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The NBA will allow teams to reopen their facilities as early as May 8 for limited practice and training in places where stay-at-home orders have been eased or rolled back, but the San Antonio Spurs do not yet know if they will follow suit.
Officials are still reviewing State and local orders and monitoring health data to determine the best course of action, Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford told reporters Thursday.
“We’re going to make that decision as we get more information, as we have more data around our own local environment as well as the national environment, and doing what we can to create a safe place for the team to come back together,” he said. “So we’re not putting any dates on it. It’s going to be more how we get the information that we need to be comfortable to provide the right atmosphere for our players.”
When the team figures out the safest way to reopen practice facilities, players will not be required to come in, Buford said.
“We’re really trying to provide for not only [their] physical but mental health in the best way that we can,” he said.
The Spurs haven’t played since March 10, and the league suspended operations the following day. Whether the season will be resumed – and if so, under what conditions – is still unknown.
Buford sits on an NBA competition advisory group that discusses how to create a safe environment for players and fans.
“We miss everybody. … We would love to be able to interact with our community in a safe environment,” he said of the possibility of resuming league play. “And I think the league’s mission is to do that once we have all the information that we need to be able to accomplish that.”
The Spurs have also made sure to pay idled part-time workers at the AT&T Center through the rest of the season, Buford said.
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For now, players are working out and doing rehabilitation sessions virtually. Coach Gregg Popovich has embraced videoconferencing during the hiatus, Buford said. And the Spurs coaching staff continues to check in with each player regularly.
“A lot of them are in their garage or their living rooms that have turned into a gym now, but it’s really just a virtual conversation with [Spurs athletic performance coordinator] Anthony Falsone going crazy,” Buford said.