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League targets mid-October finish to virus-hit campaign

FILE PHOTO: The NBA logo is displayed as people pass by the NBA Store in New York City, U.S., October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - The National Basketball Association has targeted Oct. 12 as the last possible date to complete the 2019-20 season, which has been on hold since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN reported on Tuesday.

The report, which was based on unnamed sources, said a timeline shared with teams showed Oct. 12 as the latest the best-of-seven NBA Finals could finish and a proposal would go to a vote of the league’s board of governors on Thursday.

The NBA Finals typically conclude around mid-June.

Both the NBA and players association were still discussing details on a return-to-play format, the report said.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March.

Last month the NBA said it was in talks with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the season at Disney World in Florida in late July.

The plan would see games held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is inside the Orlando resort and has hotels and three arenas, and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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