As the NBA tries to find a way to finish out their 2019-20 season, Nets owner Joe Tsai says the owners are very split regarding whether to resume the season.
And Tsai said it's pretty obvious who wants it to return compared to those who want to look into next season already.
Speaking to a Stanford University class over video conference, Tsai said it's the top teams in the league that want to compete for the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
"If you look at the Los Angeles Lakers or Milwaukee Bucks, they are in first place when the season got suspended," he said, per The New York Post's Ryan Dunleavy. "There is a chance for them to go to the championship. Of course they want to play. If you are in 28th place, maybe this season isn't that important. There is a difference in opinion among the owners, as well."
The Nets are in an interesting situation when you view things that way. Tsai's squad is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, which guarantees them a playoff berth. And though they'd have to face a powerful Raptors team in the first round, Kyrie Irving may be able to play by the time the league resumes.
But Tsai said he's doesn't really know what side to be on in this case.
"I'm kind of under a gag order of what I really think the NBA should do," he said. "Everybody is still trying to figure things out, with the hope that maybe we can reopen in the current season."
When it comes to any league returning let alone the NBA, being able to provide rapid tests for the athletes, coaches and staff is of utmost importance. Confirming that everyone in the building is negative for coronavirus needs to happen, or sports will remain on hold.
"One of the most pernicious things about COVID-19 is you can be asymptomatic and be infectious, so you can infect other people while you look perfectly healthy," Tsai said. "That's a big problem. Without tests to identify those that are contagious, and then we try to isolate them, it's really very difficult to restart and keep everybody safe and healthy."
That's been the directive of the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver, and it will remain that way. However, some owners, as Tsai said, are getting restless with the prospect of a season without a champion.