UPDATE: Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition – if their leagues choose to move in that direction. We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel. pic.twitter.com/yMrCFtSyqY— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 26, 2020
Today New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that local pro sports teams may return to training. Because the Sixers’ practice facility is in Camden, New Jersey this at least opens up a path for the team to resume practicing after things were shut down due to the pandemic. We don’t yet have details regarding what type of mandates or protocols might be in place. Some teams in states with less restrictions have already been granted the chance to practice. If the season were to resume this could offer competitive advantages to teams in states that have been open longer. Maybe now the Sixers can “catch up.”
Will there be restrictions on the number of people who may enter the facilities? Will there be guidelines for safety or protective gear like masks? How often will everyone who enters the facility be tested? What about players or team personnel who might happen to have a preexisting health condition that places him or her in a higher-than-normal risk group? The team at least now has a state sanctioned green light to begin answering these questions. Twenty one other teams have already opened up for workouts in some capacity. The Sixers would be one of the last teams to do so, assuming they opt for workouts.
Here is what Liberty Ballers alum Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice wrote on the matter today:
As of this writing, PhillyVoice was awaiting comment from the Sixers on whether they would be joining the Cavaliers, Blazers, Nuggets, Grizzlies, Heat, Magic, Bucks, Raptors, Hawks, Pacers, Jazz, Kings, Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Pelicans, Thunder, Timberwolves, Suns, Nets, and Hornets by opening their practice facility back up.
When they do, they will begin a slow build-up to real practices and games as dictated by NBA guidelines. “
The current rumors are about the season resuming in Orlando with a “campus environment” at some point in the future, perhaps late summer. If we start to get word that the season will resume, the Sixers would need every minute of practice time to ramp up. More than most teams, their starting unit was plagued by injuries and so they didn’t have a ton of time to mesh.
Update: The Sixers will reopen their practice facility tomorrow.