Gregg Popovich defers to Adam Silver over handling of coronavirus outbreak
How the NBA intends to handle the coronavirus outbreak is understandably the biggest story in the league this week. With the NBA initiating preparations for the possibility of having to play games in empty arenas, Gregg Popovich has made it clear he has and will continue to fully support Adam Silver amid the evolving, uncertain situation.
The San Antonio Spurs head coach weighed in Tuesday night on the ongoing deliberations concerning what the NBA plans to do. Popovich, along with LeBron James (albeit reluctantly in his case), has elected to defer entirely to the commissioner and the league.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Popovich said, per Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “Whatever Adam (Silver) does is fine with me. I don’t think about it.”
The league’s top priority is to ensure protocols are in place to limit the exposure and potential transmission of the coronavirus while still keeping the NBA up and running, even if it ends up being in a limited capacity.
After joining the NHL, MLB and MLS in issuing a joint statement earlier in the week to announce that media and non-essential personnel will be denied access to locker rooms and clubhouses, the NBA on Tuesday issued temporary media guidelines related to the coronavirus outbreak.
NBA posts temporary media guidelines during coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak: pic.twitter.com/oBiHTv18XL— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) March 10, 2020
The NBA is also believed to be considering moving games out of cities that have been hardest hit by the outbreak.
ESPN Sources: NBA is discussing scenarios that include moving some games to cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks — including opponent arenas or neutral sites. https://t.co/i3wxmSMNyw— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 11, 2020
Things certainly remain in flux as the NBA — not to mention all sports leagues, professional and otherwise — considers its options. That being said, the safe assumption is like every other business, the NBA should expect day-to-day operations to be seriously impacted, at least in the short term.