There was hope that the NBA season could eventually resume but that hope is rapidly fading as pessimism about the seasons’ return grows.
There is no escaping the wide-ranging effects of the coronavirus. Each of us has either been affected by it, known someone who has been affected by it, had their employment situation impacted, or had their daily routine disrupted by mitigation efforts. The NBA and the San Antonio Spurs are not exempt from this new reality.
As Brian Windhorst of ESPN recently reported, there is a growing sense of pessimism around the league that the 2019-20 season is trending towards permanent cancellation rather than resuming later this summer.
The news, while shocking, is not particularly surprising given the dire situation that the United States finds itself in. Across the country, communities are doing everything they can to provide adequate support to healthcare professionals, educate citizens on what can be done to prevent the spread of the disease, and ensure that life can carry on with some sort of normalcy. Sports leagues returning to action is hardly the most pressing matter.
As Windhorst noted in his report, the NBA has more than just this season to consider. Carrying on with plans to resume the season too far into the summer could have impacts on the 2020-21 season as well.
The ramifications of a potential season cancellation would be wide-ranging. Would potential free-agents, such as the San Antonio Spurs DeMar DeRozan, be credited with a full year of service? How would the cancelation of the season impact year-end awards? Would the San Antonio Spurs postseason streak technically be broken if there was no postseason to be played?
While these are far from the most important issues facing the NBA, and humanity at large, at this point and time, they are questions that the league will have to consider if it does follow through with a season cancellation.
Adam Silver and the NBA are in uncharted waters. How they decide to handle the remainder of the NBA season and the rest of the summer will be a critical storyline to watch as information continues to come out.