The NBA will start withholding 25% of player salaries beginning May 15 “in the event of a permanent cancellation of 2019-20 regular season or playoff games due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the league said in a statement.
The decision was made in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, and “in order to provide players with a more gradual salary reduction schedule, partial reductions of 25% will begin with the players’ twice-a-month payment due on May 15."
The NBA suspended its season on March 11, the night Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Two players from the Utah Jazz, one from the Detroit Pistons, four from the Brooklyn Nets, two from the Los Angeles Lakers and one from the Boston Celtics were diagnosed with COVID-19. Three staffers on the Philadelphia 76ers and one on the Denver Nuggets also tested positive.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan also tested positive.
Gobert, Mitchell, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Boston’s Marcus Smart have gone public with their situation and urged people to listen to public health officials.
The NBA’s decision set off a chain of events that included the cancellation or postponement of NCAA conference tournaments, the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, the NHL season, college spring sports, the start of the Major League Baseball season and golf tournaments, among other sporting events.
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