NBA GMs split on format for restart

LOS ANGELES • National Basketball Association (NBA) general managers are reportedly split over whether the league should finish up the regular season or move straight into the play-offs once it is safe for the stalled campaign to resume.

The league sent out a survey to all 30 team executives last week and NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed the results on Thursday to the same people who were polled.

According to sports website The Ringer, which cited anonymous sources, half of them want to see the regular season carry on as there are as many as 18 games left for some teams.

The other half would like to see the 16 play-off teams seeded first through 16th without consideration of conferences.

Given a choice of a play-in tournament to finalise the final play-off teams or a World Cup-type group stage that would take the place of the remainder of the regular season as well as the first round of the playoffs, 75 per cent opted for the play-in event and 25 per cent for the group-stage option.

On the call with Silver, one general manager, who opted to remain anonymous, told The Ringer: "There was zero commitment to any one plan. But it was a call to gather more information."

Another said: "Adam isn't taking the results seriously. Every team is obviously gonna vote for what's best for them."

While the NBA announced last weekend that it was in negotiations with Disney to restart the season - possibly in July at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located inside the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida - it has yet to commit to a format for games when they do resume.

Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry believes it could come down to a formal vote, but he expressed confidence the league, which has been on ice since March, was on track to resume in about six weeks.

"I think at the end of the day, we'll be in Orlando at Disney," he told CNBC. "The question is going to be will we have all 30 teams there, or will we have 24; whatever the number will end up being. But hopefully, by the middle of July, we start playing again."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2020, with the headline 'NBA GMs split on format for restart'. Print Edition | Subscribe