It’s been nearly three months since Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus after touching a bunch of reporters’ microphones and joking about the then-nascent pandemic, making him the first NBA player to test positive and setting off the eventual suspension of the entire season. Now, though, the NBA’s Board Of Governors has decided that we’ve all waited long enough and it’s time to start dribbling, dunking, and alley-ooping again—but with a bunch of notable stipulations. For starters, this is entirely contingent on approval from the National Basketball Players Association and The Walt Disney Company, as the NBA’s plan is to use Walt Disney World as “a single site for a campus for all games, practices, and housing for the remainder of the season.” You’d think they’d ask Disney first, but it’s not like the resort and its evidently extensive basketball facilities are being used for anything else at the moment (as far as we know).
Those details come from an NBA press release, which also explains how this season restart will work if the league gets the necessary approvals from the aforementioned groups as well as government officials and public health experts. If that all goes through, a modified playoff format would start on or around July 31 between 22 predetermined teams—the eight teams from both conferences that had the best records before the shutdown plus six additional teams that would’ve still been in contention (the link up above has them all listed if you’re curious about your hometown squad, as well as information on how this will impact the draft and the next NBA season, if you’re somehow capable of contemplating life post-virus).
Of course, the virus isn’t the only thing going on right now, and the NBA press release did also mention that the league will continue to use its “collective resources and influence” to address issues of “racial violence and injustice” in “very real and concrete ways.” (It did not say what those ways will be.)
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.