Brett Brown is curious.
The 76ers coach ponders an ideal way for the NBA to resume the season. He believes anything that allows for a realistic timeline in which players aren’t put in harm’s way would be best.
“Forget the virus standpoint, just the injury standpoint,” Brown said. “There are stats. ... Look at the stats after lockouts, the propensity of injuries is significantly increased if you just try to cram stuff in.”
That’s why he’s curious to see what the league’s return-to-play process will look like if the 2019-20 NBA season resumes.
Wednesday marks the 70th day since the league suspended the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will take the players a minimum of three-to-four weeks to get back into playing shape.
“I’d be curious to see if that includes some way to have a preseason game. I don’t know,” Brown said.
He doesn’t think the league needs to overcompensate in regard to realigning divisions like Major League Baseball is considering. That move wouldn’t make sense for the NBA, considering it most likely would resume at one or two campus-like locations without fans.
The league is expected to make a decision in June on returning.
“If we do come back, do you just go back straight into the playoffs?” Brown asked. “Or do you have a few regular-season games to sort out [what might] have happened in the event that the season did continue?
“In any of those cases, my personal opinion is that I’m fine.”
But that doesn’t stop Brown from being curious about what it’s going to take to ensure the players get back in game shape.
NBA practice facilities reopened for individual on-court workouts on May 8 in some cities, but the 76ers are not among the teams that unlocked their gym doors. Only teams in cities and states in which local governments have eased restrictions on facilities will be allowed to open. As of Monday, 17 of the league’s 30 teams allowed players to start working out at the team facilities.
The Sixers’ practice facility is in Camden, and New Jersey’s public health emergency status is in place at least through June 5. The state has, however, opened up a number of outdoor activities, and Gov. Phil Murphy said nonessential businesses might be allowed to let shoppers inside stores “in a matter of weeks.” The Sixers want to continue monitoring what’s going on in the state and at other NBA practice facilities before reopening.