Despite the current outbreak, NBA commissioner Adam Silver remains optimistic to avoid a season pause. According to ESPN, 12 NBA teams have faced outbreaks with losing five or more players to health and safety protocols. Three head coaches have entered the protocols, and nine games have been postponed. A total of 140 players entered into protocol this season, with 123 in December alone. Still, Silver has no plans of pausing the season at this point and hopes the NBA will deal with this variant.
“Frankly, we’re having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now, as look through these cases literally ripping through the country right now, putting aside the rest of the world, I think we’re finding ourselves where we sort of knew we were going to get to for the past several months.” – Adam Silver (NBA Commissioner)
With limited star presence, the NBA could suffer a big blow. Kevin Durant, Trey Young, Luka Doncic, and Anthony Davis are all sidelined against the omicron surge.As the omicron variant continues to decimate NBA rosters, The NBA and NBPA have announced amended replacement rules to prevent a season halt. The short-term solution allows each team to sign one replacement player for every player that tests positive or enters protocols.