By: Alex Gendron
Last year, when COVID-19 was introduced into the USA, the NBA was forced to postpone their season. Many NBA players had contracted the virus and as a result, the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, had to cancel the 2020 season until further notice. This was a huge advancement as it caused every major sports league to cancel their current season. However, COVID did not stop Adam Silver from continuing the season. On July 7, 2020, the NBA restarted. However, this time it was located in Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The NBA was very successful in this attempt as they ended the season with 0 COVID cases. The NBA season for 2021 started on December 22, 2020. This time, the NBA was not able to create a bubble for the NBA players to stay as the season has a much longer duration. We are only about 12 games into the season, yet there have already been several COVID cases in the NBA. This has been due to many different factors that could have been limited in the bubble, but not right now.
One of the major reasons for this COVID outbreak has been the fact that the season is much longer. When the bubble had first started, the season was almost done with the regular season. This meant that Disney World only had to host the playoffs. Since the season is almost six months long, it is almost impossible for the NBA to have a bubble. Another reason it has spread is the fact that NBA players have been seeing more people recently. With seeing teammates and coaches almost every day already, it is very risky to hang out with family members too. The NBA has proposed solutions to these problems and they have caused controversy all around the league.
Adam Silver has tried to think of solutions to solving this unexpected outbreak. There were many rumors that the season would have to take a pause. There is also a rumor that the NBA is going to limit the amount of time the players can spend with their families. George Hill, an NBA player for the Oklahoma City Thunder said, “‘I’m a grown man. I’m gonna do what I want to do. If I want to go see my family, I’m going to go see my family.'” More NBA players such as Jared Dudley and Jaylen Brown have spoken out about how the NBA is dealing with COVID-19. The many questions they had going into the offseason about how it would turn out are slowly being realized. However, there are a lot more questions that have not been answered.
One of the major questions surrounding the NBA is what is going to happen come playoff time. Will there be a bubble for the playoffs? Will there be any fans there? What will happen if a team does not have enough players due to COVID? There is also a lot of circulation about what will happen with the all-star weekend. There might not even be an all-star game. Or maybe it will be a virtual event with no interaction. The point is that the NBA has changed drastically because of COVID and it has been hard for every player in the league to deal with. However this pause in the NBA has changed a lot of players’ and fans’ views on how much they loved the NBA. That has been one of the only positive things that came out of COVID. This range of events has affected the NBA and other sports leagues, not only this year, but for many years in the future.