The NBA is putting the 10 teams, including the Brooklyn Nets, slated to play on Christmas Day on alert that there could be changes to the schedule if COVID-related issues rear their ugly heads.
The league informed the 10 teams that it was prioritizing the Christmas Day time slots that are scheduled for ABC, according to a report from ESPN. That means the NBA is focused on preserving the 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time slots, which includes the Nets meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA could also look to shift tip-off times if another game has to be postponed in what the league has called a “contingency plan” for Christmas Day. A decision of if a game-time needed to be shifted could come as late as Friday and any postponements made on Saturday wouldn’t impact the rest of the schedule that day.
Christmas Day has been one of the NBA’s premier days for Basketball and the league has appeared to do all that it can to preserve those scheduled games. The NBA, like the rest of the country, has seen a massive spike in COVID cases with the emergence of the Omicron variant.
A COVID tracker put together by CBS Sports has shown more than 80 NBA players are currently in health and safety protocol. The NBA has also had to postpone seven games this season due to COVID issues, which included two this week for the Nets.
However, the likelihood that NBA pauses its season doesn’t seem likely. During an interview on ESPN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Malika Andrews that there were no plans to halt play.
“No plans right now to pause the season,” Silver said. “We’ve of course looked at all the options, but frankly we’re having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now.”
He added: “This virus will not be eradicated, so we have to learn to live with it.”