"It sucks, but it just may be our reality for a while," Silver told players on the call, according to audio obtained by ESPN. "It may be that ... there'll be a point we can bring a portion of our fans back where they sit every other seat or every third seat. "...Assuming a vaccine isn't coming any time soon, are there things we can do in our arenas where maybe we can't have 19,000 people, but maybe we can have 5,000 people? Maybe we can have 8,000 people? Maybe there are protocols allowing for it?"
Week by week, through all the White House coronavirus briefings and the Dr. Fauci updates and the NBA’s monitoring of the all-powerful curve, Commissioner Adam Silver and his most trusted associates have been trying to find a way to save this ill-fated season that was suspended on March 11. They have listened to the medical experts, fielded calls from city officials who so badly want the league’s basketball business to come their way, and consulted with the players, general managers and agents whose voices will always play a pivotal part. The confidence in the league’s ability to find a workable solution has been there all the way through.
“I’m happy now. I’m in a good place, you know,” Gobert told reporters Friday. “And I’m happy that I get the joy back from playing basketball with my team and the competitiveness is back. I’m ready to try to go out there and try to win the championship. That’s the goal. And to be honest, after everything we’ve been through as a team and as human beings, it would be a great comeback.” Gobert answered questions for about 11 minutes. He talked about the relationship with Mitchell. (“It’s never going to be perfect,” he said, acknowledging strains that have been no secret.) He talked about the potential of signing a lucrative extension — he’s supermax-eligible — with the Jazz, which could happen before next season. (“I don’t plan on leaving right now,” he said.) He talked about his recovery from the virus, which is ongoing, at least in how his sense of smell hasn’t totally recovered. (“Smelling, I took that for granted too. It’s back now, it’s back at 80%, I’m not worried,” he said.)