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  • ahead of what promises to be an exciting 2020 draft.


  • I am joined by commissioner Adam Silver.


  • Thank you so much for joining US commissioner.


  • And tonight you are welcoming in a new class into the folds of the MBA family.


  • But the league they're entering and, more broadly, this country continue to face a public health crisis.


  • The summer the MBA clearly established a leadership position in devising a way for the league to come back and play within a carefully constructed bubble.


  • And now we're talking about returning to play.


  • Still, within the context of that pandemic, how did the league come to a decision that it could safely play a modified 72 game season?


  • In some cases with limited fans in attendance?


  • We came to the decision in pretty much the same way we came to the decision that we could play safely in the bubble.


  • We have a group of doctors and scientists that we work with and then we work, of course, directly with the players and the Players Association.


  • And it's a joint determination, balancing lots of factors, I think just like we're seeing in general society, it's theirs.


  • Economic needs.


  • There's Um, of course, the safety of the players.


  • There's the mental health of the participants, and I you thank you again for spending all that time down in the bubble.


  • But what we saw down there was, I think, that we concluded, was untenable beyond a certain amount of time is, you know, for the players and yourself where there the entire time was roughly 100 days.


  • And I think that that separation from families, even though there was a Z, you know, some family members could join in the end, it said, it's just it's one of those balances in life we're all trying to find and and it's what public health experts dio, they try to balance all these competing interests.


  • And based on what we've learned about the virus since back when we shut the league down in March, and by we, I mean society as a whole, having a better understanding of how it spreads again, what we learned in the bubble by having no cases bond.


  • Sometimes people forget.


  • While we did enormous amount of testing, all the testing demonstrated was that the protocols we were using worked and other than those times and the bubble.


  • When players were actually competing on the floor, they were wearing masks.


  • They were following the same precautions that everyone else is, you know, in terms of hand washing and physically distancing and everything else.

    他們遵循同樣的預防措施 每個人都是,你知道, 在洗手和物理距離和其他一切。

  • So now we're at a point where, in order to have a season, we're looking at what the other leagues air doing, learning a lot from what baseball went through playing in home market.


  • Of course, they then moved into a bubble at the end and watching the NFL as they continue to play in their home markets.


  • And so we feel comfortable that the protocols will have in place in our practice facility, and Arenas will keep our players safe.


  • What we don't know, of course, is what players may do, um, outside of our facilities and and by the way, by no means am I suggesting players being reckless?


  • I mean, for example, I have young Children and I have a daughter who goes to school bond when schools remain open, where I live.


  • And, um, arguably only a safe is all the other families, because kids may not get sick, but they can spread the virus to, so we may have an incident where a player gets infected.


  • We know, for example, that players have got got infected before we were in the bubble.


  • We know players have gotten infected after they were in the bubble.


  • So then the question becomes, What can we do to make sure it doesn't spread?


  • And that is by, ah, lot of testing daily testing in some cases probably even more than daily testing, a za precaution and then to extent we get a positive case quickly isolating that player course, getting that player of the appropriate treatment.


  • But the protocols should allow us to continue.


  • And that's just what we're seeing in the NFL.


  • I mean, there may be situations where somebody has become in contact with that player who was then known positive, and that player needs toe isolate as well.


  • But I lastly, you know, a Z we've heard from all the experts is stay humble with this.


  • I mean eso we're gonna learn as we go.


  • I mean, one of the issues also being outside of bubble or, of course, subject to hodgepodge, um, understandably of regulations state by state, region by region, city by city.


  • So we're gonna have to work our way through whatever the regulatory environment as well.


  • And so we'll see.


  • So we're set out on a course toe toe open on December 22nd.


  • But well, undoubtedly be learning new things every day.


  • Well, hopefully, as a country, we continue to move in a better direction.


  • And given the unusual year leading to such a short off season, there's talk of some players like LeBron James, for example, potentially sitting out stretches of time early in the season.


  • What is the league doing to ensure the season doesn't begin with rampant load management and diminished matchups?


  • Again?


  • It's a joint decision to start with the Players Association and with the players.


  • And of that, of course, includes LeBron.


  • I think it's understood that a player like LeBron just finished his season in mid October, you know, and who's at the older end of the spectrum?


  • LeBron.


  • Not that you're old, but you know, an older player, you know that may need additional rest, but I think also those players are mindful of, you know, circling those games.


  • I mean, we haven't made a secret out of it in terms of when there has been some resting that Marquis National Games air are games that players are expected to play.


  • And I think on the other side of the coin, it's also important to point out that there are eight teams that we have not played for nine months, you know?


  • And if you recall there were six teams that came to the bubble that didn't, of course make the playoffs and then another eight that were eliminated obviously after the first round.


  • So those teams will all have had over four months off, roughly.


  • So it's again.


  • It's trying to strike the right balance, and I mean, we're very appreciative of the Miami Heat and the Lakers for this quick turnaround.


  • But again, they were part of the this decision.


  • I think everyone's recognizing.


  • I mean and even I hesitate sometimes use the word sacrifice because I think people living out there in the world who are making enormous sacrifices and who have been sick with this virus and had family members who've been terribly sick, you know, it's all relative.

    我的意思是,甚至我猶豫有時 使用犧牲這個詞,因為我認為人 生活在那裡的世界 誰是做出巨大的犧牲,誰已經生病 與這種病毒,並有家庭成員 誰一直可怕的疾病,你知道, 這一切都相對。

  • I mean, so when I say sacrifice, yes, in the context of the MBA, there's some sacrifice here.


  • But I think also so much credit goes to our players.


  • Tow our players association, you know, to the teams, all collectively saying yes, of course, we're all out there to compete.


  • But there's a recognition that competing in the context of a pandemic, and so we all have to make compromises along the way.


  • Absolutely.


  • And also Adam in the bubble.


  • Messages of racial equality were prevalent at games and around campus.


  • In addition to the formation of the newly formed task force.


  • What will the league's efforts around social justice and racial equality look like this season?


  • So so you you made reference to the task force.


  • So there's two new entities that we created, Um, over the course of the summer, one was a new MBA foundation, and in that case, um, the MBA governors have ceded that foundation with $300 million of contributions, which I mean obviously an enormous amount of money.


  • But I say seed, because the expectation is then we will partner with other organizations who also are committed and what the the mission of this foundation is economic development in the black communities, and so and that's and the board will be comprised of is comprised of MBA team governors and Players, player Association executives and league executives.


  • Then separately, we created on organization that we call in the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition.


  • And there was, you know, following the protests and following some of the things that we did, whether on jerseys or on the court in terms of social justice messages, I think it was a common theme of the players, together with the team personnel of like, All right, now that we are voices have been heard.


  • But now, hands on, how can we make an impact?


  • And there, um, the idea came to stand up on this coalition, and so there that's gonna be focused on, you know, issues that in essence, in many ways, we're outside of our control.

    在那裡,嗯,這個想法來了 站在這個聯盟, 所以有 這會是集中在,你知道,問題 在本質上,在許多方面, 我們是在我們的控制之外。

  • I mean, I think we began with economic development, because when I think of the great entrepreneurs who make up NBA teams, it's no secret you gotta be really rich.


  • You know, the only NBA team.


  • And by the way, most MBA players are doing pretty well, too, So they're in a position to help hands on in terms of creating economic opportunity.


  • But some of the real social justice changes and I've had this conversation with players.


  • I mean, that means that almost by definition, legislative change on there that maybe it, maybe it at your city council.

    我的意思是,這意味著,幾乎根據定義, 立法變化在那裡,也許它,也許它在你的市議會。

  • It may be, um, the mayor in town, or it may for that matter, could be the president, but it means that laws need to be changed on.

    它可能是,嗯,鎮長, 或者它可能為這個問題,可能是總統, 但它意味著,法律需要改變上。

  • But I think there's an opportunity for our team.


  • Governors or players working together toe have a legislative agenda on.


  • I've also said to members the N B a community.

    我也曾對會員說過N B一個社區。

  • It also means that you have to work with people who may not agree with you, that I think that's the one thing about the protest that a some point you sort of are talking to yourself.


  • And I think that there's a realization here that if you really want to change laws and and frankly influence other people, that you can do that through civic engagement.


  • But but it means you gotta be.

    但是... ...但這意味著你得。

  • You gotta be willing to listen and engage with people who may at least start with a different point of view.


  • It seems like the MBA is moving beyond just the footprint of maybe some symbolism and into some real tangible action there.


  • But it is almost time to welcome in this new class of draftees.


  • And one of the MBA's hallmarks is it's on boarding process For these rookies.

    而MBA的一個特點就是它的上崗流程 對於這些菜鳥來說。

  • There's no summer league this year.


  • There is no in person symposium.


  • How is the league compensating for the lack of those things for these guys?


  • You said No in person, of course.


  • But just like again, so many other industries weaken do, ah, lot by zoom and other platforms.


  • So I mean, for example, um, I participated in a you know welcome session yesterday, along with Michele Roberts with the incoming players and their families, and then they'll be our form of rookie transition.


  • It'll just, Unfortunately, a lot of it will have to be virtual.


  • My sense is with a lot of players will go back after things.


  • There's more of return to normalcy.


  • Hopefully, this encouraging news with the vaccines, um, you know, is you know it is happening, you know, on a fast track and that, you know, by spring late summer, we'll start to see mass distribution of those vaccines.


  • And in fact, yesterday, when we had this event for the players, I said, you know, I'm not, You know, now that I'm a parent to I not only feel terrible for the draftees, I mean when they say they've been waiting all their lives there.


  • Also, young and I think about their parents now in some cases, time cases more than these young players, because I think, well, they're players have their I mean, their parents have been waiting even longer, and it's just a big disappointment.


  • Not, I mean, I'm sure we'll see tonight by video some fun celebrations at home, but it's not the same thing.


  • So I promised them all that once things get back to normal, we're gonna have a huge ball for them of some kind.


  • You know, maybe around the summer league in Las Vegas.


  • But we owe them a big party.


  • And so we'll find a way to do that.


  • And we'll also go back.


  • I mean, remember for our best players, you know, I think how many years are top players have been in the league, so they're gonna be around for a long time.


  • So even if we have to doom or formal in person training in a year from now, or even two years from now we'll still do it.


  • Yeah, well, I look forward to seeing that celebration when it is ableto happen.


  • Thank you so much for joining us Commissioner.


  • It is.


  • It's it's really going to be a special evening.

    這... ...這真的會是一個特別的夜晚。

  • Thank you.


  • Great to be here.


  • Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content.


  • Subscribe to ESPN, plus.


ahead of what promises to be an exciting 2020 draft.



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