NBA Officials, Players Finalize Plans for Resuming Season at Walt Disney World

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have finalized plans to resume the 2019-2020 season on July 30th at Walt Disney World.

What’s happening:

  • The National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association have announced and finalized a comprehensive plan for a July 30 restart to the 2019-20 season.
  • These plans include stringent health and safety protocols, a single-site campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the goal of taking collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.
  • In addition, the NBA and Disney have reached an agreement on which venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be home for all games. These include:  
    • The Arena
    • The Field House
    • Visa Athletic Center
  • When the season resumes, 22 teams will return to play. Fans will not be allowed to attend games.
  • The complete game and national television schedules for the seeding games will be announced tonight.

Remaining Season and Playoffs:

  • The 22 participating teams will be the eight teams in each conference with the highest current winning percentages and the six teams that are currently within six games of the eighth seed in either conference.
  • Each participating team plays eight “seeding games,” as selected from its remaining regular-season matchups.
  •  At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the highest combined winning percentages across regular-season games and seeding games will be the first through seventh seeds for the NBA Playoffs for that conference.
  • The NBA’s standard playoff tiebreaker procedures will be used to break any ties on the basis of winning percentage.  
  • Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs will proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round.  
  • The 2020 NBA Finals will end no later than October 13.

Health and Safety for Athletes:

  • The NBA and the NBPA have agreed on health and safety protocols that will be in effect as the Basketball season resumes.
  • The program will focus on risks related to COVID-19 and the well-being of players, coaches, officials and staff.
  • These protocols were developed in consultation with public health experts, infectious disease specialists and government officials.

Via NBPA - National Basketball Players Association

Via NBPA – National Basketball Players Association

The NBA and NBPA on Creating Racial Equality:

  • As announced on Wednesday, the NBA and the NBPA have agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart will be to find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country.  
  • Leaders from the NBA and the NBPA have also discussed strategies to:
    • Increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams
    • Ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities
    • Form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community
  • In recognition that long-term change can only come from an informed and sustained commitment, conversations regarding these efforts will continue and additional details will be released at a later date.

What they’re saying:

  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: “We have worked together with the Players Association to establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues. We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections.”
  • NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts: “It is very exciting to officially announce the restart of the 2019-2020 season. It has taken true collaboration between the League and the Union – special kudos to our Executive Committee and several other team reps – along with the continued support and assistance from medical experts, public health officials and many others.  Additionally, our platform in Orlando presents a unique opportunity to extend the ongoing fight against systemic racism and police brutality in this country.  We will continue to work with our players and the League to develop specific plans in Orlando as well as long-term initiatives to bring about real change on these issues.”
  • Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: “We’re glad to be able to provide a unique venue where the NBA can resume its season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  We look forward to welcoming the players, coaches and staff to Walt Disney World Resort as they prepare for the exciting return of professional basketball.”