The NBA announced that it has informed its teams that the league is planning “to modify its guidance regarding the use of team practice facilities and player training.”
According to the league, this news comes as a number of state and local governments made modifications of stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on non-essential business activities this week.
“The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states,” reads a statement by the NBA.
The league is aiming for no earlier than Friday, May 8, as the start for new rules.
But there is no word on whether the Toronto Raptors will be one of the teams that will be using their practice facilities.
According to Toronto Mayor John Tory, he has had some initial discussions with the management of the Toronto Raptors, but the decision on what’s possible will come from the local public health officials.
The NBA said that the changes to the rules would allow teams to make their practice facilities, such as the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto, available for use by the team’s players for workouts or treatments on a voluntary and individual basis.
But this, “if the team’s facility is in a city that is no longer subject to a government restriction.”
“For any team that, due to a government restriction, is prohibited from making its facility available for use by the team’s players, the league will work with the team to identify alternatives,” said the NBA.
The restrictions that would apply include: no more than four players permitted at a facility at one time, no head or assistant coaches could participate, no group activities like practices, and players would be prohibited from using non-team facilities like public gyms.
As of Monday, Ontario remains still under a state of emergency, and a ban of gatherings of over five people remains.
The province also released its framework to reopen the economy which is broken down into three stages. While there is no timing to the framework, the first stage includes select workplaces and businesses to open, along with the reopening of outdoor spaces like parks. This stage also allows for more people to attend “some events.”
The second stage will open more workplaces, and at this stage, some larger public gatherings will be allowed.
It is in the province’s final stage that it says “large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future.”
Daily Hive has reached out to MLSE for comment, and this story will be updated accordingly.