Mark Cuban is no longer optimistic that we’ll be watching NBA games again by the middle of next month.
“I have no idea,” Cuban responded when asked for a potential timeline of the League’s current hiatus—caused by the coronavirus global pandemic—coming to an end.
The Dallas Mavericks owner added that “we cannot put anything ahead” of health and safety.
“I have no idea,” Cuban said Wednesday. “I mean, the only thing I know is that we’re going to put safety first and we’re not going to take any chances. We’re not going to do anything that risks the health of our players, our fans, our staff, the whole organization. So right now, I really don’t have anything new to say.”
In an interview with Dallas television station WFAA published March 21, Cuban cited “people I’ve talked to at the CDC and other places” for his admittedly optimistic projection that enough progress would be made with the coronavirus crisis for the NBA to play games, probably without fans, “hopefully by the middle of May.”
In a setback to the resumption of professional sports, the Chinese government issued an order Tuesday delaying the restart of the Chinese Basketball Association and other group sporting events, according to documents obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“All the experts have got to say it’ll be absolutely safe,” Cuban said. “We cannot put anything ahead of the health and safety of our players and staff; that’s it. It’s such a moving target, and nobody really has specifics. I mean, I haven’t had any conversations where anybody’s even discussed an actual date at this point.”