With the 2019-20 NBA season hiatus approaching two months, the reality is the coronavirus (COVID-19) will dictate what happens moving forward.
As commissioner Adam Silver and company navigate uncharted waters, there are numerous contingency plans in hopes of resuming the season soon.
As it currently stands, the best path appears to be playing in a centralized location like Disney World with rapid testing available for everyone involved.
However, some executives and agents reportedly are pushing for the league to cancel the current season now, according to Jabari Young of CNBC:
Team executives are starting to feel the pressure, frustrated with the lack of information from the league and pushing for an outright cancellation of the season so everyone can focus on safely resuming play next season.
NBA team executives and players’ agents spoke to CNBC in recent weeks about the challenges in resuming play. They said team owners are concerned with liability issues and are conflicted about whether or not to give up on the current season. The individuals spoke on condition of anonymity as they aren’t authorized to discuss league matters publicly.
LeBron James quickly pushed back on this report, via Twitter:
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
Although health and safety are the only priorities, the hiatus was not ideal for James and the Lakers. After back-to-back wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers looked like the favorites to win it all.
While there is no timeline on when Silver will make a decision, the hope is the Lakers have an opportunity to win their 17th championship. Since players will need a training camp, the best-case scenario appears to be a July restart.
And if the season resumes, James and the Lakers will be ready.