Promising reports emerge about the NBA and NHL seasons

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It’s been over two months since we’ve seen a live basketball or hockey game, and we don’t know when we’ll see the next one. On Wednesday, encouraging reports surfaced about the NBA’s and NHL’s progress in creating a return-to-play plan. 

According to ESPN, unless there are unexpected coronavirus developments, many NBA owners, executives and members of the players’ association think Commissioner Adam Silver will permit the league to ramp up in June, with games possibly resuming before July ends. 

The ESPN report says teams expect the league will send out guidelines around June 1 about welcoming back players who were out of market, as well as expanding individual workouts. ESPN says the NBA is focusing on Disney World and Las Vegas as game locations, but The Athletic reported Disney is the front runner.

Meantime, Sportsnet in Canada reported the NHL and its players’ union are thinking about a 24-team conference-based playoff format. That’s not finalized, because it would need team and player approval. 

If this playoff format ends up taking place when games resume, the Flyers would be fourth in the East — good enough for a first-round bye.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a conference call Wednesday that he thinks his administration will offer guidelines for the resumption of sports in the coming days. The governor reiterated a stance he’s kept whenever talking about sports coming back.

“In the end, the ultimate arbiter of our fate here when it comes to sporting events are going to be individuals who want to participate, individuals who want to be part of sports, whether its amateur or professional,” Wolf said, according to The Associated Press. “And we’ve got to make sure that we give them the confidence to then go to these sporting events and feel safe, that they’re not taking their lives or health into their hands.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.