COVID-19 snapped its fingers and like that, all professional sports came to a screeching halt. That meant as the NBA was around the corner from the best part of the season, arenas were shut down. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was at the forefront of taking players, staff and fans’ health in consideration when the decision was made to suspend the season on March 12, 2020. National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) president Chris Paul decided to take the temperature of players to see how they were feeling about finishing the season amid the global pandemic. According to sources NBA stars LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, and Stephen Curry were present for the call. Most notably, Houston Rockets player and NBA’s leading scorer James Harden was not a part of this process. In any case Paul expressed post call that a lot of NBA players have been itching to get back on the court.
In an interview on ESPN’s “The Jump” Paul expressed, “A lot of hard conversations that have to be made, a lot of hard decisions,” he said. “But with the team around us, I think ultimately we’ll get to where we want to.
“Obviously, we want to play. Oh, man, we want to play. We want to play bad, too. I think that’s a consensus for the guys around the league. We want it to be, obviously, as safe as possible. But the biggest thing is we miss the game.”
Of course the league is comprised of a lot of moving parts which means a great deal of things will have to be taken into consideration before resuming the season can begin but their voices were heard. The NBA is in the beginning stages of figuring out what finishing the season might look like.
NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass made a statement saying, “The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Association Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing. Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
Adrian Wojnarowski shared via his Twitter, @wojespn, that, “The NBPA’s Michele Roberts is conducting team-by-team conference calls with players, detailing talks with NBA on formats for resumption of play in Orlando, financial implications of those options and gathering feedback, sources tell ESPN.”
The COVID-19 virus is still very much spreading and experts are warning that a second wave will likely hit the nation as the stay-at-home orders were prematurely loosened. The details of how they will keep players, coach, and staff safe are still being worked out.