Coronavirus hits sport: NBA players agree to 25 percent paycut

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBAPA) have reached an agreement on 25 percent pay cuts for all players, according to ESPN.

The NBA season has been in hiatus since March 1, when the league became the first major North American sports league to suspend play due to COVID-19 after Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, moments before a match against Steven Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The report adds the agreement will give a gradual reduction to salary "should the force majeure provision be enacted with cancellation of regular season games".

Players will receive their full paychecks on May 1, but from May 15, they will be 25 percent less. 

The report adds the NBA and NBPA will spread out the salary deductions into the first four pay periods - through November and December - of the 2020-2021 season.

Earlier this month, The Athletic reported the NBA was pushing for 50 percent reduction for players, but the NBAPA pushed for less as all teams had played over 60 games when the season stopped. 

Kiwi Adams is one of the highest paid players in the league and is earning US$25.8 million (NZ$42m) this season, and will earn US$27.5 (NZ$45m) during the final year of his contract in the 2020-21 season. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said the league will not make any decision on whether the current season will resume or be cancelled until early May.

Premier League clubs committed to completing season

English Premier League clubs have discussed possible models for finishing the current season but did not consider a specific date for play to resume while UK government lockdown restrictions remain in place.

Representatives of the 20 EPL teams took part in a conference call on Saturday (NZ time) to look at various possible options for restarting the season, and remain committed to completing the fixtures rather than voiding the season.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah.
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah. Photo credit: Getty

But after the government announced on Thursday that the lockdown would remain in place for at least another three weeks, all options remain hypothetical.

"Today's shareholders' meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of COVID-19 develops," said a Premier League spokesperson.

"In common with other businesses and industries, the Premier League and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios.

"We are actively engaging with stakeholders, including broadcast partners, and our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so and with the full support of the Government.

"The health and wellbeing of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters are our priority and the League will only restart when medical guidance allows."

There was no discussion during the meeting of the possible complications that could be caused by the season running beyond June 30 - when some player and manager contracts run out.

Lavar Cup cancelled due to French Open switch

The 2020 Laver Cup will not go ahead in September as planned and will return next year due to the clash of dates with the French Open. 

The Europe v World men's team tournament had been scheduled for Boston from September 25-27 , but those dates clash with the new dates selected by the French Tennis Federation for the postponed French Open, now scheduled for September 20 to October 4.

Roger Federer.
Roger Federer. Photo credit: Getty

Boston's TD Garden will remain host for the fourth edition of the event, which will now be held from September 24-26 in 2021.

"It's unfortunate that the Laver Cup has to be pushed back a year, but at this stage it's the right thing to do for everyone concerned," Federer said in a statement from the organisers.

"Although disappointing, the good news is that TD Garden will still be able to host the event next year and I really look forward to finally playing in Boston for the first time at Laver Cup 2021."

Reuters / Newshub.