NBA players and fans’ worst nightmare just became more probable than ever: the 2019-20 season might be cancelled after all.
According to Bleacher Report, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that the NBA is considering the said angle following China’s CBA shutdown.
The NBA is “angling” to cancel the 2019-20 season after China’s CBA shutdown, per @WindhorstESPN
“There is a significant amount of pessimism right now.” pic.twitter.com/memSPluBxQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 4, 2020
The news came as a surprise as several teams were still reportedly preparing for the continuation of the season. These include organizations like the Houston Rockets, who may face a possible first-rounder against the Denver Nuggets.
The NBA suspended its games midway through the season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Several other players were diagnosed with the coronavirus shortly after, including Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell and Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood. Other players who also contracted COVID-19 include Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart, Nets players including Kevin Durant, and several Lakers players. They have subsequently recovered.
With the death toll climbing each day, several states have since imposed restrictions. One of these restrictions includes the prohibition of mass gatherings. As such, there came a number of proposals as to how the league can proceed. Before the unprecedented suspension, there were talks about playing in empty arenas. The suggestion remains an option until now.
Meanwhile, others offered unique format ideas. Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie proposed a March Madness-like format. Consequently, retired NBA player Jason Terry suggested a mini-exhibition before the playoffs to shake off the rust.
Given the now compromised schedule and the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic, such a drastic measure isn’t surprising. After all, if it’s for the safety and health of everyone involved, there’s no reason to continue the rest of the season.