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Pacers president: ‘We’re preparing’ for return of basketball after virus concerns ended season

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It has now been over a month since the NBA called off games.

They were the first league to do so, and it’s clear that what they do next the world of sports will likely follow. 

Kevin Pritchard, Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations, gave News 8 a sense of where the team stands for now.

“We’re preparing as if there will be a regular season and playoffs. We’re preparing for free agency, the draft — we aren’t sure what exactly those timelines will look like,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard spoke for the first time since the season was postponed and tried to shed some light on the state of his team while they are away from each other and the game of basketball.

“They want to play. I think the thing that I’ve gotten back from our players in the last week or two weeks is they want to prove it. They want to prove that this team is a good team in the playoffs,” he said.

As far as timelines go, Pritchard said that he believes the NBA will not make any official statements regarding the league until early May. In a month from now, the biggest follow-up question would be how long teams would need to train before we could actually see action.

Pritchard said, “I think they are going to give us a good amount of time, and I don’t think it will be a week. I would say two to three weeks minimum. To throw them out there would be short-term thinking, and they want them to be prepared.”

So, while the players are participating in at-home training programs provided by Pacers Strength staff, the front office is staying prepared by doing their homework. 

The WNBA and NFL are moving forward virtually, and the Pacers are studying up.

“Yes, we’re watching them, we’re also watching college football. You know college football has some big decisions coming up,” Pritchard added, “And I will say that our commissioner is incredible. I have so much confidence that he’s going to know and know when to take the appropriate risks. Because there will be risks on the other side of this.”