NBA: When should the league resume play, deal with remainder of regular season following COVID-19?

Like everything in the world, the National Basketball Assocation has been greatly affected by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This leaves many fans wondering: “When will the NBA be back?”

The truth is there is no definite answer, but the NBA will finish this season out one way or another.

All members of the NBA community want action to resume as early as possible, but league commissioner Adam Silver has made things very clear from the start that he will not risk the safety of the players, staff or fans.

With several players having already contracted the virus, such as Rudy Gobert, Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and many more, the league needs to think things through before making any decisions. 

Due to the fact the NBA plays its games indoors, in temperature controlled arenas, weather is not something this sport has to worry about like baseball does. 

The best course of action for the NBA at this point may be to cut the regular season short once action resumes. However, an option is to still give the players eight to ten games to get back on the court and align the playoffs. From there, conduct the playoffs as normal and finish out the season crowning a champion.

Depending on when this season ends, next season will likely be a shortened one or have a delayed start, as players and teams will need time to regroup and hold events like the draft and free agency.

This would not be the first time the league had a shortened season. It was not too long ago that a lockout prevented the season from starting until December.

A goal many players have made clear is, when play does resume, they want the fans to be there. LeBron James has been a leader when it comes to this movement, asserting that he wouldn’t play without fans at one point.

While this does push back the potential start date for the league, it may be worth it for teams to have the true home-court advantage they worked for all season. 

If sports-lovers and basketball-fanatics find that they are in desperate need of basketball to watch, there are several other options that teams and various networks are supplying fans with. 

Many of the NBA players have been streaming themselves playing basketball on NBA 2k20 on services like Twitch and YouTube. This is giving professionals an opportunity to interact with their fans on a more personal level.

Programs like ESPN and Fox have taken this opportunity to air many of the greatest games in the league’s history. ESPN has also pushed up the release of their “The Last Dance” documentary to mid-April, covering the illustrious 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls’ run to the NBA championship.

Basketball will return, but that return does not seem to be as close as fans might hope.