It’s been a few days since the NBA season was suspended, and the Coronavirus has certainly not let up. In fact, by all reporting and statistical evidence, the virus is just getting started in the United States. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the return of the NBA season remains very much in question.
An hour or so ago, Adrian Wojnarowski, the leading news breaker covering the NBA, tweeted that the best case for the NBA is a return in mid June with no fans, and with the possibility of playing through August.
This is, of course, fairly wild – the earliest potential start of the season is three months away, and that’s a generous best-case scenario. The difficulties with this approach are two-fold. First, months of time off would mean that teams will be rusty and out of game shape, especially considering the social distancing and quarantining going on. Even if play were to resume then, quality would be questionable. Second, if play were to go into August, what about next season? The NBA season usually begins in early October with preseason, and that certainly couldn’t happen with an August finish. Would the 2021 season be pushed back as well? And if so, how would that impact the following season, and so on?
Really, the more one thinks about a mid-June (again, best case!) return, the less plausible it seems, especially if there still wouldn’t be fans at games. It’s still months away, of course, and the tide could turn (in one way or another) against Coronavirus. However, just a few days removed from a projected late April or early May return, the NBA season appears to be in real jeopardy. It’s unclear would the NBA would do if the season was canceled (regarding contracts, salaries, bonuses, records, achievements, awards, etc.) but it has to be something that the NBA is working on at this point.
We will keep you posted here, but it seems more and more likely that the 2020 NBA season is over.