoffs must be worked out as quickly as possible.
- Determining the maximum volume of required personnel for both the teams, league, and media operations.
The plan as reported doubles as a primary list of hurdles the NBA must over come quickly, while also leaving out some more logistical challenges.
Travel, for example, is a major hurdle. While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has publicly pined for professional sports to come to Florida to start, resume, or finish their seasons, this invitation is somewhat at odds with the rules of his own state. According to the Florida Department of Health in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “All persons traveling to Florida from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Louisiana are required upon entry to Florida to self-isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days.”
For the Mavericks specifically, travel to Florida will be a challenge and one they must address soon if they haven’t already. Currently, travel to the United States is severely restricted and the CDC strongly recommends a self-quarantine. The Department of Homeland Security has created a “line jump” of sorts, which allows professional athletes returning to the United States to seek re-entry with as much ease as possible. However, the Mavericks would obviously still require any returning player to stick to a quarantine for the prescribed 14 day period.
On Friday, Rick Carlisle received a question on the Hoops Adjacent podcast as to the whereabouts of Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Boban Marjanovic and he responded, “I can’t get into that, it’s private information. But when we get started back up, we’ll be ready to go, that’s what I can tell you.” From that, paired with Adrian Wojnarowski’s mention that Doncic left the United States against the advice of the NBA, it’s reasonable to assume that the Mavericks are working towards getting Doncic to America (and yes, he’s in Slovenia, he’s on a plane with one of his dogs there) as well as Kristaps Porzingis, who is seemingly in Latvia per his social media. Boban Marjanovic is likely in Dallas, as his wife shared a photo of the two of them at White Rock Lake earlier this month.
These and other similar challenges of practicality remain as both the NBA and teams like the Dallas Mavericks attempt to work quickly towards a resumption in play that would allow for the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.