There are a lot of questions at the moment surrounding the National Basketball Association. Will the season be finished? How long will fans have to wait before they know if there will be a season again? Once and if the season does come back, will there be fans in the seats? Will players be paid in full for the rest of the season or how much of a pay cut will they be expected to take? Could the NBA go right to a playoff or will they finish the rest of the regular season? Will the end of the 2019-20 season delay the start of the 2020-21 NBA season whatsoever?
Obviously NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and its board of governors has a lot of very difficult decisions to make. Silver has already stated no firm decision will be made until May 1. In fact according to Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated, there will not be any firm discussion or deliberation on how or if the 2019-20 NBA season will properly conclude until that date. There is no doubt that the NBA needs more information from the healthcare community and even health experts do not know at this time how the dangerous pandemic of coronavirus will evolve.
One person who has been very outspoken about the matter is Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James. The future hall of famer from Akron, OH and one of the most recognizable athletes in not just all of basketball, but all of sports, has not been afraid to speak his opinion about what the NBA should or should not do.
On March 7, James told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, “I ain’t playing if you don’t have the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates. I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So, if I show up to the arena and there ain’t no fans in there? I ain’t playing.”
Three days later, James did revise his stance. He admitted to not knowing about all the conversations that were happening about coronavirus, and agreed to listen to those who were making the appropriate decisions.
Then according to Ganguli on Wednesday, James reported the following. “I don’t think I would be able to have any closure if we did not have an opportunity to finish the season.”
Well, the only way to finish the season may be with fans not in attendance. That may not be something James is completely comfortable with, but at least there is the possibility of the NBA declaring a champion for 2019-20. We should know more the direction the NBA is headed by the beginning of next month.