On Monday afternoon, the NBA announced players may be able to get shots up in their team’s practice facilities as early as May 8.
With many state and local governments easing stay-at-home orders and peeling back limitations on nonessential businesses, the league decided to change its “guidance regarding the use of team practice facilities and player training.
“The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states,” the NBA said in a news release.
The Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles noted to Salt Lake City media last week that as a result of having his own home with a gym (plus a recently installed basketball hoop), he has had an advantage over teammates who reside in apartment complexes, and who have not had access to workout facilities.
Even with these new guidelines issued, the NBA reminded players that they remain “prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms.”
As early as May 8, teams can make their practice buildings available for use by players for workouts or treatment on a voluntary basis, provided the team is located in a city no longer subject to governmental restriction.
The league has allowed teams to treat that May 8 date as a guideline, rather than a set-in-stone rule, and to “push this timing back if developments warrant.”
Teams in locales where stay-at-home orders still exist cannot open their facilities to players, but “the league will work with the teams to identify alternatives.”
Salt Lake County still has a stay-at-home order that restricts the use of a gym. That order expires May 1 and County Mayor Jenny Wilson has not said what will be included in a new order. The Utah Jazz are reviewing the new guidance and have not yet indicated how the team will proceed.
This is not a prelude to the imminent resumption of the 2019-20 season.
The league still has restrictions in place on the usage of facilities, including that no more than four players will be permitted in the facility at any time; group activities — such as practices and scrimmages — remain prohibited; and no head or assistant coaches are allowed to participate.