Silver: 'Too soon to tell' economic impact of NBA season suspension
Commissioner Adam Silver admitted Friday that the ongoing season suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic will significantly disrupt the NBA's bottom line but said the exact scope of the aftermath is still up in the air.
"It's too soon to tell what the economic impact will be," Silver told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. "We've been analyzing multiple scenarios on a daily if not hourly basis and we'll continue to review the financial implications.
"Obviously, it's not a pretty picture but everyone, regardless of what industry they work in, is in the same boat."
Players are already feeling the potential fiscal ramifications of the temporary stoppage. Though the league has informed the union that players will continue to be paid as usual through April 1, it has reportedly not committed to paying athletes beyond that date. A "force majeure" clause in the collective bargaining agreement could also permit 1.1% of player salaries to be withheld for every game canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Front offices across the league also appear to be preparing for the worst. Team owners are said to be bracing for massive financial losses, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday, especially if the 2019-20 season can't continue. In an attempt to increase cash flow, the NBA reportedly nearly doubled its credit line from $650 million to $1.2 billion on Tuesday.
The season came to a sudden halt on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Since Gobert's diagnosis, 13 other individuals within the league have tested positive. Nine of those are confirmed to be players, including Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood, and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart.