On Thursday, the NBA Board of Governors approved a format to restart the 2019-20 season on July 31 at the Walt Disney World Resort in suburban Orlando, Fla.

A total of 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams will be part of the re-boot of the season that was suspended on March 11 because of the coronavirus. The Mavericks were 40-27 and in seventh place in the Western Conference standings when the season was suspended, and will be one of the 22 teams making the trip to Florida.

During a Blue for Black Lives Matter march on Friday in Dallas, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gave an exclusive interview with Mavs.com about some of the issues that are being addressed as the NBA hopes to restart in 56 days.


Mavs.com: What are your thoughts on the re-start of the 2019-20 season?

Mark Cuban: I’m ready. If we can just get all of the science and medical stuff taken care of, I’m ready to play. And so are all the guys.

Mavs.com: What are some of the hurdles the NBA has to clear during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Cuban: Just making sure all of the safety protocols and everything is in place, because that’s what the league is focused on. The science and medicine is getting better every day, so we’re confident that we can get there.

Mavs.com: What’s your biggest fear as we’re less than two months away from the season starting without a cure for the coronavirus in place?

Cuban: I think there’s always a risk that people get sick. That’s always a fear. But as we’ve seen with other leagues, things are getting better progressively. Plus, we’ve got until July 31 (until the season starts). And by then – that’s seven or eight weeks — we’re going to have time to kind of figure things out.

Mavs.com: What do you think of the job NBA commissioner Adam Silver has done, not only with being at the forefront of helping the season start up again, but also his steadfast leadership in the wake of the George Floyd murder?

Cuban: Great! He’s more than a commissioner. He’s having an impact on society. I’m proud of him. Really proud of him.

Mavs.com: How does everything that was announced Thursday impact not only this season, but also next season?

Cuban: That remains to be seen. Obviously it will, but who knows exactly how.

Mavs.com: Under the new format for the remainder of this season, if the NBA Finals go to a Game 7, the season will end on Oct. 12. And then next season is slated to start on Dec. 1. That’s not really a lot of time between seasons.

Cuban: That’s just the way it is. This is a unique set of circumstances. The Dec. 1 date is kind of tentative. If we need to have a discussion about (changing) that, we’ll have a discussion about it.

Mavs.com: Since this season is ending much later than normal, it appeared next season would start no earlier than Christmas. What are your thoughts on that?

Cuban: That’s what I’d always been pushing for, but we’ll see. A lot can change.

Mavs.com: What have these nearly three months without games been like for you?

Cuban: Better for me than a lot of other people. This is bigger than basketball. I kind of took my basketball hat off and put on my human being hat and just try to have an influence where I could.

Mavs.com: You’ve been on social media and on the national TV circuit discussing the change that needs to be made in the wake of the George Floyd murder. What’s your message to the people in relation to racial discussions that are going on in this country?

Cuban: We all have a way to support each other, or kind of just little steps of being together and talking to each other and seeing each other and coming together. That’ll lift us all up. And then hopefully rally around the Mavericks and take some of the stress that we’re feeling every day and have something fun to cheer for.

Mavs.com: When the season resumes, the games will be played in Orlando without fans in the stands. Is it going to be strange playing those games without fans?

Cuban: It will initially, but anybody who loves the game has played in front of nobody.

Mavs.com: Is the data on the coronavirus going to determine whether fans will be allowed back at NBA games next season?

Cuban: Yes, the science will determine that. I’m optimistic, though. I can’t say that I know anything for sure. Nobody does. But I’m optimistic that we’ll have (fans) back next season.

Mavs.com: Will the Mavs have some practice sessions together here in Dallas before heading to Orlando next month?

Cuban: Yes, we’ll do something here before we go to Orlando (on July 7). We’ll be practicing in Orlando, too.

Mavs.com: There are 22 NBA teams going to Orlando to be part of the restart of the season. Do they have enough basketball courts over there for all those teams?

Cuban: You can build as many (courts) as you want. They’ve got plenty of space.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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