On Sunday, reporting emerged that the NBA was set to allow its teams to open up practice facilities beginning on May 1 in areas where governments are rescinding shelter-in-place orders. Immediately, some focus shifted to the Atlanta Hawks, with the backdrop that the state of Georgia began its reopening process on Friday.
However, it is important to note that the NBA was dictating such actions and, on Monday, Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk shed light on the status of Atlanta’s organization. In short, Schlenk indicated that the NBA, at the time of his interview with Matt Stewart, had not passed along any formal memo to teams. From there, he was clear that the Hawks weren’t looking to move ahead, even if they receive permission to do so.
“I can tell you that, if we do receive a memo between now and then, we currently have no plans to open our facility on Friday,” Schlenk said.
The full audio can be heard below.
In addition to Schlenk’s comments above, he shared a similar sentiment with ESPN, saying the plan is to “wait and see what happens” in the coming days.
Hawks President of Basketball Operations/GM Travis Schlenk tells ESPN that Hawks won’t be opening team facility to players Friday. “We are going to wait and see what happens in the state over the couple of weeks,” Schlenk tells ESPN. Georgia relaxed stay-at-home policies.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 27, 2020
Shortly after the comments emerged from Schlenk, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the NBA is now pushing back its target date for the reopening of team facilities to no earlier than May 8.
The NBA has informed its teams it is targeting May 8 as the earliest date for opening practice facilities in states where stay-at-home restrictions have been eased, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 27, 2020
Finally, the NBA made an official announcement on Monday afternoon, saying that the league is targeting “no earlier than May 8” for teams returning to their practice facilities. This comes with several restrictions, including the fact that no more than four players would be allowed in a facility at any one time, no head or assistant coaches could participate in workouts, and group activity remains prohibited.
This should be seen as a developing situation and, with anything regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, things can change in a hurry. Still, it does not appear as if members of the Atlanta Hawks will be returning to their practice home in Brookhaven immediately when the league allows them to do so.