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How NBA's Adam Silver may have saved sports from itself

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver woke up a week ago facing an important day. Coronavirus and the growing outbreak was the focus and dominated his meetings.

Early calls with medical experts and other contacts. A meeting with National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts at the league office. An advisory finance committee meeting via conference call. A Board of Governors conference call with team owners.

He had no idea how important the day would become, not just to the NBA but to the sports world as a whole.

By late in the day, Silver had suspended the NBA season following Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test.

Maybe out of necessity, but Silver’s decision came at the right time. Six other NBA players have tested positive, including four players on the Brooklyn Nets, two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant among them.  

Silver’s decision set off a chain of events that led to the postponement of several high-profile sporting events for millions of people, including the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, the NHL season, MLB’s spring training and the Masters, to name a few. And the NBA’s move may end up playing an important role in flattening the curve of outbreak – a public health service that could save lives and help minimize stress on health care personnel and services.

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