By Asadullah Shahnawaz
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has decided to suspend the 2019-2020 season until further notice after Utah Jazz All-Star center, Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. A day after the NBA suspended play indefinitely, league commissioner Adam Silver said the hiatus will likely last at least 30 days. “This is going to be roughly at least a month,” Silver said on TNT. The announcement has put the global fanbase in complete utter shock, they have yet to see anything like this before. NBA Insiders on ESPN stated that league commissioner Adam Silver said, “he has told people in the NBA that there will be no way for the league to make a decision about when it can return until May 1 at the earliest — and probably not even then.”
The aftermath of Rudy Gobert being tested positive for the deadly disease known as coronavirus has led to the widespread of players within the league getting tested for their major health concern. Since then, several of other players within the NBA have been tested positive and were immediately placed in self isolation in order for them to have a speedy and healthy recovery. NBA insiders posted an update on ESPN on March 19, stating, “The NBA sent out a memo that said starting March 20, all 30 NBA teams must close their practice and training facilities to players and staff until further notice, sources told ESPN.” Essentially leaving players no choice but to challenge themselves to workout at home until further notice. This started a trend of NBA players posting their workouts on the Instagram app platform broadcasting themselves live working on their respected crafts.
How will the NBA plan to save its season? Jabari Young from CNBC published, “The National Basketball Association is already thinking about how it could rescue its season, and a revised tournament in Las Vegas leading to the finals could be its answer, assuming it’s safe to start playing again.” That is only if it is indeed safe to play. But if the NBA does return, team executives told CNBC they favored Las Vegas as a potential location to end the season.
The NBA could decide to terminate the remainder of its regular season and create a tournament for the lower seeded teams granting them an opportunity to enter the postseason/playoffs. The league could then set up a best of five series for the first round, before moving to a one and done tournament to determine the two teams that will play in the NBA Finals. With all this in consideration, there will be no fans in attendance to watch the opposing teams battle one another for the Larry O’Brien NBA Finals trophy.
NBA superstar and arguably the greatest of all time, LeBron James had a couple of words to say in regards to this. LeBron James stated in the Road Trippin’ Podcast per ESPN, “What is the word ‘sport’ without ‘fan’?” There’s no excitement. There’s no crying. There’s no joy. There’s no back-and-forth … That’s what also brings out the competitive side of the players to know that you’re going on the road in a hostile environment and yes, you’re playing against that opponent in front of you, but you really want to kick the fans’ ass too.”
Although the ultimate decision may not be able to satisfy everybody’s liking, commissioner Adam Silver will decide on what is best for the league moving forward in terms of health of players, staff, and fans.