With its season on hold and its playoffs in flux amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA is reportedly “exploring the feasibility of holding its entire post-season in Las Vegas.”
According to Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Mannix, sources told SI.com that the NBA is “nowhere close to formalizing anything, but added ‘nothing is off the table.’”
Speculation around what a single-city playoffs would look like includes a condensed post-season tournament with both five-game rounds and one-and-done scenarios in a shortened period of time. Holding all games in a single city allows the NBA to play within the confines of a quarantine and eliminates the need for travel and the hurdles that come with the need to comply with different cities’ restrictions and regulations when it comes to the necessary pandemic response. The city of Las Vegas makes sense based on the big events it’s accustomed to hosting — including the NBA’s summer league.
Publicly, team officials are optimistic. “I think they’re turning over every rock they possibly can to play and looking at every different outcome,” Nets GM Sean Marks said. Said Bucks GM Jon Horst, “We believe that we’re going to play and everything we’re doing every day and our communications and our preparations, everything we talk about is be prepared to play at some point and finish out the season and have a resumption.”Chris Mannix, via SI.com
The NBA was the first of the major professional leagues in North America to suspend its season, announcing the league-wide hiatus on March 11.