After raising hopes for a possible bubble tournament finish to a suspended season, both the EuroLeague and the EuroCup 2019-20 seasons have been officially cancelled earlier today. The 2020-21 EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons are scheduled to start on October 1 and September 30, 2020, respectively.
Clearly, this raises questions about whether and how the NBA will be able to resume the season or even a shortened playoffs.
However, a possible silver lining for the NBA is that one of the major reasons for the cancellation, according to the EuroLeague official communique is the existence of varying degrees of the spread of the pandemic as well as regulations in the various countries participating in the competition:
The varied evolution of COVID-19 in different EuroLeague and EuroCup territories does not guarantee that all teams can hold their training camp and prepare for official games under the same conditions.
The above has resulted in local authorities imposing differing restrictions on the movements of their citizens, with no guarantees that all teams can travel to and from the designated location.
The EuroLeague did not want to create a situation were some teams had an advantage due to the pandemic being more controlled in their country. Former Boston Celtics guard, Shane Larkin, who was also a leading candidate to become this year’s EuroLeague MVP, has expressed similar views shortly before the decision to cancel the season:
Every team deserves and equal opportunity to win the EuroLeague but because of this pandemic many teams and players don’t have the chance to be as prepared as others.
Last season’s EuroLeague MVP is no other than former Wizards first round pick, Jan Vesely, currently in the Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahçe.