I don’t live by many rules but this is one of them: if you have to live and die by something you only worked on for 12 per cent of your training, things might not work out… And that’s where we as NBA fans are sitting.
The entire world has hit pause since the NBA was suspended on 11 March, with everyone feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even before March the world new about the virus, but it somehow didn’t seem real – not until Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that some NBA players felt ill and were sitting out games.
It wasn’t long after that the season being suspended.
Since then, other sports around the world have been halted, celebrities have come out saying they’ve caught the virus and people are out of jobs thanks to stay-at-home orders. It has been a very, very long month and a half without sport, but some good news came out this weekend that might give us hope.
Wojnarowski on Saturday said the NBA is going to allow teams to open practice facilities to players on 1 May. Beginning that day, players will be allowed to go into the team’s facilities and have shootarounds and individual workouts in the gym.
Sources: Teams will be allowed to make facilities open to players on a voluntary basis for individual work, but larger group workouts will still be prohibited. In NBA markets that aren't loosening restrictions, league plans to work w/ teams on other arrangements for players. https://t.co/yZSKsXedW1
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 25, 2020
That sounds great! But what’s the catch?
Only teams in cities that have eased their stay-at-home orders will be eligible. As of right now, most of the United States remains under this order, but states are looking into easing restrictions in the next couple weeks.
So if teams are allowing players to come in and get back into shape and practice a little, is the season around the corner? Let us think about it.
Friday, 1 May, is when some teams will allow players in facilities. We do not yet know how many teams that will be. Let’s say half the league is still restricted to home and cannot get in – the league cannot start a season or play-offs unless all the teams have the same equal practice time and access.
Even if all the teams get access to the gym in May, that won’t mean they’ll be allowed to travel and play other teams. States like New York, California, Massachusetts and New Orleans have some of the highest COVID-19 case numbers, and those states comprise nine teams among them. It seem likely they will not have access on 1 May.
The NBA has said they have thought about many options for if and when the season might resume. People are suggesting a week of regular-season games to get warmed up for the play-offs, while others are saying they should have a big play-off bracket right away and include all 30 teams in the league.
This practice facility opening operation is a great start and has brought hope to NBA and sport fans that a season might be in the works. But is this news a double-edged sword? Will this get our hopes up too high, only to deflate us when they announce the season is cancelled?
Comment below with your thoughts and suggestions on how to get the NBA back in our lives!