It was just five weeks ago that LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were the talk of the NBA world. Though, it seems like an entire lifetime ago.
Los Angeles was sitting pretty at 49-14 and as the top seed in the Western Conference. King James was in the midst of one of the best seasons of an already legendary career.
Everything came to a halt on the evening of March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the suspension of the NBA season.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to have any closure,” James told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, “if we do not have an opportunity to finish this season.”
Indeed, the season being canceled would be a bitter pill for Mr. James and his Lakers to swallow. It’s also been an especially trying year for these Lakers following the passing of legend Kobe Bryant back in January.
As it relates to what might happen moving forward, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver indicated on Friday that there’s still no timeline for a return to the season.
The United States is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with nearly 717,000 cases and 33,000-plus deaths as of Saturday afternoon.
Not only will the curve need to be flattened for the NBA to return, widespread testing would have to become available. That’s been a major issue over the past couple months.
For their part, the NBA is looking at the possibility of rapid testing. This would enable the Association to potentially resume its season in Las Vegas without fans in attendance. At least, that’s one of the plans being bandied about.