As time goes by and the United States continues its hard work getting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic under control, the NBA can begin thinking about returning to finish out the 2019-20 season.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams with the most to lose if the season were to be cancelled altogether considering they were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and playing their best basketball when everything got shut down.
At 35 years of age, LeBron James isn’t getting any younger and only has a handful of tries at winning a championship in the Purple and Gold left. As coronavirus testing has become more available, the potential for an NBA return is growing with each day.
Practice facilities are beginning to open back up so players can begin preparing, although commissioner Adam Silver warned everyone on a recent conference call that the options for finishing out the season aren’t great.
Perhaps the most viable option for basketball to be played is for all teams to be in one place, with Las Vegas and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida the most likely places to host.
That could potentially require players being forced to quarantine themselves in their hotel rooms though, which NBA Players Association executive director Michele Roberts expressed concern about, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“When that one was first floated,” said Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, “there was some consternation.”
“Are we going to arm guards around the hotel?” Roberts wondered. “That sounds like incarceration to me.”
“This is a world with the virus. And we have to figure out a way to work, play and live in a world with the virus. “The questions have now evolved from, ‘Are we going to play again?’ to, ‘If we play, what are the risks going to look like?'”
Silver recently told players that he doesn’t want them to just be locked in hotel rooms, which would ease Roberts’ concerns.
While it looks like there may be a path to finish out the season that makes all parties involved happy, there currently still are a lot of issues that needed to be sorted out before that can happen.
So only time will tell if the Lakers will be returning to the court this summer, or if they 49-14 start to the season was all for not.