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NBA moving toward fan ban, but still no game plan

Amid growing concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the NBA and its owners are moving toward a scenario where games are played with essential personnel only and no fans, a person familiar with Wednesday’s conference call with NBA Commissioner Adam SIlver and owners told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive nature of the situation. 

Another scenario was discussed: halting league operations for a period of time. While that idea had some traction, continuing the season was the favored option, the person said. 

The league is expected to make a decision Thursday after more conversations with key stakeholders. The health and safety of players and fans remain the league’s top priority. If the league decides to play games with no fans, it does not preclude the league from changing its position in a fluid situation. If a player contracted the virus, the league could take the bold step of halting play.

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