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  • when you look back on that night now a year removed, and we are of course still living in it to a very large degree.

  • But what do you remember most vividly about that day and that night, What was interesting?

  • You just played that clip of Dr Fauci.

  • Remember, we have been following his comments for several days before March 11th, and even in that testimony that he gave that day, it was actually answering a question on the House Oversight Committee.

  • He It was the first time, as far as I know, that he had recommended Not, of course, that we shut down, but that we not play in front of what he said was large crowds.

  • And I think it was that day on March 11th.

  • Earlier in the day, before we made a decision to shut down, we had had a board meeting with all of our owners, and at that point we thought it would be a market by market issue.

  • There's Santa Clara County, for example.

  • In California, I made a decision where the sharks play that they needed to play without fans.

  • We saw that coming to San Francisco, but at that point We thought we were going to continue to operate with reduced number of fans in arenas, essentially what Dr Fauci was recommending and what our experts were recommending.

  • And so we didn't I think, have a sense of the larger magnitude.

  • And I'll just add that because we have a large business in China, we've lived through SARS and H one n one.

  • And I think like most Americans, are sense was this would not hit the United States the way it was hitting Asia and that we were only beginning to get that that feeling in in in early March that maybe this was going to be different than those other viruses and would affect us in different in in in in other ways.

  • But even I remember the day after March 11th when I was asked what this meant in terms of of us taking a pause in the season.

  • In my mind, it seemed like something that would last for 30 days.

  • Not that we would, of course, be having these conversations a year later.

  • And my god, that over half a million Americans would be dead from this disease.

  • It's impossible to believe in its own way.

  • Still, I read the article or the interview that you gave to the Times, which was fascinating about how this was a decision you had to make sitting in your car.

  • I'd love you to tell that story to the audience here.

  • That hasn't necessarily read it.

  • Sure.

  • So, um Well, as I mentioned, we had had a board meeting that day in March 11 to discuss with all our teams Um, what they were hearing in their communities what they're public health officials were telling them what ordinances we thought were going to be put in place.

  • Um, so that we can start making adjustments.

  • And also, you can see from those images that you ran that we had also changed some of the protocols around the cleanliness in arenas, scrubbing things down, Clorox wipes, et cetera, you know, you know, hand hand sanitizing stations, all that had begun to be put in place.

  • But there wasn't a sense on that afternoon that we were about to shut down our season.

  • Meanwhile, because of the experience we have had in China, um, shutting down our offices in late January, we were increasingly spending times time thinking about how This wasn't even a pandemic until March 11th, but how this epidemic could impact the league and one of the things we have done is put in place in each market, a relationship with a local lab.

  • So to the extent we had players that were symptomatic and what we understood to be flu like symptoms, we would not only be testing them for the flu, but we will be testing them for I think, what people were calling a coronavirus at the time.

  • Of course, Rudy Gobert was one of those players who was tested.

  • Incidentally, he was not the first player who was tested for Covid.

  • He was the first player that tested positive, and we knew that we had an outstanding, um, lab test with him on March 11th.

  • But we had no reason to believe he was going to be positive any more so than any of the other players before him that have been tested.

  • But that, you know, the Oklahoma it was in the Utah Jazz were in Oklahoma City.

  • They were under the jurisdiction of Oklahoma City Health Commissioner.

  • They certainly understood that there was going to be a game that night.

  • Um seven o'clock local time.

  • Rudy had already been separated from his team, but they knew, You know, I don't think I understood the term contact tracing men.

  • But they knew he had had contact with his teammates.

  • And so when they got that test result back, you know, literally 15 minutes or so before the game, they urgently called the team.

  • Um the team then called the league office and said, What should we do now?

  • Rudy Gobert had not stepped foot in the arena.

  • He was in the hotel.

  • He had been separated from them.

  • And so we were.

  • As The New York Times pointed out, I was on my way home from work.

  • I I live in New York City.

  • I work in New York City, so it wasn't that long a ride.

  • So I got a call from the General Council of the NBA, said, We've just gotten this test result and I ended up sitting in front of my apartment.

  • Truth be told, The New York Times, um, had a little sketch of me in the front seat.

  • I was I was actually in the back seat, but my my my little daughter said Daddy, were you driving and texting because there was a sort of a boy my phone up with steering wheel there.

  • But But anyway, I, uh So I ended up sitting in my car, Um, for a while, probably, you know, at least 15, 20 minutes while I was on the phone with the general manager, Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • Um, the team owner, Clay Bennett.

  • And, you know, we quickly made the decision that we're going to shut down that game first and foremost.

  • Now, there were 19,000 people or so in the building.

  • We didn't want to panic them again.

  • Very little was known about this virus.

  • I think people understandably understandably feared that one person has it in the buildings that mean it can quickly spread to everyone else in the building.

  • So, you know, we discussed what the p a copy should be so that we don't overly alarm people.

  • People proceed, you know, without, you know, you know, rushing out and causing other injuries.

  • So we took care of that issue, and then, But then the issue became Now what happens to the two teams?

  • Because we had we knew from the public health authorities.

  • We had to test the rest of the Utah Jazz because Rudy had had contact with his teammates, you know, Um, so that was step one.

  • That was again.

  • There wasn't private testing for covid.

  • Then everything was through, you know, State labs through university labs.

  • So those players ended up being held in the locker room, you know?

  • So I was an hour later in New York Times, but essentially told midnight New York time.

  • Those players were still in the locker room.

  • I'm waiting to get tested.

  • You know, all of this was so new.

  • Um, Chris Paul, who was was, was then, um, Oklahoma City Thunder is the president of the players Association.

  • So he was on the phone with me constantly at night, saying, Do you realize what's going on?

  • These players are still being held in the locker room.

  • Where are they going to go once they leave the locker room?

  • Because the issue wasn't clear whether it was appropriate for them to get on a plane, the extent someone might be positive.

  • So I was going back and forth with, um, Sam Presti and others in Oklahoma City finding accommodations for that team that night.

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when you look back on that night now a year removed, and we are of course still living in it to a very large degree.

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A2 oklahoma oklahoma city march tested locker room rudy

Adam Silver relives the night the NBA suspended the season due to COVID-19 | #Greeny

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/12
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