Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard (2) is defended by Golden State Warriors' Shaun Livingston (34), Stephen Curry (30), Quinn Cook (4) and Draymond Green (23) during the second half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

NBA determined to crown champion

If you ask the Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey, the NBA season is far from over. In fact, he and his team are actively prepping for a series against the Denver Nuggets. 

However, as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to ramp up, not everyone is as optimistic as Morey. 

Jeff Van Gundy, a former coach and current NBA announcer, last called an NBA game on March 8. He believes it could have been his last of 2020. 

“I’m not an expert,” Van Gundy reminded in an interview with the“New York Post”. “But I’d be surprised if the NBA plays again this season.” 

The situation every sports fan wants to see play out is the one where Morey is right, and Van Gundy is wrong. And that might be the case. 

When there’s a will, there’s a way

According to Marc Berman of the “New York Post”, the league is “very determined to have a champion”. 

There have been a number of options put out on the table. Some offer feasible alternatives, while others simply don’t. 

One thing is for certain: No one will be packing arenas anytime soon. So the teams will have to do without the fan noise. 

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reminds that players like LeBron James have made it clear they don’t wish to play without the presence of fans. He warns that these negotiations within the NBA could get “dicey”:

But according to Berman, a postseason tournament is still very much in play. And there has been one common denominator that has floated around. 

One city. 

To avoid traveling concerns with an active global pandemic that has claimed over 3,000 lives in the U.S., it is proposed that the NBA postseason be played in one location. 

A number of non-NBA regions have been discussed — most of which consistently facilitate NCAA tournaments. Places like Las Vegas, Hawaii, Louisville, the Bahamas and Atlantic City are places to note. 

According to Berman, Orlando was also in the conversation as a possible host site. Orlando’s Orange County has 300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of March 31. 

Despite discussions, a timeline is still blurry. According to Berman, late-June or early-July is favorable. In turn, this would push back the start of the 2020-2021 season until Christmas.

Though very little is set in stone, it is clear that the NBA wishes to crown a champion this season. And by the sounds of it, if it can safely be accomplished, it will be. 


About Ainslie Lee

Ainslie is a journalism major at the University of Florida where she specializes in Sports Media. Her main passion is college football as it was a huge part of her childhood. Ainslie serves as a current correspondent for the Ocala Star-Banner, a newspaper for the Ocala, Florida area. She currently covers Marion County high school sports.

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