Multiple NBA team executives told USA TODAY Sports they have considered playing behind closed doors but only as a last-resort contingency plan. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.
It’s a step that sports leagues around the world have already taken in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has now infected more than 93,000 people across 76 countries.
The Italian government on Wednesday mandated that all of the country’s sporting events, including Serie A soccer games, be held without fans. Switzerland’s national hockey league played in nearly empty arenas after Swiss authorities banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people. And the governing body for Japanese sumo wrestling recently moved a major spring tournament behind closed doors for the first time in the sport’s history.