NBA won't jump the line for vaccine: Silver

Measures in place for season outside bio-bubble

Commissioner Adam Silver said on Monday the NBA would not "jump the line" for the COVID-19 vaccine as the league prepared to tip off its new season amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the United States.

Wait our turn

Speaking on a conference call ahead of the start of the 2020-2021 season on Tuesday, Silver emphasised the NBA would "wait our turn" to obtain the vaccine, which began to be administered for the first time last week.

Silver said he hoped NBA players and staff would eventually play a role in helping to assure the public of the benefits of getting the vaccine.

"It’s my hope that when we are eligible, members of the NBA community will want to get vaccinated and it’s our plan to be involved with governmental efforts in terms of public messaging as to the benefit of taking the vaccine," he said.

In the new season will take place with teams playing in their home markets, a move that represents myriad logistical challenges for the NBA and its 30 teams.

Silver said playing an entire season in a bubble-like environment was deemed "untenable" but insisted he was confident of health and safety protocols put in place to mitigate the risk from the virus.

"We would not be opening our season if we did not believe it was safe and responsible to do so," he said.

However, keeping in mind possible contingencies, NBA chiefs have released a schedule of games only for the first half of the abbreviated 72-game season, and will finalise the second half of the calender at a later date.

Bumps along the way

"We do anticipate there will be bumps in the road along the way," Silver said. "We’re waiting to see how this plays out before issuing the second half of the season. We know it’s possible we may have to reschedule games along the way."

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