It has now been over seven weeks since the NBA suspended operations indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While the initial suspension was only for 30 days, it became clear very early on that it would need to be a lot longer, with the suspension possibly lingering into June or July.
The NBA has considered a number of ideas to safely bring back basketball, all of which require that fans stay at home. The first was to play all games at practice facilities, but travel between cities puts players at risk of infection.
This led to the “bubble” concept, where all the remaining 2020 playoff teams would be put in isolation in either Las Vegas or Disney World. They would then play out the rest of the season – whatever that look like – and then return home once they’ve been eliminated or win the championship.
Despite all of the logistical difficulties, many remain optimistic that the 2019-20 NBA season will be able to resume at some point, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Across the league, an overwhelming majority of high-level officials remain encouraged and optimistic that basketball will return this season.
This is another addition in what seems to be a recent string of good news. It started with the NBA re-opening practice facilities in states where stay-at-home orders have been eased, which is still slated to happen on May 8.
It feels as though the NBA wants to do everything they can to ensure the 2019-20 NBA season can continue, and this could be for a number of reasons.
First, this was the most intriguing NBA season in over five years, as it finally seemed unclear who would be winning it all. Not having a crowned champion for this excellent season would feel extremely disappointing.
Second, a cancellation of the season would negatively impact everybody, from players to owners to league officials. This would no longer just be a billion dollar sports league losing money, this would be individuals impacted greatly.
So while public health remains at the forefront of everyone’s minds, if the NBA has a path to safely restarting the NBA season, then that’s what they’ll do. Fans can take some solace in that commitment by everyone involved in the NBA.