While the move was highly necessary and universally praised, there is a certain mental toll that life without sports has taken on fans.
Silver was hopeful that the NBA would be able to resume after 30 days but due to increasing positive test results around the league — as well as growing international concern — this hiatus may last until June or even later. Going several months without sports seems unimaginable for fans, which can only mean players are feeling the effects even more.
Because of this, Silver and his team have considered the option of a one-time charity game including players who are all healthy and have undergone some type of quarantine, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN:
“A third option that we are looking at now … the impact on the national psyche of having no sports programming on television. And one of the things we’ve been talking about are, are there conditions in which a group of players could compete — maybe it’s for a giant fundraiser or just the collective good of the people — where you take a subset of players and, is there a protocol where they can be tested and quarantined and isolated in some way, and they could compete against one another?”
Silver cited the need for entertainment for the fans while they are stuck at home, especially since there’s almost nothing to distract them from the situation at hand:
“Because people are stuck at home, and I think they need a diversion. They need to be entertained.”
The league has already taken some steps to help fans during this time. They made NBA League Pass entirely free through April 22, which is home to a number of games from this season as well as classic games from the past. This should give people some sort of basketball fulfillment during this crisis.
Now, the NBA has some time to figure out how they are going to proceed. Should they get the okay from public health officials, their goal is to get the league re-started as soon as humanly possible. If they can’t, a charity game may be the way to go.