Cuomo held his daily coronavirus briefing at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh on Sunday. The governor said that professional sports leagues can begin holding training camps within the state, but acknowledged that sports will need to return without fans.
“Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps,” Cuomo said. “I believe sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena.”
This news arrives at a pivotal juncture for the Brooklyn Nets in particular, whose season ended while vying for one of eight playoff sports in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Players returned to the training facility for specialized workouts following the league’s COVID-19 response guidelines.
The Nets currently have a 30-34 record for the 2019-20 season, only a half-game ahead of the eighth-place Orlando Magic and six games ahead of the Washington Wizards.
The Knicks have yet to fully reopen their training facility in Westchester, though they’re 21-45 record indicates that they don’t have much to play for down the stretch other than gaining reps.
“Work out the economics if you can, we want you up,” Cuomo said of the local sports teams. “We want people to be able to watch sports to the extent people are still staying home. It gives people something to do. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible, and we’ll work with them to make sure that can happen.”
The Yankees and Mets were expected to resume spring training, though Major League Baseball is expecting for camps to be held in Florida.
As for the Nets, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season two months ago due to significant injuries, but it’s possible the extended break could mean a return for both, but that has yet to be determined.