NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed Thursday that he expects the league's suspension due to the coronavirus crisis to last one month, at minimum.
"What we determined today is that this hiatus will be, most likely, at least 30 days," Silver told NBA on TNT. "We don't know enough ... to be more specific than that."
Silver added he believes the season is still salvageable, even after a potentially lengthy break.
"Even if we're out for a month, if we're out for six weeks, we can still restart the season," he said, according to Bill Oram of The The Athletic. "It might mean the Finals take place in July or later. Just, my feeling was it was way premature to suggest we had lost the season."
Thursday's television appearance marked Silver's first public address since he suspended the 2019-20 campaign Wednesday after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Silver said he was heading home when the league office notified him of Gobert's test result just prior to the start of Wednesday's game between the Jazz and Thunder in Oklahoma City, which was then quickly called off.
"He had been separated from his team the day before because he had been running a fever. And once his test came back positive, we needed to make a decision whether we were then going to cancel the game," he said, courtesy of ESPN. "And fans were in the seats ready to go. We were now five or 10 minutes past the point we were supposed to tip."
Silver added that he spoke to Thunder owner Clay Bennett and team general manager Sam Presti, and Utah Jazz representatives.
"I think we quickly agreed that this should not, of course, be a business decision," he continued. "We should be listening to the public health experts, Oklahoma City, and the team doctors. They conferred and fairly quickly decided we should not be playing."
Hours after the broadcast, Silver penned a letter to NBA fans, telling them the league is grateful for their understanding during the hiatus.
NBA owners have reportedly encouraged the commissioner to re-evaluate the suspension following a 30-day period.
Several other professional sports leagues have also suspended their respective seasons in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The NCAA announced Thursday that it has canceled its annual men's and women's national basketball tournaments that were to commence later this month. It's the first time that the yearly competitions won't be played since the men's event began in 1939.