SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a strange time to think about basketball. Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey knows that; everybody knows that.
There’s civil unrest throughout the world as protests continue to occur, and there’s still the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that shut the NBA down in the first place.
Yet, in late July, the Jazz and 21 other NBA teams will be in Orlando to finish the season. And yes, Lindsey and the organization are excited about it.
“I would like to thank Commissioner Silver, the NBA Board of Governors and the players for their willingness and commitment to finish the 2019-20 NBA season,” Lindsey said in a written statement. “While our society faces important issues that certainly eclipse basketball, the entire Jazz organization looks forward to getting back on the court and continuing its playoff push.”
On Friday, the National Basketball Players Association approved the league’s proposal of a 22-team restart all taking place at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
"The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season,” a statement from the NBPA said. “Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play."
There are plenty of details to still iron out, including safety protocols, deciding how many people will be able to come into the Orlando bubble, and changes to the league calendar for next season. But both sides are committed to finishing the season.
As for the Jazz, Lindsey said that even with health worries — Florida, like Utah, has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases this week — he is hopeful the restart can go on safely.
“We have full confidence that the league office, in collaboration with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials, will take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the players and on-site staff,” Lindsey said. “While we regret not playing in front of our tremendous fans, we are grateful for their loyal support and know they will be behind us.”