At approximately 10:31 P.M (EST) on the 11th of March 2020, the news was released, the 2020 NBA season is suspended due to the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 after two players from the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus, All-Star centre Rudy Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay. Donovan Mitchell has since tested positive, too.
What does that mean for the NBA and its immediate future?
So, here are the facts that we know about the hiatus situation. I’m sure most of you know it already so I’ll be brief. Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus and therefore, caused the Jazz-OKC game to be cancelled.
Moments after, the NBA announced that season will be suspended indefinitely and the teams who played the Utah Jazz in the last 10 games will have to self-quarantine. A couple of hours later, Emmanuel Mudiay was also tested positively for the virus.
Obviously, there’s a lot more than we know so far but question of the matter is:
What does this mean for the future of the league?
As it stands right now, it seems like the NBA just decided to postpone the season and to simply put it off until the whole thing blows away. So yes, this does not mean the season is cancelled as some people are saying. It does not mean there will be no champion this season.
What I am expecting the NBA to do is to perhaps wait a few weeks, maybe couple of months until the situation gets under control and then, get back into action but probably with no crowds to finish the season.
Maybe when the playoffs starts we’ll start to see the fans in the arenas again but only if it’s safe to do it at that time.
As I’m writing this piece, new information has come out saying that the NBA is hoping to be back by the start of April.
That’s about 2 or 3 weeks break from today. But it’s realistically saying a 10 weeks layoff as it’s gone.
Another thing that might unfortunately happen, is eventually the entire NBA season does get cancelled.
Again, I don’t expect this to happen because it will be a big financial hit but even it does, it will go a long way.
It’s postponed for now, and if there are no improvements the NBA may decide it is best to cancel the season.
Another problem that has risen, is the free agency this summer.
As if potentially the NBA is not back by then, what does that mean for the players who will become free agents this summer to decide where they will go.
Obviously, it’s still not clear and I did try to get some answers for this but there’s very limited info on the subject at the time of writing this article.
My best guess right now, is that free agency and the draft will go ahead as planned and if the season continues then things might change up a bit and the players may be forced to stay with their current teams. But for the draft, I think it will take place on its marked date.
We can say that the situation is similar to the lockout incidents that happened before in the past decade and considering the COVID-19 is still not contained yet, there’s no telling how long the league will be suspended.
On the bright side, this is a good move by the NBA and Adam Silver as they ensure the health and safety of the players comes first.
Overall, the immediate future of the NBA is a postponement for the 2020 season and as it stands right now, it’s still unlikely for the total cancellation to happen and hopefully we can get back into action sooner than later as the season were just starting to heat up.