Concerned about the possible spread of the coronavirus that has killed over 3,500 people worldwide, the NBA issued a memo on Friday night about the possibility of continuing to play games on empty arenas.

The virus, a new strain officially dubbed as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, has infected over 100,000 people in 48 countries. In the UK, there are 164 cases and two deaths. In the USA, there are 335 confirmed cases and 17 fatalities. Both countries are not as hard hit as the source nation China, and neighboring Iran or South Korea, but their numbers are in the top 10.

The NBA, looking at the possibility of containment curfews and other prudent measures, has told teams that it's looking at the possibility of continuing games as scheduled with major networks, but fans would not be allowed to watch the games in the arena.

According to CBS Sports, the league has issued a separate memo earlier in the week as "suggestive measures" for avoiding the virus. Half the NBA teams fly to different cities twice a week to play away games as part of their regular routine. At this point, it's not surprising for any particular team to have already flown to a dozen US cities as the regular season comes to a close.

The NBA has warned teams about the impact of NBA scouts deployed across the globe, looking for foreign talent. The league has had recent success with international players, and all teams have sent their scouts out of the country to replicate that success. Right now, two of the three players leading in the MVP race are foreign players. Luka Doncic, a Slovenian, and the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek citizen born to Nigerian parents. The American player is James Harden.

At the moment, nothing is certain or set in stone, and upcoming events such as the Global Hoops Summit and the NBA Draft Combine are still expected to proceed as scheduled. The memo is just to give teams a heads-up in case the league starts to implement temporary measures to prevent the spread of infection in the USA, in a regular-season game an average of 18-19,000 people watch games in an arena.

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NBA fans may soon be deprived of the chance to watch games live due to the COVID-19 virus. AFPTV / Sébastien VUAGNAT