Apr 18, 2020 - Sports

NBA cuts players' pay as coronavirus keeps live sports in limbo

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic keeps the sports world in limbo, the NBA announced it reached a deal to cut players' paychecks with their union, the National Basketball Players Association.

Why it matters: The athletes will see their checks reduced by 25% starting May 15, ESPN reports. The pay cut is a "clear sign" that at least some of the 259 remaining regular-season games canceled due to the coronavirus will not be rescheduled, AP writes.

  • The withheld money could be returned to players if the season restarts, but team owners have the ability to retain some of the withheld wages if the games remain canceled, The Washington Post notes.

The state of play: The average NBA team was able to play 65 of 82 games this season, WaPo reports.

  • The league's salary cap was set at a record $109.1 million per team for the season, the Post adds.

What's next: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn't specify when the league would start playing games.

  • “There’s too much unknown to set a timeline. There is no appetite [among owners] to compromise the well-being of our players. In terms of priorities, you begin with safety. We’re not at a point yet where we have a clear protocol and a path forward where we feel like we can sit down with the players and say we can resume the season. Human life trumps anything else you could possibly be talking about,” Silver said on a conference call after the NBA's annual Board of Governors meeting, per the Post.

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