NBA’s restart

December 22, that’s the day that Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA plans to officially begin the 2020-21 NBA season. With the successful virtual NBA draft and the completion of another exciting free agency, where we saw many all-star players traded and signing with new teams, the NBA looks like they’re back in full stride. However there’s a growing concern around the league, about the safety measures that the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) and the NBA (National Basketball Association) are implementing to keep players, coaches, and fans all safe.

On December 2nd, 48 players tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 546 players in the league. As the teams play their preseason games on December 11th, the players that tested positive must be quarantined and have 2 straight negative tests before being cleared for their game. Adam Silver has been questioned on whether or not the NBA will go back to the very successful bubble that they had the previous season. Silver had said that the NBA and the teams will do everything possible to protect the players, but will try and only use the bubble as a last resort, because of the huge amounts of money it costs to run, according to ESPN. 

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Another big question that players and fans alike have been asking during this offseason is if there will be limited fan attendance, if any, at games this year. The NBPA must work with both national and state laws first before it’s even their turn to decide whether they want fans to be in attendance this year. Many players say that they would love to have fans back and that it felt extremely weird to play in empty arenas during the bubble, but they understand that the health of everyone must come first. Lakers small forward LeBron James said while talking to ESPN, “We understand that there’s no fans. Our wonderful fans are watching this game on the TVs, on the laptops, phones, iPads, whatever the case may be. So it’s about us creating our own energy, understanding what we’re here for and that’s to get better. So that’s what it’s all about.” Bothell’s Principal Mr. Price even commented on this situation and said, “I am more of a college basketball fan than the NBA. I am glad to see the college basketball season get going even with COVID. I hope the season progresses smoothly and the NCAA Tournament takes place!” Although Mr. Price watches more NCAA basketball than the NBA, both leagues are in very similar situations.

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The final question and maybe even the biggest that came up to the NBPA was what the NBA would do if a player tested positive. Would they use the NFL approach and make the player skip the games or would they take a different approach? Bothell student Spencer Hogge (‘22) thinks so by saying, “The NFL has done the best they could by conducting and handling all covid protocols. When you have a team full of players move from city to city, regardless of the amount of precautions you take, something is bound to happen and players are bound to get the virus. The NBA just needs to do what they did before and everything will be fine.” There are lots of factors that will go into making this a safe and successful season for the players, coaches, and fans. Adam Silver and the NBPA are always good about putting safety before anything else, so I suspect this will be a very smooth season.

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