Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended their season on March 11th.
There have been talks of the season resuming by June. Either continuing the regular season where it was left off, or the NBA will enter a sped-up playoffs format. As opposed to the usual best-out-of-7 series, games will be played in best-out-of-5. There have also been talks of centralizing all the playoffs games in Las Vegas, in Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion.
However, resuming the playoffs is a conflicting topic amongst the NBA players as well. Despite being super-athletes, there are players with health issues that will be greatly affected by COVID-19 disease. Here are what some players have said about the potential return of the 2019 – 2020 NBA season:
Shaquille O’Neal, Retired Hall of Famer
The Hall of Famer is very much against resuming the NBA season anytime soon. Regarding playing in an empty stadium, he was quoted with the following statement:
“It matters because looking at the fans starts your adrenaline. Let’s just say I’m playing on the road. I need to look at that one fan that’s making faces at me. To look at that one fan that laughs at me when I miss a free throw. I need to look at that one fan that’s holding up the opposing sign. I also need to look at the kid that looks at his dad when I look at him and says “Oh my God, Shaq just looked at me.” They make us who we are.
And then, you have to say okay. We’re going to play in an arena with just us, trainers, the camera guys and the media guys. What if one person gets sick and there’s nobody? All it takes is one person. After the game, you’ve still got to go home. What if one person gets sick, then we start from zero again.”
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
On the latest Woj Pod, a podcast by sports journalist Adrian Wonjnarowski. He quoted Kevin Durant on the NBA Season:
“Kevin Durant’s not coming back to the Nets this year if they play,” Adrian Wojnarowski said on his podcast. “That’s not happening. They’re not playing him.”
Jared Dudley, Los Angeles Lakers
Jared Dudley holds a different opinion on the topic, he was in favor of resuming the season. He was quoted with the following statement:
“Players don’t understand the ramifications if we don’t play this year. It affects next NBA season as well. No games, no tv money, billions lost in revenue. There will be no vaccine coming next year also so IF we can be Safe which I have faith in the NBA we can l, we should play.”
As time progresses, we may see more players expressing their thoughts on the developing situation.
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