We are currently experiencing uncertain times in the United States. While we are still in a global pandemic every state is protesting over the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahumad Arbery, and George Floyd. If you know me or have read any of my other work, then you know my heart is with the movement. I don’t want this article to come off as tone-deaf or insensitive to the times that we are living in, I just think it's good to disconnect at times. With that being said, this article will be strictly a sports article. If you’re looking for a brief disconnect, then I hope you enjoy it
After 85 days of boredom, THE NBA IS BACK!!!!! The Coronavirus pandemic has run roughshod over the entire sports landscape. Nearly every single major sporting event has been canceled, but the summer might have been saved with the return of the NBA. The NBA Board of Governors and the NBA Players Association have agreed to return to the play plan earlier this week. The league will have 22 teams playing in Orlando Florida (Remember Florida’s Governor deemed sports essential) beginning on July 31st and stretching through the end of summer and the early part of the fall. The 22 teams are composed of the 16 playoff teams from each conference plus teams that are within 6 games of the 8th seed in each conference. (Of course, my SORRY New York Knicks aren’t included) Each team will have a mandatory 14-day quarantine, followed by a training camp, and 8 regular-season games to determine final playoff seedings.
While I would have loved to see all the teams in the NBA return to play, I understand the league's decision making here. During a global health crisis, you have to find that line between safety and entertainment. I think the NBA did an excellent job doing that. Here’s why I'm happy with the NBA’s plan.
Star Power: The NBA got this right because they are giving us STARS! We get all of the usual suspects like Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and others, but they are also giving us new stars. Barring something unforeseen, we’ll see JA Morant, Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic which will be wildly entertaining. I'M HERE FOR ALL OF IT!!
Sleeper Teams: A little uncertainty is always a good thing in sports. We have a little bit of that with the restart of this season. The return of injured players like Jusuf Nurkic in Portland, Kyrie Irving, and Kristaps Porzingis getting closer to 100% in Dallas could potentially shift the balance of power in the NBA.
Entertainment: Lastly, the NBA got this right because they are giving us entertainment! We will finally get the answers to a lot of the questions we had when the season was suspended nearly 90 days ago. Who really runs LA? Is it Kawhi and the Clippers or is Lebron still the king? Can a young team like the Celtics shock the world and win it all? Will the Greek Freak take hold of the top spot? Can Harden and Westbrook take the Rockets to the Finals? There are so many questions that need answers and the NBA is giving us 3 months of STRAIGHT BALL to decide its champion and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Welcome back NBA! I missed you.