NBA Players, Owners Determined To Finish 2019-20 Season
The NBA has finally decided to cancel its ongoing season due to the viral outbreak of COVID-19. Some players and members of the organization are already affected. Despite this, reports from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, an American sportswriter and NBA insider revealed that owners and players want to salvage the season “no matter what”.
In an interview via Outside The Lines, Shelburne said: “If that’s in July, if that’s in August, if that’s in September—so be it. I don’t think anyone wants to start a new season without crowning a champion from this season. But I think we are all learning that you can’t predict this thing…and anybody who tells you they know what’s gonna happen in a month or two months is lying to you now because that’s what the league is grappling with just like all of us.”
The current season was officially suspended on March 12, following the confirmation that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert has tested positive for COVID-19. Next to Gobert, nine other players caught the virus, including Brooklyn Nets star player Kevin Durant. Within the organization, four members of the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers also tested positive. The postponed season also affected online betting, which hit the Bitcoin NBA betting markets hard.
Backing Shelburne’s report is NBA insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Rachel Nichols. Wojnarowski reported in mid-March that the NBA plans to return in mid-to-late June as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that it’s possible to hold a public gathering with attendees fewer than 50 people. Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Nichols last week that the league has three options at the moment: hold the entire season in arenas, as usual, resume the entire season without an audience, or hold an NBA-sponsored charity event with affected players isolated in a secured location.
Regardless of the NBA’s final decision, Shelburne confirmed the league is taking one step at a time. The future is uncertain, and the government’s responses to COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving. Federal, state, and local officials are working together with all the affected businesses and organizations. If everything goes smoothly and with enough cooperation, NBA owners believe that they can still crown a winner this season.