NBA delaying plan to reopen facilities in states lifting lockdowns

Even after Georgia governor Brian Kemp reopened his state, the Atlanta Hawks aren’t going to reopen their facilities prematurely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Two days after reports stated the NBA planned on allowing players to return to team facilities in states with loosened stay-at-home restrictions, the league sent a memo pushing back the reopening date to at least May 8, following the Hawks’ unwillingness to host player workouts at this time. The date could be postponed further “if developments warrant,” according to the memo.

Atlanta was expected to be the first team to reopen its facilities after Kemp’s decision, which has been strongly opposed inside the state and around the country.

“We are going to wait and see what happens in the state over the couple weeks,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told ESPN. “If there’s a positive response, we’ll slowly open up. If it’s a negative response, we’ll make sure our staff and players remain healthy.”

Per the league memo released Monday, teams would be limited to having no more than four players voluntarily working out at one time, with coaches prohibited from participating. Group activity — including practices and scrimmages — will not be allowed and players would still not be permitted to use non-team facilities, such as public fitness centers or gyms.

For teams in high-risk states — such as the Knicks and Nets — league said it “will work with the team to identify alternatives.”

A league source said Silver on Saturday sent an internal memo to teams detailing the facility plans, but that the players union hadn’t been consulted.

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