COVID-19 walloped the NBA this week, with four games postponed in the last three days.
But there currently is no plan to pause the 2020-21 season at the moment, according to NBA spokesperson Mike Bass. Instead, the league is expanding its health and safety protocols in hopes of keeping things relatively on track.
But why would the league want to continue playing amid the increase in cases? ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski weighed in on the issue during Tuesday’s episode of “SportsCenter.”
“Here’s what the league is thinking on this: Remember when players came back to training camps and they had that initial week of testing? They had almost 50 players test positive,” Woj said. “As you’ve seen them get into their teams and the protocols and the week-to-week, you’ve had weeks with no players positive.
“I think the belief is that if you pause it and allow everybody to go outside of this system that’s currently set up, you’d have many more positive tests. That has been shown. And ultimately, for the health of the players, this is still a safer place for them to be. They expected positive tests. They expected game postponements this season. They built it into the schedule. And the belief now with the league is the best thing for them is to still try to forge forward with this.”
As Woj noted, there are four or five teams currently coping with “excessive numbers” of unavailable players due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. This is a 30-team league after all, and a large majority of teams have yet to have an issue.
So despite all of the drama, the league clearly is standing pat. (For now, at least.)