AP source: NBA training facilities to begin to reopen Friday

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FILE - In this March 11, 2020 photo, fans leave the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., after the NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings was postponed at the last minute over an "abundance of caution" after a player for the Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. A person with knowledge of the situation says NBA players will be allowed to return to team training facilities starting Friday, May 1 provided that their local governments do not have a stay-at-home order prohibiting such movement. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

MIAMI – NBA players will be allowed to return to team training facilities starting Friday, provided that their local governments do not have a stay-at-home order prohibiting such movement still in place as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Any workouts that take place would be voluntary and be limited to individual sessions only, according to a person familiar with the league's decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the directives from the league were not released publicly.

Group practices would not be allowed yet, and teams will not yet be permitted to organize in-person workouts.

But as certain states and municipalities began loosening restrictions on personal movement, the NBA decided it was time to let players return to their practice courts — if only on a limited basis. Georgia and Oklahoma are among the states that have allowed some businesses to reopen and some cities in Florida are expected to loosen their stay-at-home policies in the coming days, even though health officials are warning that such moves are being made too quickly.

For those teams in cities where stay-at-home orders still make such a return impossible, the NBA said it would work to find “alternative arrangements,” the person with knowledge of the matter said.

This move does not mean that a resumption of games is imminent. Still, the decision to let teams back into facilities is a significant step.

ESPN first reported details of the NBA’s decision.

In the NHL, suspended at about the same point of the season as the NBA, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said league officials “haven’t made any decisions yet.” Daly said only that the NHL owes players and teams guidance before April 30 and will consider its next steps in that context.