An NBA Season with no Champion?
As the suspension of the NBA season drags on, and more and more states containing NBA host cities implement shelter-in-place orders, many fans, myself included, have begun to wonder whether 2019-2020 is the first season in NBA history that will end without a champion.
However, per ESPN NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne, “there’s a general sense, among owners and among players, that no matter what they want to salvage the season if that’s in July, if that’s in August, if that’s in September, so be it.”
Of course, there is no telling whether this attitude is reflective of the point of view of the league office, and commissioner AdamSilver, at this point.
Furthermore, there are various complications to continuing even an abbreviated version of the 2020 playoffs. Without a proper break between the end of one season and the beginning of the next, the NBA accepts a great risk in the form of fatigue and injury. We could see a massive wave of severe injuries without the restorative rest of the off-season.
There’s also the issue of contracts—any contracts expiring at the end of this season are set to at 6pm on June 30th, 2020. If the NBA ends its 2019-2020 season after this date, how will free agency be impacted? Will all players with expiring contracts be expected to extend them for a month or two? Will teams be expected to offer these extensions to anyone with an expiring contract? Are we gonna have free agency as planned, and allow teams to make significant changes to their rosters between the regular season and playoffs? Will we allow certain players on contenders to not be resigned, effectively robbing them of the chance to compete that they earned in the regular season?
I desperately want a conclusion to the 2019-2020 season because it was wonderful. But I am having trouble seeing a path to one. All of this is assuming that things will even be normal by August or September, that we will be able to have NBA games again.
For now; I remained holed up, watching whichever retro game is on NBATV that night. Hope you’re all staying sane and healthy.
Image Source: AP Images