The NBA was the first of the four major sports league to suspend play. We’ll see what happens with football. I remember seeing it and just thinking that I could never image this in my wildest dreams. What an odd time. It’s one of those things that I’ll remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. Obviously, now the NBA suspending the league isn’t even a story. But at the beginning when possibilities of leagues suspending play came up, I knew it was one of those moments. I’m sure you thought the same. Earlier in April, Adam Silver said that the NBA wouldn’t even begin thinking about decisions until May 1st. There have been ideas of playing in Vegas where players, their families and staff would stay on one strip of Las Vegas. Another one that has been reported was Disney. Both places have the same idea. They can house a bunch of people in a controlled area and have the facilities to play actual sports. I don’t believe that the NBA has made an “official statement” but them announcing NBA at Disney wouldn’t even be the craziest thing I could hear. No fans will be allowed for a while and I’m also curious to see if they allow the families into the games. They should be especially if they’re able to live in the designated quarantined area. Woj reported that, “majority of high-level officials remain encouraged and optimistic that basketball will return this preseason.” LeBron also posted to twitter saying he wanted to finish the season.
Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true. Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything. 👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 30, 2020
Impact of Season Delay
I can’t even imagine trying to navigate something on that scale right now. Forget that. I am very content right now being no one important. Not only do they have to figure out a way to finish this season but they need to figure out how to start next season. There are talks about delaying the ’20-’21 season until December and finishing in July and August. This could easily snowball into years to come. Not just the NBA but every business associated with the league could feel the impact from no season. Sponsorships, TV deals, you name it. Most businesses that work with the NBA will be alright I’m sure but there’s no doubt they will see some major loss. I mean we can get super woke and spiral down that hole. Small bars would be affected, even something like a Buffalo Wild Wings would see declines but we’ll wait for that Rovell tweet. Another issue is the amount of personnel that will be allowed back. In the Woj report I mentioned earlier, he says they will be allowed 30-35, including players, “essential personnel.” Baxter Holmes reported that general managers would want to fill more of those spots with medical staff. Leaving the question who is and isn’t “essential.” Yikes. Imagine being told you’re not essential. In the same article, a general manager was concerned with ages of the coaches and staff. Which makes sense. Some coaches are older, like Coach Pop (69), and the older you are the more venerable you are to the disease. There was also a GM I saw that said that they would only need a head coach, if it really came down to it, to make room for more health professionals. I guess they could get by, head coach makes the final call but give me two. I need checks and balances.
Will the season resume?
In my opinion, I really think we don’t get a season until after July if at all. The league needs 15,000 test and they also do not want to take away test from medical professionals. Respect. They will only test those that show symptoms but that can be tough because as we know, you may not always show symptoms. They did announce they were going to open up practice facilities in states that have loosen quarantine laws. I think it goes against the whole thing we’re tying to do here. If Player B has no access to a gym he’s going to go to Player A who has access and long story short that’s how an actual pandemic happens. I believe their hands are tied until quick accurate testing is available. If they won’t test everyone then safety can’t be guaranteed. They can’t take 15,000 test just to play basketball. I mean, come. On. (South park reference.) Until the test are available, I don’t see how it can really ever be 100% safe. The longer the holdout the better the chance for fans to return with the actions but I think I can speak for all fans when I say we don’t care who’s there give us sports. The Celtics season was booming and it sucks to lose that momentum. Brad Stevens is staying sharp though! He is apart of the NBA advisory group that was put together to help brainstorm some ideas to resume the season. With Stevens on the case, we’ll get ball back soon.
Just like to say thanks to Nick for giving me the opportunity to write for CouchGuySports and Big Al who reached out. Excited to get to work. You can catch an article from me every Monday.
-Mike Yebba (@amikewithmic_)