The National Basketball Association has, much like any other professional league in the world, been severely hit with the sudden coronavirus outbreak across the planet. The COVID-19 virus has completely stopped sport all over the globe. While it first appeared in China, the virus rapidly spread across entire Europe and the United States. As reported by a UK betting tips site, the situation is currently by no means under control and we certainly won’t have the chance to enjoy the best sports competitions in the next month. NBA stopped in the second week of March due to the pandemic.
Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell – the first players to have tested positive on COVID-19
Rudy Gobert made jokes about the virus just three days before he tested positive on it. Allegedly, he passed it on to his teammate Donovan Mitchell (Utah’s best player). It resulted in an immediate lockdown. Sadly, the situation quickly escalated and several other players (including Kevin Durant and three more Nets’) also got the disease. The pandemic is taking hundreds of lives and it is already spread on thousands of people in the United States. Under these circumstances, nobody has a clue on when (and even if) the season will be continued.
Adam Silver and his words
The League’s commissioner hopes at least the part of the remaining 2020 regular season can be saved. As a guest on ESPN, Adam Silver revealed he had no idea how long the break would last. At first, the NBA postponed all matches for 30 days, but the break will no doubt be longer according to the latest news regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Silver continued by expressing his optimism hoping the League could save at least something of the remaining 2020 season. Nevertheless, his hands are tied as nothing can be done without the government’s approval. We are thus forced to stay home and wait for the outcome of the pandemic as the competition will not be continued before the public health is secured.
The commissioner revealed there were three potential options for the fans to watch the top-notch basketball this spring/summer:
1 – The matches to be played in front of spectators (ideal)
2 – The games to be played without spectators
3 – If neither of the options is possible, the League wants to organize an exhibition match for the purpose of raising funds to help those in need
Aiming to secure at least the third suggestion, Silver and the League are currently trying to find out whether it would be possible to organize such an exhibition. The idea is to have certain players tested. If they are all negative on coronavirus, they could gather and play a match in complete isolation.
Hundreds of millions of dollars at stake
We’ll remind you the NBA were the first professional league to stop the season in the United States. With so much money at stake, they clearly want to be the first to move things forward as soon as the pandemic slows down.
Realistically, we can’t see it happening in the next two months. In the best possible scenario, the competition could begin in late-May, meaning there would be no time for what is left in the regular season. Even with the shortened play-offs system, we are looking at six to eight weeks of play in the post-season, meaning it could not end before mid to late July. We now get to the other side of the story as most arenas are booked for concerts and conventions during the summer. The League will also have to adjust dates for the draft, free agency, Las Vegas Summer League, and the schedule for the next season.
So, even in the ideal scenario, the season can only be finished if the teams get on to the play-offs right away. It means the League will most likely look at the standings as they are now. The Milwaukee Bucks would have the home-court advantage throughout the entire play-offs as they own the best record, while Los Angeles Lakers would play Memphis Grizzlies as the top seed on the West in that case.
Silver still has some time
The commissioner still has some time to save the season and get the champions. Nothing depends on him, but there is time. If the pandemic keeps growing in the next months, we will likely not have the champion. In this case, the Toronto Raptors would open the next season as the reigning champions.
While it has happened in other professional leagues (NHL in 2005 and MLB in 1994), it would be the first time that an NBA year ends without a champion.
We will keep an eye on the situation and hope for the best. In the meantime, you can all enjoy a free NBA League Pass as a gift from the National Basketball Association in these tough days. You can thus see all highlights, matches, and best moves of the season so far, completely free.