Minnesota Timberwolves to open practice facility to players

Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns (Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns (Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images) /

After the Coronavirus situation put the NBA season in a full stop, the Minnesota Timberwolves are joining the list of teams that are opening their practice facilities to players.

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced the opening of their practice facility to players on Wednesday morning. Workouts will only be voluntary and players are expected to follow strict social distancing guidelines.

Only one coach and one player will be allowed on the court at a time. Nobody will be allowed to be within 12 feet of each other. Essentially the only ‘open’ part of the facility is the court — not the locker rooms, weight rooms, or offices.

Staff members are to wear gloves and masks at all times and players are required to wear masks. Contact tracing will be followed by all teams with open facilities to players that choose to utilize the court. Players will also receive custom “to-go” meals, as they have been for the extended hiatus of the league.

The NBA has already lost an incredible amount of revenue simply due to the lack of fans being in the arenas. But there is potential for the financial situation of the league to get even worse should they not be able to fulfill the national television contract with any major networks for playoff basketball. At this point, the finances of the league are looking… not good.

Over 15 NBA teams have opened up their doors so far, but the timeline as to a return to play still seems very sketchy. The league wants to play out the rest of their games, but it may be looking at too tight of a window to play one calendar month of the NBA schedule plus four full playoff rounds.

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Even so, it seems as though a “bubble” of sorts will be the only way the league returns. This means that all players, staff, and coaches go to a neutral location where games are to be played without fans.