Over the last couple days, we got a glimpse of what will likely happen to the 2019-20 NBA season. It’s probably heading toward cancellation.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that the season is likely not resuming. The league and the NBPA are discussing how the financials will work out should this happen.
.@WindhorstESPN says there’s “a significant amount of pessimism” in the NBA and the NBPA’s talks about whether they’re going to cancel the season. pic.twitter.com/SAGMJlFRDO— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 4, 2020
Other professional basketball leagues have already decided to cancel their season, including Korea’s KBL and Japan’s B League. And, as Windhorst noted, China delayed the restart of the CBA and other sports leagues due to the uncertainty of keeping players safe among other things. China was the first country to see an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and things are still not back to normal there.
In Europe, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, EuroCup, EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women continental tournaments are suspended until further notice. Most countries, especially western nations like Spain, France and Italy are under national lockdowns. It’s difficult to see any resumption of play there until the lockdowns are lifted.
And that leads us back to the USA and the NBA in particular. Though the league is planning for what many believe is just a formality at some point, the Association still holds out hope that the season can resume. Or at least that the NBA can be among the first leagues to find a protocol for other sports leagues in America.
According to Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was among many sports league commissioners to take part in a conference call with US President Donald Trump. All of the Big Four sports leagues’ commissioners and/or top executives were there including Silver, but WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert was also in the call, as the conference call included a wide range of men’s and women’s sports leagues. The most notable omissions included the National Women’s Soccer League and the NCAA.
While President Trump wished that the NFL season would start on time given the popularity of football, Silver reportedly stated that he wanted the NBA to be a leader in “restarting the economy.” It should be noted that a lot of these sports, entertainment and business shutdowns happened after the NBA suspended the current season.
Rui Hachimura among 16 participants in the NBA2K Players Tournament, faces off against Donovan Mitchell in first round
It wasn’t long ago when I wrote about how Esports could have an opportunity despite the pandemic. Though fans won’t be able to see NBA players face off against NBA 2K League gamers, we will see players compete against each other in a 16-player tournament.
Wizards forward Rui Hachimura is among the players in the tournament, where he will face off against Utah Jazz forward Donovan Mitchell tonight, which you can see at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday on ESPN2.
Rui Hachimura will be one of 16 players competing in the players-only NBA 2K tournament starting Friday, @boardroom releases. Hachimura, a 13-seed, will match up against 4-seed Donovan Mitchell in round 1. pic.twitter.com/8uezPzOns2— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) March 31, 2020
Hachimura is a 14-seed based on his NBA 2K rating, but we won’t hold that against him. After all, Derrick Jones Jr. defeated Kevin Durant when the first round started on Friday!
There also could be more events featuring NBA players soon, including a H-O-R-S-E tournament.
The NBA and ESPN are working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition involving several high-profile players, sources say. Players would shoot in isolation – presumably in home gyms – and match shots against competitors. Details are still being finalized.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 4, 2020