As the NBA continues to find a way to resume its season, would the San Antonio Spurs be on board with playing out the season under quarantine?
The NBA is in an unprecedented situation right now. On one hand, Commissioner Adam Silver led the charge in major sports canceling future events for the benefit of humanity. On the other hand, the league is desperate to help its fans get some sense of normalcy back. As the league continues to weigh its options, would the San Antonio Spurs be in favor of resuming their rough season under extreme circumstances?
The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for the entire world to deal with since it’s onset, and the world of basketball is no exception to its devastating effects. While players that tested positive for the virus earlier on fortunately are being cleared, the threat of its lasting effects still looms large over the league.
In a recent column for ESPN, senior writer Brian Windhorst discussed how the NBA is looking toward resuming play even if it means doing so in less-than-ideal conditions.
Using the Chinese Basketball Association’s current talks about resuming play as a template, he detailed how the NBA could potentially get back to what it does best sooner than later.
“Various ideas have been floated by players and executives. One is to consider using a sprawling casino property in Las Vegas, where everything could be held under one roof. Others have suggested playing in the Bahamas, where a ballroom could be converted into a playing court specifically for broadcast. There has even been talk of taking over a college campus in the Midwest, where reported cases of COVID-19 are lower for the moment.”
While the shorter-term scenarios seem a bit far fetched, Adam Silver hasn’t exactly been the most conventional of commissioners. In a scenario where the league would ask its players to stay in a confined area to play in an effort to help flatten the curve, how would the Spurs front office and players feel about participating?
There’s a lot to unpack here. The biggest question surrounding the potential return of basketball is: at what point in the season would play resume? There has been speculation of the NBA going straight into the playoffs, which seems drastic but would make the decision easier for the Spurs since they’re currently sitting at 12th in the Western Conference.
There’s also been talk of a possible play-in tournament to determine the final seed from each conference, which would be a ratings gold mine but potentially unfair to the teams currently sitting in the eighth spot.
If the season was to resume where it left off, the Spurs undoubtedly would have a chance to make the playoffs, but is it worth the risk? Knowing how Silver runs things, I don’t see him making it mandatory for all teams to participate under such extreme conditions as being quarantined in a hotel or resort.
If Gregg Popovich and the Spurs front office are given an option to pack it in or resume play in the midst of the coronavirus still being a threat, he’s likely going to take option one. While competitively the team still has something to prove, Coach Pop has always preached how life is bigger than basketball.
That sentiment has never been more true that it is this year with lives hanging in the balance on a daily basis. There’s just simply no reason for this team to resume play under conditions that are still potentially dangerous.
While this season hasn’t been great for the Spurs, they have plenty of youthful upside and potential that they must preserve and protect seasons to come.
Unless this pandemic gets under control before any kind of play resumes, the San Antonio Spurs would be wise to move on to building for next season if given the option.