BOSTON (CBS) — As the nation tries to take its first step back to normal business operation, several NBA teams have opened their practice facilities to allow players to work out individually. The Boston Celtics have not been one of those teams.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is hoping that changes soon.
“Our next phase — and Massachusetts has been one of the slowest at opening things up. So our next phase is we’ll open up our facility, we’re hoping to do it next week,” Ainge said on The Lowe Post podcast from ESPN.
Whether or not the Celtics will be allowed to do that is not yet known. As Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker’s Phase 1 plan on reopening has not been clear about which businesses will be allowed to open on May 18. The list of those unsure of exactly which businesses can open includes Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
“I know that there’s certainly a lot of anticipation leading up to May 18. I expect that answer potentially will come next week when the governor lays out reopening guidance,” Walsh said Friday when discussing a potential opening of the Celtics’ practice facility in Brighton. “We’ll have further clarity on that question and many other questions [on Monday].”
With regard to reopening the practice facility, Ainge laid out how it is expected to work.
“It’s 1-on-1 — one coach, one player, coaches with masks and gloves, players in the gym, disinfect the gym,” Ainge explained. “I don’t think anybody’s afraid of that.”
Walsh expressed optimism for sports returning in Boston, though he envisions that return to come without fans in the stands.
“Certainly I think treating sports — whether it’s the NBA or NHL or Major League Baseball — as an industry in the city. So what we’ve asked them to do is to put a plan together, submit the plan, let us see what the plan is to protect their employees and protect all the folks that are associated with it,” Walsh said. “I don’t see a time any time soon where we’ll be going back to sports in stadiums as far as fans, but I would like to see if they could do it, some of our sports teams potentially coming back and playing without fans.”