Updates on the NBA
The NBA has been on lockdown for the last two weeks due to the spread of COVID-19, or its more common name, Coronavirus. Federal and state agencies alike have utilized a series of measures in attempting to slow it down. Sports leagues around the world, including the NBA, have remained shut down until further notice. While there hasn’t been much as the world seems to have been forced into quarantine, here are some updates in the basketball world.
Doris Burke tests positive for COVID-19
On Friday, Adrian Wojnaroski broke the news that Doris Burke tested positively for the Coronavirus. His source was Burke herself, who recalled first feeling ill on the same day that the league was shut down. Despite her test results, Burke is not currently showing symptoms. She has noted that she has begun to feel better, hopefully signs that she is the amidst of a healthy recovery.
Utah Jazz Players cleared by the Utah Department of Health
On Friday, the the exposed Utah Jazz players were cleared of COVID-19 by Utah’s Department of Health. This comes after the team took a two week quarantine in response to both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell testing positive for the virus. In fact, it was Gobert’s positive test in the first place that led to the League being shut down.
The Jazz aren’t the only team to take such precautions, as members of the Oklohoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Brooklyn Nets were exposed or tested positively for the virus. No team will be returning to the hardwood in the days and weeks to come. The League will remain postponed until further notice. The additional time gives every team and every fan a chance to continue practicing safe habits to slow the spread of this virus.
Alternatives to 2019-2020 NBA Season
It goes without saying that basketball fans would prefer to see their favorite players on their screen live. However, that simply cannot happen at this time. Yet, alternatives have been created to give fans at least a taste of the season. NBA 2k, the notable basketball videogame franchise, has begun to live stream simulated games of the remainder of the season. Fans can follow these simulations on streaming platforms and social media, such as Instagram Live. Additionally, some players have even joined in, live streaming their own 2k matchups with other players.
For fans who want more of a live game feel, NBA League Pass has provided a free offer to all fans until April 22 giving access to recordings of the 2019-2020 NBA season. The offer also includes access to the a library of classic games. Other NBA alternatives include podcasts from NBA players such as JJ Redick or CJ McCollom, as well as from former players such Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. While these alternatives don’t necessarily replace live basketball, they at least give fans a chance to stay in touch with the game they love.
Chances of Resuming the Season?
In such uncertain times, it is hard to provide a vast amount of definites. Possibilities are constantly being weighed. Most notably for the purposes of this article, it is being considered if the 2019-2020 NBA Season will resume. League officials are currently speculating that should the season resume, it will not be until mid-summer, possibly June or July. Of course, this is just a loose estimate, with no specific date in mind.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been on top of monitoring the situation, trying to come up with applicable solutions. His latest move was for he and other NBA executives to take a pay cut while the season remains on hiatus. Of course, there can be no guarantee on when or if this season will actually return. Still, all fans can do right now is hope and stay safe.
The virus does not respect things like state lines, celebrity status, or athletic ability. It is an equal opportunity offender that needs to be taken seriously. This is not a joke. Yet, it is entirely possible to stay safe. Vigilant hand washing, general cleanliness, and following quarantine protocols are all tools that can be used to prevent this virus from spreading anymore. The sooner everyone does their part, the sooner we may have some semblance of normalcy, including watching the NBA.
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