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Report: NBA ‘angling’ to cancel rest of season amid COVID-19 pandemic

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

This is not news any sports fan wants to hear.

The National Basketball Association is “angling” to cancel the rest of the 2019-20 regular season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst announced on Friday’s “Sportscenter” that league officials are contemplating canceling the rest of the season after the Chinese government issued an order that restricts all group sporting events from resuming play, which includes the Chinese Basketball Association.

“The talks between the players union and the league this week — I’ve talked to both sides of this issue — and it is clear the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down,” Windhorst said. “Now, they don’t have to do that yet. The way they are negotiating, they are leaving themselves an option either way. But they are not having talks about how to restart the league; they are having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there’s a significant amount of pessimism right now.”

The NBA suspended its season indefinitely March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus before they played the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Teams haven’t played since March 12.

League officials had floated around ideas of starting games back up again, one which included playing under one roof in Las Vegas, but public health officials have placed doubts about that even happening.

Before the league suspended play, the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12 ), Los Angeles Lakers (49-14), Toronto Raptors (46-18), and the Boston Celtics (43-21) had clinched a playoff berth.