We have absolutely no idea when professional or collegiate sports will return in the age of COVID-19. Starting with the NBA over a month ago and continuing with the UFC, leagues around the world have suspended operations.
At this point, it’s all about the United States flattening the curve and widespread COVID-19 testing becoming available. Until that happens, sports will not return.
Pro Basketball Hall of Famer and media personality Charles Barkley opened up about the pandemic and its relationship to the sports world. He pretty much indicated that canceling the NBA season would not be a bad thing.
“I just … I don’t know if it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to just cancel this season,” Barkley said, via The Athletic. “And, obviously, it’s going to come down to money. I think the perfect scenario would be, OK, guys, first of all, the fans are out the window. It’s not going to be any fans. Because, let’s don’t even talk about football, where you’ve got 75,000 to 100,000 fans at a game. How are you going to test all those people coming to a confined space?”
Barkley is the first high-profile individual within the basketball world to even suggest canceling the season. Though, he also has a first-hand knowledge of just how scary this situation is. Barkley was tested for COVID-19 last month. While the test came back negative, it put things into perspective.
The NBA is considering resuming its season at some point in Las Vegas. Said games would take place without fans in attendance. Chuck, as he is known, isn’t 100% on board with that idea.
“You’ve got all these idiots and fools and jacka**es just throwing stuff up on the wall,” Barkley continued. “I don’t know the answer, (but) some of this stuff is just stupid. Like, well, ‘we’re going to put the teams in a hotel for two months.’ I’m like, wait a minute — first of all, you telling me these players can’t see their families for two months? I don’t think the players are going to go for that.”
Health experts do believe that sports can return in some form this year. But for the NBA, it’s all about timing. The further this situation drags on, the less likely the 2019-20 season will continue.
The NBA Draft is set to take place in June with the following season opening in October. If COVID-19 is not contained with widespread testing here soon, any hope of the season not being canceled can be thrown out the window.