To put it bluntly, the NBA season is currently hanging on by a thread.
Unfortunately, the COVID–19 virus has its own agenda, and no one really knows what the next step is. Not NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, not Dr. Anthony Fauci, not anyone else from around the world – no one. And that’s what makes it so difficult to plan for a phenomenon like this.
“There’s still hope around the league and there’s a tremendous amount of planning and contingencies and brain-storming going on with the league office, with teams, executives, sports science, medical staffs for the league and for teams, as well as the Players Association,”
said ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday’s SportsCenter.
He also added,
“But there’s also a level of realism that is start to sink in it, that’s it’s going to be difficult to return to play this season. That a runway for how many days it would actually have to be able to have a representative rest of the season. A few regular-season games at minimum and then a playoff that would crown a legitimate champion, that would have a playoff structure, that would be enough to have someone to wear that crown and do it without an asterisk. That’s the challenge around the league right now. And they know they’re up against it, they’re up against the clock and there’s certainly a lot of concern about whether this league will be able to return to play or not.”
Even if the NBA comes up with a plan to make things right and finish out the rest of the season, the league has no idea if we’ll be cleared for many weeks or many months. Having these types of uncertainties are certainly the biggest issue that we’re facing now as a nation.
While our country’s leader has many at of encouragement, it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
“I want fans back in the arenas,” said U.S. President Donald Trump in a recent White House briefing. “I think it’s … whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe, nice, clean, beautiful fresh air.”
Trump couldn’t give an exact date when asked what date he anticipates this all happening, saying, “No, I can tell you a date, but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later.”
It’s nice that Trump is feeling this optimistic – it really is. However, he’s trying to make sure that the entire nation doesn’t flip out all at once and cause a mass hysteria.
In reality, there’s just too much at stake right now for the sake of our nation. Especially, when the NBA had more positive COVID–19 tests than any other professional league. The travel schedule and number of people within an organization – players, coaches, trainers, equipment staff, cooks, cleaners – would, of course, put each other at a very high risk.
The 2019-2020 NBA season was shaping up to be one that we would always look back on – now, it will be for various reasons. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were looking to lead the Los Angeles Lakers into an all-LA battle for the Western Conference against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers. Not to mention, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were almost a shoe-in to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
All of that is lost now, though, for the moment. And it looks like we may not get it back until next season.