It started this past Sunday with the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics game being postponed. NBA rumors are now picking up that the league could very well decide to put a halt to the 2020-21 season for up to two weeks due to a spike of COVID-19 cases within the Association.
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. While Commissioner Adam Silver and Co. would love for the season to continue unabated, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is not a likelihood with COVID cases spreading unchecked around the United States.
Related: 2020-21 NBA power rankings
NBA rumors: League considering postponing season due to COVID-19 spike
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that the NBA set a special Board of Governors meeting for Tuesday. It will include the league’s COVID-19 protocols as well as a potential stoppage in action.
It was always going to be difficult to conduct a season outside of the bubble-like atmosphere we saw at Walt Disney World in Orlando during the restart in 2019-20. Even then, the issues are seemingly starting to get out of control. It’s led to NBA rumors suggesting that a stoppage could be in the cards despite push back from Mr. Silver and Co.
It was announced on Monday that two more games would be postponed due to COVID protocols. Monday’s matchup between the Pelicans and Mavericks has been pushed back. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s game between the Celtics and Bulls has also been postponed.
The backdrop here is teams having to take to the court without star players. The Heat alone will be without stars Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Goran Dragic for Tuesday’s game against a Sixers squad that’s also dealing with a COVID outbreak of its own.
NBA rumors: Future outlook of the season amid COVID-19
“(We’re) optimistic about improvements in February after we get through the darkest days,” Silver told Shams Charania of The Athletic.
If that is indeed the belief of the NBA, it makes sense to postpone the season for a couple weeks and restart anew. Players could quarantine and things might go better starting in February.
Unfortunately, science does not point to this being a reality. As of publication of this article, the United States had confirmed north of 460,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 48 hours. As vaccines are currently slow to roll out to the general public, the idea of players gaining immunity over the short term continues to look more unrealistic by the day.
That’s one of the major issues when it comes to attempting to play games in home markets and home venues right now. Remember, the NBA had absolutely no issues with positive tests while playing in the bubble to conclude last season.
As it stands right now, NBA rumors are pointing in the direction of the season being halted. The biggest question from that point would be how a restart looks and whether the Association can prevent its season being postponed again.
Obviously, the idea of moving to multiple bubbles would make the most sense. However, it’s not yet known whether players would support that plan. The NBA itself obviously pushed back against that idea prior to the start of the 2020-21 regular season some three weeks ago.
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