Will the NBA Return for the 2019-20 Season?
On March 11, 2020, The NBA decided to suspend the 2019-20 season due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This came after Utah Jazz center, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for the virus. Ever since then, we as fans have been doing everything we could to fill the time. We do it from watching highlights, binging The Last Dance on TV, and playing on the rims at our house. Now that we’re in May, the NBA front office, along with owners and players, are starting to make strides to try to return to play this season. Here are the ways they’re doing it and what the focuses are on.
NBA Trying to Return
What the Players Want
On May 12, the National Basketball Players Association did an informal “Yes or no,” survey to all of the players in the NBA. The main question was would they want to return to play and finish the 2019-20 season. The majority of players want to return to play this season. At the same time, they also want to play some regular-season games before the playoffs start. As a result, this shows that the players want to play and that the NBA front office acknowledges it. So, this would mean that teams would need to create protocols such as testing and facility guidelines.
What the Owners Want
For the owners, the main reason is to make it financially. Some of the players would want to play on due to their struggles financially. If they were to cancel the season today, this would mean owners would struggle to reach the salary cap. During the past week, teams have started opening up their practice facilities which are a good sign for what is to come. This is only if the players, coaches, and staff follow the guidelines that the NBA sets.
What the NBA Front Office Want
In terms of trying to return to play, the front office is probably under the most pressure of making a decision. Even though they want the season to resume, they want to make sure that the health and safety of everyone is a top priority. This includes the players, coaches, arena staff, and also fans.
With this in mind, it’s important for the NBA to monitor other professional leagues such as NASCAR and the UFC and see how they’re handling it. Knowing how people-first and progressive commissioner Adam Silver is, this is a good sign for trying to return. As far as progression now, the league has its sights set to start in July with the games being played in Orlando, Florida.
As fans of the NBA, we are all anxious for the NBA to return to action. Even though it’s also what the players and owners want, we also need to consider the safety and health of everyone. To the players, coaches, owners, and NBA front office, health and safety should be the number one priority in their minds.
Since the NBA is starting to open practice facilities now, the NBA could progress into further steps. The biggest part of this is the decision that would be made by the commissioner, Adam Silver. He can decide to play out or cancel the season, but we will have to see how everything fares going forward.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images